Laser-View Technologies’ provides easily configurable and precise non-contact solutions for crane collision protection. The Crane Sentry® Zone Manager can be used to improve crane safety with no-fly zones, where crane movements are limited or restricted.

Injection molding presses typically include automated robot unloading systems for removing parts from the mold, along with a host of other operations. The robotic arms can sometimes interfere with overhead cranes used to move injection mold dies and materials. By implementing a zone manager with the appropriate No-Fly zone interface hardware, potential collisions between robot arms and cranes can be avoided.

Crane Sentry® Zone Manager provides a simple, yet flexible method of keeping electric overhead traveling (EOT) cranes from interfering with robotic arms included with injection presses. The Zone Manager has been a solution for several facilities that have had crane-robot arm accidents or near misses.

Crane Safety at Injection Molding Facilities

In most injection molding facilities, cranes are used to transport and load dies into presses. Oftentimes, overhead clearance in many of these facilities is not high enough and the overhead die transport crane is too close to the machines.

In many cases, the crane’s bridge can interfere with the upper position of a robotic arm. The robot arm of the crane is automatic and goes up each cycle of the injection molding press. If an operator is moving the overhead crane over the machine zone at the same time that the arm is up, an incident may occur.

Alternatively, if an operator leaves a crane in an area, the molding machine does not know this and the arm can rise and hit the crane. In other cases, the hoist can be the problem. In either case, damage to the robotics arm is probable, taking down production and adding maintenance costs.

These problems are widespread throughout injection molding factories. Accidental interferences can cause damage to the machinery, causing repairs and lost production. Crane Sentry® Zone Manager can assist with multiple scenarios and prevent crane collision.

How Crane Sentry® Zone Manager Can Help Avoid Injection Press Crane Collision

The Crane Sentry® family line provides highly configurable systems that can improve facility uptime, improve safety, and prevent damage to equipment by creating No-Fly zones around machine work centers.

Laser-View Technologies’ Crane Sentry® Zone Manager provides systems that use long range laser distance sensors in two axes capable of measuring up to 500 meters. When only the bridge can interfere with a machine arm, a single axis version is provided. This technology provides an absolute position that does not require mechanical positioning of limit switches or re-zeroing of encoders.

Crane Sentry® Zone Manager Benefits

Zone Manager is based on real measurements, not just proximity. For shorter crane runways, we can measure on a natural surface without installing a special reflector.

With the Zone Manager, a virtual box is made around the restricted zone using either (1) or (2) laser sensor axis. One laser monitors bridge position, the other laser monitors trolley position. Zone Manager provides intuitive configuration, is easy to install, and provides everything you need as an anti-crane collision package. See the key features of the Crane Sentry® Zone Manager here.

Commonly, users notify a machine if the crane’s hoist is overhead in a zone. They then override the no-fly zone if a robot arm is in its safe lowered position. Laser-View Technologies offers remote wireless I/O modules as modular options to the main Crane Sentry® system. This makes an I/O handshake for closed loop control.

The Crane Sentry® product line is designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold in the USA by Laser-View Technologies for crane collision detection, zone control, and positioning applications. Click here to view the Crane Sentry® Zone Manager Overview.

For more information on the Crane Sentry® family line of crane position and collision monitoring systems, please contact Laser-View Technologies here.