Metal Stamping Facility Crane Collison Monitoring

Metal stamping die in transit to stamping press 3 on a  typical production floor, showing overhead crane, equipment, and areas monitored and protected by a solution consisting Dimetix laser distance sensors integrated with  a Crane Sentry controller.

Metal stamping die in transit to stamping press 3 on a typical production floor, showing overhead crane, equipment, and areas monitored and protected by a solution consisting Dimetix laser distance sensors integrated with a Crane Sentry controller.

Overview

Consider the potential safety concerns, downtime and costs faced when an overhead crane, such as the cranes that handle die changes at a metal stamping facility, collides with equipment on the production floor. Many of these facilities often have many “cells,” or clusters, of costly workstations packed as efficiently as possible in the available space. Such is the scenario faced at  metal stamping facilities everywhere. No cause for alarm, though—Laser-View Technologies has helped solve this very problem in metal stamping, and other industries, with the right combination of materials handling expertise, Dimetix laser distance sensors and a Crane Sentry controller.

Challenge

It’s not difficult to imagine what would happen if an overhead crane carrying valuable materials or a costly  die collided with a press or other equipment located in the production area. Laser-View Technologies has encountered multiple variations on this very  scenario. Many of these facilities often have many “cells,” or clusters, of costly workstations packed as efficiently as possible in the available space. Also consider the added complication of the variables introduced by autonomous equipment, such as a  robotic arm that normally remains below the level of the bridge crane hook or load, but which can suddenly change elevation into the path of an oncoming crane. Although the physical layout, distances separating machine work centers, and other variables that must be accounted for change from facility to facility, the best solution is always the same: Prevent any potential collision from happening.

Solution

The Laser-View Technologies solution includes Dimetix laser distance sensors, which for this application typically would be mounted near the Crane Sentry controller on the crane bridge aimed at flat target plates mounted on the wall and trolley. The Crane Sentry controller can also be equipped with a master wireless gateway module to monitor, process and relay input signals from multiple remote interface modules, each of which can be equipped with a wireless radio. This optional master wireless I/O module provides the ability to relay digital output signals provided by the customer to the Crane Sentry controller and react to variables on the production floor, such as a robotic arm that normally remains below the level of the bridge crane hook or load, but which can suddenly change elevation into the path of an oncoming crane.

Results

As a result, the Laser-View Technologies solution consisting of Dimetix laser sensors integrated with a Crane Sentry controller was able to prevent unintentional entry of the bridge crane into protected areas while a load was suspended and in transit, but was able to safely permit overhead crane entry into protected zones as necessary when no load was present or to allow positioning of machine die during die changes.

Key Application Notes

  • Multiple communications options
  • Teach or manually enter set points
  • Simple installation, low maintenance
  • Six configurable relay outputs
  • Color touchscreen data entry & display
  • Wireless interface module

For more information on the Crane Sentry family of laser distance sensor-based overhead crane position and collision monitoring systems, please visit our Website at www.laser-view.com, email us at info@laser-view.com, or call 610-497-8910.