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A project log for HoistInsight - A brain for your crane

Utilizing GPS tracking, point-to-point networking and mobile devices to increase safety and improve efficiency in crane hoist operations.

salokcinsalokcin 08/20/2014 at 16:500 Comments

With a crane already equipped with the HoistInsight package, it should be no problem at all for the operator to cordon off "no fly zones" around the working radius of his crane. 

With all the existing hardware in HoistInsight, it's simply a matter of geo-fencing areas to be avoided. This geo-fencing is not limited to strictly two dimensions either. While you definitely can't fly a load 30' off the ground over those power lines, there's no problem flying 120' above the same power lines.

While there may be commercial solutions to handle this aspect of safety, they are extremely expensive -- to the point that crane owners will only purchase one when required by law.

The HoistInsight solution will not be able to block operator controls as the load nears a "no fly zone", but it will sound audible alarms and flash on-screen warnings that are sure to get the operator's attention.

HoistInsight accounts for these "no fly zones" when presenting an optimized lift plan to the operator. For example, the operator may be presented with the following choices for his lift plan:

In the first Plan, the operator must raise the load 140' above some known obstruction before beginning his swing. At height, the swing can begin for a full 30 degrees -- this clears the load of the obstruction. The operator can trolley out to the desired radius during this maneuver, during the next maneuver or combined in both. Now the operator can begin his final move of swinging the remaining 25° and lowering by 60'

In the second Plan, the operator can bypass the obstructions in the first plan by simply swinging left instead of right. Any skilled operator can raise the load, swing the boom and trolley out all at the same time. This lift plan is MUCH simpler, though depending on circumstances it may take much more time to swing 305° than it does to complete the more involved maneuvers of Plan 1.

The beautiful thing about HoistInsight is that it tracks and learns from the operator's performance and habits. If the operator consistently performs operations in series (i.e. he will only lift, or swing, or boom down/trolley at a single time, but no combination of those), it will suggest lift plans that are more effective based on his historical performance and habits.

Additionally, with each and every lift data logged, it's possible to play back lifts in four dimensions to help management structure better training programs for operational efficiency and safety awareness.

To sum it up: this solution warns operators before they get too close to pre-defined no fly zones, helping avoid costly accidents and it also provides meaningful metrics about crane operator performance so small improvements can be made to save companies time and money. This all accomplished with software updates and no hardware or firmware modifications!