Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Monitoring and control of hoist technology in an industrial environment

Crane and hoist designs that are commercially available today have not generally adopted advances made in the application of electronics based technologies made in other industries. Research has been carried out in order to establish a general system architecture suitable for a range of mechanical handling equipment. The research has demonstrated that the emerging distributed control concepts initiated in the process industries and discrete parts manufacturing are applicable to general machine control and in particular crane technology. The use of vector flux controlled drive systems for cranes and hoists has opened up the possibility of high performance open loop antisway control to be adopted as a standard feature. Highly flexible and configurable distributed real time control systems have been implemented using the fast internal processor (FIP) fieldbus and universal machine control (UCM) platform. This architecture supports multivendor, multiproduct interoperable solutions. It has also been shown that the draw string gripper allows loads to be reliably coupled remotely. This opens up the possibility of totally automatic operation, although safety still remains an issue with semiautomatic operation. Vertical lift and antisway control have been shown to dominate load swing. Uncontrolled operation has been shown to excite motions with a drawing rate of only 38% 60 s{-1}, therefore any form of automatic operation, without control, results in unacceptable time delays, at the end of the motion sequence occurring while waiting for the load to come to rest to allow the crane to accurately position it. Solutions have been found to implement an advanced technology crane without incurring excess constructional cost penalties.The results have great economic potential for a new approach to the crane industry, focused on system design rather than on the design of the mechanical parts. Partial results, such as the radio link, may also be of interest.

Reported by

AEA Technology plc
Culham Laboratory
OX14 3DB Oxford
United Kingdom
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