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October 12, 2019
Design / Ideas

The Problem Statement

The client wanted to design and develop a safe load indicator unit for cranes which would include the SLI/LMI hardware, software and the desktop utility that can be used in all load monitoring applications. The monitoring system would perform sensor measurements and calculate the corresponding safe load using different sensors for the purpose of monitoring and ensuring safety. Considering a proven track record of delivering successful projects in embedded systems, the client engaged with KritiKal Solutions to build an advanced crane safety monitoring system.  

The Solution

KritiKal Solutions, leveraging its capability in embedded systems, optimized the design to cater to a generic segment of cranes and sensors. Basically, the system comprised 3 basic components, the central processing unit, CAN based sensor nodes and card for sensing articulation angle. The sensors located at different positions sense vital parameters like rope length, boom angle, load picking capability, approach warning, overhoist position, and tilt angles. These sensor nodes located at the boom of the crane then send real-time data to the central unit via CAN bus to cut off the motion either manually or automatically as per the configured safety limits. 

  • Microchip dsPIC33EP 16-bit microcontroller is used for central processing unit
  • CAN based sensor nodes with in-built accelerometers for sensing inclination and tilt
  • Real Time Clock interfaced on I2C Bus for updating real-time record of sensor nodes
  • PC Console: Asynchronous Serial Data (UART)
  • Graphical display is interfaced on microcontroller parallel Data Bus
  • Crane system has the capability of sensing 4 Analog channels and 2 Digital channels
  • USB OTG support available
  • Support for remote upgrade, logging, and asset monitoring
  • Runs on both 12V and 24V power supply/battery systems

Benefits Delivered

KritiKal Solutions with its capability in embedded systems developed a powerful crane monitoring system that sends warning alerts and maintains safety at work sites. As it is also capable of sensing the vibrations and harsh environment conditions, it prevents construction firms from high risks of breakdown. In this way, it helps construction sites in augmenting productivity by ensuring the safety measures. 

Technology Used

  • CAN Sensors
  • UART
  • Embedded Systems