Browse Prior Art Database

Semi-Automatic Crane Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040087D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 5 page(s) / 65K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Caraballo, JF: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

This article describes a method to run a crane in automatic mode when it is desired to specify a particular command or test the system before turning into automatic mode. Several modes of operating the crane are needed that cannot be accomplished in automatic mode. Using semi-automatic mode pallets can be loaded from the express lane into levels 3 and 4 of the output static rack or to a specific kitting lane that needs parts immediately. It can be used very effectively by maintenance to check out the crane if problems are experienced. In addition, if the crane is experiencing communication problems, a screen is provided which shows the communica- tions between the crane and the Personal Computer (PC) software. Upon hitting the [F1] key, the user is taken from the main menu to the semi-automatic crane control and mode.

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Semi-Automatic Crane Control

This article describes a method to run a crane in automatic mode when it is desired to specify a particular command or test the system before turning into automatic mode. Several modes of operating the crane are needed that cannot be accomplished in automatic mode. Using semi-automatic mode pallets can be loaded from the express lane into levels 3 and 4 of the output static rack or to a specific kitting lane that needs parts immediately. It can be used very effectively by maintenance to check out the crane if problems are experienced. In addition, if the crane is experiencing communication problems, a screen is provided which shows the communica- tions between the crane and the Personal Computer (PC) software. Upon hitting the [F1] key, the user is taken from the main menu to the semi-automatic crane control and mode. If the output crane has not been halted prior to entering the semi-automatic mode and it is in the middle of processing a pallet, a message will appear on the screen indicating that the crane is not idle and semi-automatic operations are upcoming. The message will look something like this: Semi-Automatic Crane Operations Pending ... Once automatic operations are halted, the semi-automatic crane control screen will appear looking similar to the example shown in Fig. 1. Semi-automatic operation of the output crane is now ready to begin. Do not be confused by the term "Semi-Automatic". The user has full manual control over the crane with slight limitations. The only difference is that the crane is now controlled from a PC instead of inside the crane cab. It must now be decided which action it is wished the crane to engage. Semi-automatic control is useful mainly for moving pallets from the static storage racks to the flow storage racks. The only limitation is that the pallet in question be moved to a location that is not full, not reserved for a different part type, and not input inhibited. Depressing the [F1] key while in semi-automatic operation allows the operator to position the crane anywhere along the dense storage path. Before beginning, a prompt will be received at the bottom of the screen asking how it is that the operator would like to enter the positioning data. The question will appear like this: Do you want to use cursor keys to specify destination? (Y or N)

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If answered with an "N" (no), the operator will enter the positioning data in the horizontal, vertical, and fork position boxes of the semi-automatic crane control display screen. The first coordinate to be entered will be the horizontal position. A prompt will appear at the bottom of the screen asking the operator to "enter the proper horizontal value". The integer value must now be entered within the limits defined (1-38) for the horizontal position. After entering, the carriage return key is hit, the operator will now be asked to "enter the proper vertical value". Once again, the integer value

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