Often, cranes are used to transport tooling and materials around machine work centers in a facility. In the case of metal stamping plants, large presses may interfere with a crane’s hoist. In other situations, machine turrets and robotic arms can interfere with a hoist.

Accidental interference between a crane and a machine can lead to several problems:

  • Injury to personnel
  • Damage to the crane, requiring a service inspection
  • Damage to machinery, causing repairs and lost production
  • Damage to tooling or materials being transported

Laser-View Technologies has provided an anti-crane collision system for situations with limited space between aisles. In the application shown in the diagram, operators were only permitted to move dies in narrow aisles between the machine and cable troughs on the wall. Going over the machine became impossible because the crane became damaged after operators thought they had the hoist high enough.

Prevent Overhead Crane Collision with a No-Fly Zone System

Crane Sentry® Zone Manager provides a simple, yet flexible method of keeping electronic overhead traveling (EOT) cranes from interfering with machinery. Crane Sentry® 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.

Commonly referred to as no-fly zoning, competitors provide systems that use encoded wheel position, limit switches, or non-contact sensors. A no-fly zone is an area designated in which the hoist of the crane cannot travel over unless purposefully overridden. No-Fly zones can be used to keep the crane out of the area only when a machine arm is raised. Or they can be applied all of the time to avoid a hanging load hitting the top of a machine or an in-plant office.

Crane Sentry® Zone Manager excels at configuring no-fly zones because its flexibility in setting zone permissions. The system features a restricted buffer at which the crane motors cut off and a slow cut off around each no-fly zone. Laser-View Technologies can also run machinery when you are inside a zone and apply a variety of configurable actions related to the no-fly zone.

In certain scenarios, you may wish to notify a machine if the crane’s hoist is overhead in a zone or you may wish to override the no-fly zone if a machine turret or robot arm is in its safe lowered position. An example of this scenario is injection molding facilities with robots on machines so they can run unattended. A common problem is that die cranes are directly overhead and the crane hoist or just the girder and can sometimes hit the robot as it goes up. In this case, the robot arm tells the crane it is down and safe and the crane tells the robot arm when it is overhead so there are no collisions.

Crane Sentry® Zone Manager Benefits

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

Zone Manager provides intuitive configuration, is easy to install, and provides everything you need as a package. 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 Zone Manager features the ability to reach the corners of the no-fly zone and then modify the size and position by tweaking the values on the user interface. This makes setting up and fine-tuning simple. There is also an option to adjust the restricted buffer and slow zones per axis to customize the zones.

With the Zone Manager, a coordinate-based virtual box is made around the restricted zone using (2) laser sensor axis. One laser monitors bridge position and the other laser monitors trolley position. 8 relay outputs interface with bridge and trolley direction. Optional expansion outputs interact with machinery below in the crane bay.

Laser-View Technologies’ Crane Sentry® Zone Manager provides systems that use long-range laser distance sensors in 2 axes capable of measuring up to 500 meters. This technology provides an absolute position that does not require mechanical positioning of limit switches or re-zeroing of encoders.

The Crane Sentry® product line is manufactured and marketed by Laser-View Technologies for crane collision detection, zone control, and positioning applications. Crane Sentry® is designed and manufactured in the USA. Click here to view the full list of key features

Click here to contact Laser-View Technologies’ to learn more about our Crane Sentry® family line of anti-crane collision solutions.