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Journal articles

Industrial Control of Tower Cranes An Operator in the Loop Approach

Abstract : This article reports on the development of a controller for real-time assistance of crane operators in the field of construction, in partnership with Manitowoc (Potain Cranes), one of the world leading crane manifacturers. Owing to the complexity of construction sites, that notably involve men at work, full automation is deemed undesirable and operators must be kept in the loop. The goal of the controller is then to track the velocity reference from the operator, while guaranteeing the absence of sway, that is, undesirable residual oscillations. Our method only uses built-in crane sensors. As a result the state is unobservable and the method is largely open-loop. It builds on the celebrated flatness theory, coupled with a hierarchical control architecture based on a time-scale separation where modern variable-speed drives ensure fast closed-loop control of motor speeds, whereas our method allows to generate feedforward feasible anti-sway trajectories for the slower mechanical part. We experiment the approach on a mockup as well as on various cranes, including a 40 meters high tower crane. Tests conducted on crane operators with various levels of experience and one crane instructor confirm the benefits of the controller. Presently, regulatory law seems the main difficulty on the path to commercialization.
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Contributor : Silvere Bonnabel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 1:48:00 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 1:41:56 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, August 6, 2021 - 6:08:36 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03217641, version 1


Silvere Bonnabel, Xavier Claeys. Industrial Control of Tower Cranes An Operator in the Loop Approach. IEEE Control Systems Magazine, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2020, 40 (5), pp.27 - 39. ⟨hal-03217641⟩



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