Market Segment: Industrial Automation
Crane anti-sway, positioning and
collision avoidance solution
Crane manufacturer Lehnert’s search to make their crane control and regulation system more smart, safe, and equipped for the future, led them to Data Respons Solutions.
The desired outcome was to be able to replace currently known applications in the crane industry with a fully modular system while achieving a high degree of flexibility concerning hardware components and ensure a long-term availability of 15 years. Lehnert also wanted to be able to react flexibly to market demands in order to keep their options open for future changes. No difficult feat, as pendulum damping can be achieved by using both model calculations and metrological supported methods. The controllers computing power had to be designed accordingly.
The protection of operator and machine can only be guaranteed when anti-sway and intelligent monitoring functions work together, so Lehnert’s next generation crane intelligence solution needed to comply with functional safety performance level d and machine safety standard EN ISO 13849-1. Operator friendliness and reliability is key to Lehnert and they wanted the solution to have an efficient electronic anti-sway to help keep the load calmly suspended under the trolley thus making the crane operator’s job easier and more efficient.
CUSTOM SOLUTION BASED ON STANDARD TECHNOLOGY
The entire range of applications is served by a modular platform. Data Respons Solutions implemented the included requirements in a customer-specific hardware solution comprising modified standard components. While previous interfaces could only be implemented via converters, the new solution includes two Ethernet ports and a slot for optional CAN bus, Profibus and Profi Net.
In contrast to the original, customer-specific hardware, the new platform is considerably more flexible and adaptable to individual requirements as each crane has its own unique challenges and is unique in its field of application, task, weight, dimensions and equipment. With the new platform, the control and regulation technology suitable for each respective crane can be planned and dimensioned both flexibly and reliably.
The strategic switch to an individualised modular hardware solution comprising application-specific selectable standard components, effectively supports the philosophy of the software, which is also modular in structure. Both companies benefit from their focus on their respective core competencies.
A new industrial grade image-processing platform was chosen as part of the solution to allow signal transmission via fibre optic cables. On large booms, the distance between camera and control unit can be well over 30 meters, which is too long for signal transmissions via copper cables. Fibre optic cables eliminates the influence of electromagnetic interference from drives and machine and increases the reliability of the overall system — thus making it possible to design even longer crane booms.
The new camera module consists of a camera with a powerful flash in the infrared range, and a passive reflector on the load-handling device. The module measures the oscillations of the load in crane, trolley, and skew direction as well as the lifting height leaving external factors such as pull, wind, or an initial oscillation compensated for.
VALUE ADD AND INDEPENDENCE A DECISIVE FACTOR
The decisive value add of a customised and automated solution lies in the extensive diagnostic software and the new hardware, the beating heart in every control system – a progress that provides the customer with a new form of flexibility. Practical use under industrial conditions has shown that the solution outperforms its predecessor in all aspects. In particular, the ten times higher measuring accuracy of the camera module ensures precise positioning in automatic mode.
’’Developing a custom solution gave us more freedom and flexibility as well as being a cost-efficient. We now have an outstanding automated solution that meets with modern safety requirements. Our decisive value add was not just Data Respons Solutions’ technical expertise, but its personal, competent and committed communication throughout the duration of the project.’’
Quote: Bettina Lehnert, Manager >> Lehnert Regelungstechnik GmbH
A control and regulation system which enables cable operated cranes to position their loads quickly and to reduce the risk of collision. It independently eliminates the unavoidable oscillations that occur while the crane is in operation, eases the crane operator’s job, and supports inexperienced operators while facilitating the automatic positioning of the crane. The danger of collision is reduced because the load attachment device hangs steadily at the end of every crane transaction each time.
The control and regulation system is comparable with the procedure of an experienced crane operator having to take adequately timed countermeasures. The desired speeds that are set by the crane operator in the manual operation mode are controlled by acceleration and braking processes so that swaying movements that occur during operation and after stopping are automatically eliminated. This in turn enables a quick positioning of the load.