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Crane collision avoidance
17 October 2017
Reducing the potential for collisions between overhead cranes, monorail systems and fixed objects/obstructions has been a challenge for the overhead material handling industry for many years
Until recently it was only possible to minimise the resulting impact from collisions using mechanical means such as bumpers or limit switches. With today's advances in electrical technology, it is now possible to prevent these collisions using more sophisticated means in a variety of operating environments.
CP Automation, a specialist in repair and replacement of automation equipment, is now a stockist for Magnetek, a specialist in crane and hoist systems. This alliance comes at a pivotal time for the crane industry, which is seeing a shift from cab controlled cranes to safer, radio controlled systems.
Cranes can be fitted with both CP Automation and Magnetek products as an integrated package, including power delivery systems, radio remote control transmitters, motor gearboxes, failsafe brakes and variable frequency drives (VFDs). Together, these products allow cranes to move heavy structures with sufficient power, control and intelligence, as well as increasing safety with remote control.
"The partnership brings together the right set of products to support the rapid growth of the crane industry at present," explains Andy Swann, business development manager EMEA at Magnetek. "We are seeing more and more crane original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) moving away from in-cab operators and opting for radio remote control, whereby the operator is at a safe distance away from heavy loads. This means much more aggressive materials can be handled during a project, and the operator is kept at a safe distance, controlling the crane from afar."
Multi-level anti-collision system
Elsewhere, Symeo´s multi-level anti-collision system for cranes relies on continuous tracking of all crane positions and heights using radar. It also tracks vehicles such as rail-bound transfer cars coming in from the side. The system allows the user to reliably and repeatably configure their own warning and stop zones and flexibly change restricted areas.
In addition to determining the exact position of the crane or crane trolley, the system can simultaneously transmit the crane measurement data using only a single wireless sensor. A separate communication system is not required. The positioning and data transmission functions are integrated in a single device.
All of the crane measurement data can be read by any 1D24 station and forwarded via wireless communication. The system is flexible enough to incorporate and output other raw data, such as crane movements.
A direct relay switch makes it possible to implement the system without additional programmable controls (PLC). Using the Collision Control Centre (CCC), which can be called up in a web browser, the 1D24 units can be easily commissioned. This eliminates the need for detailed programming knowledge or the installation of separate software.
The CCC is a modular assistance system, which assumes responsibility for the central management tasks and enables interaction with the user. All of the devices are configured, updated and monitored through the CCC, which can be easily called up via a web browser interface without installing special software.
In the CCC, the individual crane anti-collision environment can be simulated and stored. Cranes can be prevented from crossing over restricted areas by configuring individual safety zones.
Symeo collision warning applications do not require any centrally operated software. The objects included in the anti-collision system can independently trigger local warnings or motion stops using the available position measurement data. The system creates and automatically adapts a dynamic safety zone based on the movement speed.
- CP Automation is now a stockist for Magnetek; available packages include power delivery systems, radio remote control transmitters, motor gearboxes, failsafe brakes and variable frequency drives (VFDs)
- Symeo´s multi-level anti-collision system for cranes relies on continuous tracking of all crane positions and heights using radar