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INPUT CRANE Station

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040060D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 61K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Caraballo, JF: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

This article describes an input crane station which controls and monitors the incoming side of flowracks in an automatic crane control system. The input crane is primarily driven by a laser, when the laser determines that a new pallet of parts has arrived at the pick-up station. Then the input crane goes to work. When a scanner detects a new pallet, a program will verify that the pallet number has previously been "assigned" by the receiving station controller and that the part number inhibit is not true for this part. If there is a laser "read- error" or any of the above checks fail, an alarm will sound to summon human intervention. (Image Omitted) When the pallet is accepted, the program will examine the part record associated with the pallet to see if a latest location index currently exists for this part.

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INPUT CRANE Station

This article describes an input crane station which controls and monitors the incoming side of flowracks in an automatic crane control system. The input crane is primarily driven by a laser, when the laser determines that a new pallet of parts has arrived at the pick-up station. Then the input crane goes to work. When a scanner detects a new pallet, a program will verify that the pallet number has previously been "assigned" by the receiving station controller and that the part number inhibit is not true for this part. If there is a laser "read- error" or any of the above checks fail, an alarm will sound to summon human intervention.

(Image Omitted)

When the pallet is accepted, the program will examine the part record associated with the pallet to see if a latest location index currently exists for this part. If it exists, the associated location record will be examined to see if the location can hold an additional pallet of parts. If it can, the pallet is moved from the pick-up station to the location. The location pallet count is then updated, and the pallet record is attached to the list of pallets at this location, thus becoming the latest pallet. If no latest location index exists within the part record or it cannot hold an additional pallet, then a new location must be found for the pallet as follows:

(Image Omitted)

Using the preferred location-type field contained within the part record, the location array is searched to find an empty location of the appropriate type which is reserved for this part number. If a reserved location is found, then that location is used to store the new pallet and thus becomes the latest location index within the part record. If no reserved location can be found, the first non-reserved location of the appropriate type will be allocated for storage of this pallet. If no location of the specified type can be found (i.e., all locations of this type are full), an alarm will sound to summon human intervention. At this point an operator must assign a new location type for this part or instruct the program to REJECT the pallet of parts. In addition to the laser scanner, the input crane control program must respond to the following events: From time to time, the output crane will require a

pallet of parts which it cannot physically access

(i.e., the pallet may be stored in the input static

rack area). In such cases, the output crane control

program must request the desired part via a message

sent over the local area network (LAN). Upon receipt

of a part request message, the input crane control

program will retrieve the appropriate pallet from the

static rack area and place the pallet in one of the

1

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express flow lanes which are accessible by the output

crane. A message will then be sent over the LAN to

inform the output crane control program that the

requested parts are available. The output crane control program may also elect to return a pallet of parts to the input sid...