Control System Development for Gantry Cranes

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Kovács Gábor
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology


Speed and efficiency of loading and unloading operations, carried out by portal cranes in most ports, have a significant impact on the logistic process. Performance of cranes is highly influenced by the motors and drives used, so by optimizing their operation, the loading process can be improved without the cost of mechanical modifications. Improvement of the control system can enhance not only performance but also operating safety and manoeuvrability of the crane.

This thesis presents the enhancement of the control system of a portal crane, giving an overview on the improved hardware setup and also the function blocks used for grab control. The new functions require stable, fast communication between the PLC system and the frequency converters, thus the scheduling of data transfer was enhanced first. Development of an open-loop anti-sway algorithm implemented as an integral part of the control system is detailed, as well as the solutions for cargo weighing and the realization of an ergonomic human-machine interface. These functions and the human-machine interface have been tested both in silico and subsequently live with the crane.


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