The crane system consists of two gantry cranes in a master slave configuration, each with two cross-travel hoist crabs. All movements are controlled via a radio hand-held operator panel which operates relays interfacing with a PLC on the master crane. Originally the master crane interfaced with the cross-travel crabs via Mauell IO units to extend the signals across a bus bar and collector system.
The bus bar communication system was troublesome and the main cause of downtime. The master crane interfaced with the slave crane via a radio communication link and then onto the cross-travel slave crabs via another set of Mauell IO units communicating via a different bus bar and collector system.
Iconsys proposed to remove all the Maurer units, thus making the bus bar communications redundant by using Siemens remote IO at each location connected to the PLC via a wireless device. As each location had a wireless connection, this enabled us to also remove the radio communications between the two cranes.
The original system worked on a basis of ‘relaying’ signals from one location to another using both the Maurer units and radio communications. Therefore, the hardwired IO was significantly reduced once the wireless system was in place.
With signal flow from the slave hoist crab IO to master crane PLC, the new system reduced the amount of hardware for all remote IO connections and with the removal of the problematic devices.
Our client was very happy with the end result, as a more reliable system was designed, installed, commissioned and handed back to production well within the shutdown period.
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