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Semi-automatic cranes from ALTMANN – Accelerate processes, avoid damages

For repetitive tasks that are performed in an unchanging sequence of process steps but still require the attention of an operator or where it is impossible to completely block the hazard area because people are present there, a semi-automatic crane from ALTMANN is the right choice.

A semi-automatic crane is in constant dialogue with the operator. The control system only allows the next correct process step such as moving to a target position along a defined route. After the operator's approval, the crane approaches the next station. Without this approval, the crane stops and changes to a safe system status. If the operator moves the semi-automatic crane into a collision zone during manual operation, it will stop automatically.

No matter if fully or semi-automatic – our cranes boast the following benefits:

  • Shortening of throughput times and acceleration of process steps
  • Increase of efficiency in internal transport
  • Prevention of collisions
  • Collision avoidance with obstacles (e. g. shelves, machinery, fittings) stored in the control system
  • Reduction of damages caused by collisions
  • Reduced stress for operating staff

Sensors which can be compared with the sensory organs of a human being record the process status and take over the central role in control. They transfer data to the control software which regulates process flow. By means of a suitable selection of sensors the following crane works can be automated:

  • Movement to a nearly unlimited number of positions with millimetre precision in "dead man's operation"
  • Picking up and setting down loads with utmost precision
  • Load swaying prevention (pendulum damping)
  • Transfer of attached load or other process variables to a higher-level control

Controll unit of a semi-automatic crane (SAC) with PLC.

Further technical features:

  • Positioning of the semi-automatic crane in all axes with millimetre precision, independent of capacity, span and travel speed
  • Travel speed of up to 63 m/min
  • Accelerations of up to 1 m/s² due to frictionally engaged drives (i. e. without rack and pinion drives)
  • High-precision load measurements
  • Swing-free conveyance of the load

We will help you with the planning and work with you – ideally along with your employees – to find the right components and procedures. The basis for planning a semi-automatic crane is a risk assessment in line with DIN EN ISO 12100:2010 (safety of machinery).

We know that success depends essentially on your staff. Since your employees have to accept and understand the new technology of a semi-automatic crane. Reservations should be allayed in advance, particularly with the operators of the crane. In many cases, existing cranes can be retrofitted with automation components, ensuring their economical conversion.

Subsequent installation of a positioning system with PLC for semi-automatic operation.

Control system programming for semi-automatic cranes is subject to particularly demanding requirements. Since the operator can intervene in the process in unforeseen ways at any time, the control system has to constantly monitor the condition of the crane and the process, permitting only logical commands and thus preventing errors.

Your semi-automatic crane is completely constructed in our works, including control and programming. Only after your crane has been successfully tested by us here, it will be installed at your site. Our programmers and crane experts provide training and instruction of your crane operating team. If you have questions as to the use of a semi-automatic crane, our experts will be pleased to answer them at any time.

  • One contact person for you, who takes care of the entire process and implements your requests exactly as described.
  • No losses due to cooperative coordination with subcontractors.
  • Impromptu change requests by the operator can be implemented.
  • No delays in case of malfunctions.
  • Fast amortisation of acquisition costs: Compared to the manually operated crane, maintenance and repair costs for a semi-automatic crane are lower because there are hardly any damages due to improper operational use (e. g. collisions, angled lifting, jog operation etc.). Amortisation results from higher throughput, fewer rejects, reduced wear, lower running costs and possibly the saving of personnel.
  • Short development periods: our comprehensive module library allows short development times.
  • Your application is adapted quickly and individually, and it is tailored to your needs.
  • Source code included: when purchasing a semi-automatic crane, you receive the source code as part of the documentation. Consequently, your own staff are able to customize the program themselves.  
  • Comprehensive training: in a practice-oriented and clearly comprehensible training we will explain to your team exactly how the system of a semi-automatic crane works.

Semi-automatic cran for tool change. Maximum gap < 3 mm.