Cranes, as one type of weight handling equipments play a vital role in today’s technical world. They allow precise positioning and movement of heavy loads. In most cases, the crane is controlled by an operator who handles the movement and the reduction of sway manually, step by step. But recently, the progression of control engineering and the appearance of more and more precise applications require to develop automated control for crane systems.
During my work at the Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology, I created an automated control system for a two-dimensional overhead crane model that can be found at the department’s Intelligent robotics laboratory. The control algorithms were implemented in Matlab-Simulink. The real-time operation is performed by the Quarc kernel cooperating with Simulink and supporting automated code generation.
The signals of the crane are measured by incremental encoders. After studying and understanding the properties of the device, I designed controllers for the individual movements. I created a complex control system to coordinate the steps of the process.
The complete system allows the crane to transfer the load to a preset desired position as a series of elementary movements after pressing the Start button. The desired target position can be set by a game controller connected to the computer. In the end of the process the sway of the load is also minimized. The system also guarantees the safety of the operator by a dead man button.