Intelligent Crane – X-Y Drive
The X-Y Drive is an exciting, new product that is part of a family of emerging technologies known throughout the material handling industry as “Intelligent Assist Devices“.
Our product leverages the advantages of bridge cranes, ergo arm manipulators and automated material handling.
How It Works
The X-Y Drive senses the direction that an operator pushes the handlebars of an end effector and drives the crane in that direction. Servo-driven tractor drives engage against the crane rails and propel the crane.
The crane arm is replaced by a slide column for loads under 2000 pounds that need to be moved up and down. The slide column (and Crane Arm) are rigid arms that do not allow any swinging of the load. Acceleration and deceleration are smooth and responsive so that accurate placement of loads is much easier.
As an operator pushes the handlebars forward, backward, and sideways, an algorithm senses this movement, and sends drive signals to the servos. If the drive system breaks down (or if the operator chooses not to use the drive, for accurate positioning, for example) then the crane freewheels in all directions, allowing the operator to push the load manually.
Features & Benefits
- Can handle heavy loads (up to 2000 lbs) that would be difficult to move manually
- Unlike other Intelligent Lift Assists that use cable hoists, a crane arm or slide column manipulator can support an overhung load.
- Automating the movement of the device is possible. In a work cell, the X-Y drive can travel between stations. An operator can manually command the drive to travel to a home location while completing tasks.
- There is a PLC controlling the X-Y drive. End users can reprogram and maintain their own X-Y drives. There are no proprietary ‘black boxes’ or custom controllers.
- The X-Y drive controller is aware at all times of the position of the load (for safety purposes). End-of-arm tooling, end effectors, or local automated machinery can use this information to trigger events.
- The drives will work with many brands of enclosed crane rail.
- The X Y drive as been designed as a low-complexity, economical alternative to competing products.
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