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Crane-with-a-Brain [New Products]

Dec. 14, 2015
Konecranes has enhanced its suite of Smart Features capabilities for its line of SMARTON overhead lifting cranes.

Konecranes has enhanced its suite of Smart Features capabilities for its line of SMARTON overhead lifting cranes. Three new elements—Hook Centering, Snag Prevention and Active Sway Control—have been added to help operators achieve faster load handling with less risk of damage to the load, crane and surrounding area.

Hook Centering was designed to automatically eliminate side pull situations and load swing caused by side pull.

Snag Prevention is always offered in a package with Hook Centering. If a hook, sling or load accidentally becomes caught by other objects during bridge or trolley movement, the operator may not notice until it is too late to prevent damage to the load, the crane or other machinery. Snag Prevention constantly monitors the rope angle and slows down the movement of the bridge if the rope reaches a pre-set angle. It activates the mechanical brakes to a full stop if a more extreme rope angle occurs. Slow-down and stop angles are set during commissioning and are typically two to four degrees.

Active Sway Control stabilizes load movements in trolley traverse and/or bridge travel directions. It reads and modifies the operator’s speed commands so that the requested speed is reached with minimal load sway. Like Hook Centering and Snag Prevention, it is based on angle measurement of the rope. If the rope angle exceeds a pre-set value, the acceleration and deceleration ramps of the trolley and bridge travel motions are shaped by the Smart Features algorithm to keep the load stable without a swing.

All three of these new Smart Features are achieved through camera-based technology, which begins with an infrared camera mounted on the crane. The camera monitors LED sensors located on the hook block to detect load movement that is out of the acceptable range.

The real brain of the Smart Features capability is a combination of Konecranes’ “smart” tablet that the operator uses to access and monitor the new load controls and the Smart Crane Module (SCM), an industrial PC located in the crane’s control house. The Konecranes tablet mounts on the crane’s radio control or cabin, and links wirelessly to the SCM. Everything relevant to crane operation can be seen or accomplished from the tablet. For example, a green arc shows how far the load is from maximum, and the screen can also display what the crane’s cameras see.

Konecranes Inc.

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