The Intelligent Head of Your Crane

Do you operate or build industrial, indoor and overhead cranes? Improve the safety, functionality, and productivity of your equipment with next-generation intelligent crane automation. Harness years of practical experience, research, and development in the form of our compact, highly compatible control system.

Safety

Effectively protect your workforce and plant inventory by directly preventing accidents with our safety features. Avoid dangerous collisions with the load through application-guided obstacle training and visual definition of safety areas.

Functionality

Cranium has a highly modular design. Our control technology is based on the latest sophisticated mathematical models. If our controller is extended with the camera module, your crane is also optimally equipped for external disturbances.

Productivity

Our system eliminates annoying load sway during daily operations. With features such as automatic positioning, path tracking, load tracking, and skew correction, you further maximize the efficiency and durability of your equipment.

Module

Our system is currently divided into six modules, which we present in detail below.

Base

The base module is our Cranium control software, which runs on our compact industrial PC (also called controller). The controller is, for example, connected to your crane PLC via Ethernet TCP/IP. We have prepared specially developed and tested PLC modules for convenient integration into your control system. As the core of our automation technology, the base product offers you the following possibilities.

  • Open-loop anti-sway (pendulum damping)
  • Support for crane, trolley, and hoist travel
  • Adjustable end positions for all motion axes
  • Autonomous positioning for individual targets (also transferable via PLC)
  • Autonomous positioning for stored paths
  • Training of targets/paths by current axis positions
  • 3D visualization of stored targets/paths
  • Convenient, web-based user interface (also suitable for mobile use)
  • Guided commissioning, maintenance, diagnostics, and system update

Track

However, the toe control can also be used individually with the sway damping and other automatic functions to prevent and minimize mechanical wear of wheel flanges. In addition to classic toe control, Cranium can be a control system for more straightforward synchronization. We also use inductive sensors or laser position measuring systems as sensors.

  • Centering the wheel flanges on the rail
  • Synchronization of the crane bridge on the rail on both sides
  • Gauge control also functions as a synchronizer at the same time
  • Mechanical wear minimization of the wheel flanges and rails
  • Compatible with pendulum damping and other automatic functions
  • Auch einzeln verwendbar (ohne weitere Automatikfunktionen von Cranium)
  • Can also be used individually (without further automatic functions of Cranium)
  • Position laser sensors as measuring system for the pure synchronous controller
  • Simple and guided commissioning via the Cranium web application

Camera

The camera is connected to the controller via network cable and supplied with power via Power over Ethernet (PoE). For the spatial and geometric data of the load to be measured, a passive reference marker must be mounted to the load handling attachment in a visible position as a counterpart to the camera. The camera is aligned along the hoist axis, looking down from the trolley to the load handling attachment.

  • Real-time measurement of the load relative to the crane or trolley
  • Maximum distance to the fiducial marker of up to 60 m
  • Position of crane and trolley with an accuracy of up to 3 mm
  • Position relative to hoist with an accuracy of up to 30 mm
  • Rotation around hoist axis with an accuracy of 0.1°.
  • Closed-loop anti-sway (pendulum damping)
  • Higher precision and safety of the base functions due to measurement
  • Autonomous load stabilization in case of external disturbances
  • Autonomous load tracking with crane and trolley
  • Skew correction of the load at the push of a button

Laser

The 2D laser profile sensor is the ideal alternative to the camera for outdoor applications. It works with infrared light and is robust against interfering influences in the range of visible light, such as rain, fog, or snow. In its primary function, the laser measures load vibration for closed-loop control but can also detect characteristic geometries. In the port area, for example, hatch cover detection is realized in this way.

  • Certified for IP67
  • Operating temperatures from -30°C (86°F) to +50°C (122°F)
  • 60 kHz sampling rate for the laser scan with 4 multi-return echoes
  • 80m (262ft) range without reflector
  • 250m (820ft) range with reflector
  • Under 5mm (0,2inch) accuracy in 80m (262ft) without reflector
  • 90° opening angle (configurable)
  • Highly compatible Ethernet interface (UDP/IP)
  • Robust measurement through fusion with encoder data
  • Simple and guided commissioning via the Cranium web application

Area

Once the area software module is licensed, the following functionalities are available. These functions will effectively allow you to increase safety for your crane system and workforce significantly.

  • Obstacle volumes that the crane or load cannot travel through
  • Safety volumes that enforce reduced velocities
  • Autonomous collision avoidance in front of obstacle volumes
  • Autonomous velocity adaptation in safety volumes
  • Training of areas by current axis positions
  • 3D visualization together with saved targets/paths
  • Convenient, web-based area configuration

Navigation

The navigation module can calculate optimal routes between a dynamic start and destination point in real-time instead of manually storing automatic travel. Trajectories are optimally rounded and parameterized for the crane system.

  • Autonomous wayfinding between start and destination point
  • Dynamic start and end point during operation
  • Globally optimal routes based on saved areas
  • Collision avoidance with regard to active obstacles
  • Real-time results through highly optimized algorithms
  • Calculated paths as spline curves with ideal filleting
  • Configurable safety heights and travel corridors
  • Compatible with pendulum damping and other automatic functions
  • Simple and guided commissioning via the Cranium web application

Roadmap

planned

in development

complete

Here you have a short outlook about planned or already being worked on functions. If you need planned functions urgently, talk to us at any time about possible cooperation in development projects.

* Time specifications are only an estimate and do not represent fixed dates.

Q3 2021 • Autonomous load following with crane trolley and trolley

Q4 2021 • Autonomous 3D pathfinding in the configured work area

Q4 2022 Track control with support of different sensor types

Q2 2023 Additional sensors (e.g. laser) for terminal use cases

Q2 2023 Extension and adaption of functions for terminal use cases

Q3 2024 Robust detection of dynamic obstacles (such as people)

Q3 2024 Robust collision avoidance with dynamic obstacles

2024 Pendulum-damped control of slewing gear (top/bottom)

2024 Collision avoidance between neighboring cranes

2025 Intelligent cooperation between multiple cranes

2024 Extension and adaption of functions for slewing cranes

2024 Additional sensors (e.g. gyroscope) for slewing cranes

2026 Robust detection of partially concealed reference markers

Looking for More?

Discover all the information about Cranium in our detailed manual. Available for download as PDF and always up-to-date in the online version.

You require valid login data to access the manual, which we will be happy to send you on request.

Your Contacts

Martin Kirst
Chief Executive Officer

Richard Herrmann
Authorized Officer

Any Questions?

Please use the contact form below. We will be happy to answer your questions about Cranium. You can also reach us by phone at +49 391 74478204 (Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 06:00 pm).

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