Ergonomic design of an integrated system for monitoring the state of repair of steelworks cranes, in order to improve safety by reducing the burden on crane drivers and maintenance staffProject ID: 7250/13/018
Ergonomic design of an integrated system for monitoring the state of repair of steelworks cranes, in order to improve safety by reducing the burden on crane drivers and maintenance staff
Total cost:Not available
EU contribution:Not available
The aim of this project is to design and develop, in close cooperation with crane owners, drivers and maintenance personnel, a highly ergonomic crane monitoring system, and then install a pilot version in a steelworks. The system should relieve drivers and maintenance staff of much of the burden of checking cranes, and the removal of this mental stress should increase the safety of workers employed on or underneath cranes. The system will need to recognise acute danger situations via online monitoring operations and inform the crane driver in an ergonomically satisfactory way.
At the same time, patterns of deterioration of important crane components will need to be identified by means of long-term analyses and made available to the maintenance staff in a readily understandable, easily manageable form. The maintenance measures scheduled on the basis of such analyses will reduce both the physical and mental load on maintenance staff. Workers' safety will be enhanced both directly (less danger) and indirectly (less mental load on crane drivers).
Ways and Means to Achieve the Work
The project will be divided into seven stages.
Selection, in collaboration with a steelworks, of a crane where the reduced mental load on crane personnel resulting from an ergonomically designed monitoring system will significantly increase work safety. Cranes for transporting molten loads (e.g. charging cranes or casting cranes) would be particularly suitable. At the same time, the crane should be in constant demand and subsequent production stages should depend on its functioning, so that the amount spent on monitoring is justified (integrative ergonomics).
In-depth analysis of the mental stresses on the crane driver. To enable classification of the plant-related causes, analyses will be made of past crane malfunctions, crane damage (and the concomitant stress on maintenance personnel), anticipated breakdowns and risks to plant safety and work safety in the crane area. These analyses will be based on consultation of existing works documents, observation of the crane and the crane driver at work, and intensive discussions with those who use the crane, those who service it and those responsible for crane safety and workplace design. In parallel with this there will be an in-depth study of the literature to ensure that account is taken of ergonomic findings and basic crane operating problems beyond those applying in this particular case.
Collection of the information needed for development of the monitoring functions. Apart from studies to determine the optimum ergonomic design of warning and analysis components, models will be developed for automatic control of crane operation (to prevent acute breakdowns and dangerous situations) and for continuous monitoring and prognosis of the crane's state of repair. Studies of the plant in operation may also be necessary.
Specification of the requirements for the design of the system, based on the blueprint for the ergonomically designed workplaces at the human-computer interfaces (crane driver, ground station), the number of dynamics of the readings to be taken, and the interfaces with other DPsystems in the vicinity of the crane. The questions of data selection and display will play a particularly important role. The end result of the fourth stage will be a catalogue of specifications for the ergonomic design of the warning and analysis interfaces and for the measurement and data aspects of the monitoring system, on the basis of which a decision will taken on the technology to be used.
Detailed specifications for the construction of the crane monitoring system will be developed on the basis of the results of stages 3 and 4. They will contain details of the system hardware and interfaces to be used, as well precise programming specifications for the design of the user interface and for data collection and processing.
Construction of the monitoring system on the basis of the specifications, and installation of the selected crane.
Evaluation of the system from the point of view of the design of the crane driver's and data analysers' workplaces, the reduction of the mental load on the crane driver and the mental and physical loads on maintenance personnel, and the resulting improvement in plant safety and work safety. The results, and the experience gained in the course of construction and utilization of the system, will be documented thoroughly in the final report and conclusions will be drawn regarding any improvements deemed necessary.
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