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Operator-controlled or automated? Demag has traditionally offered two variants for controlling process cranes. The company is now introducing a third operating technology. The Demag Remote Operating Station (ROS) is a remote control station that enables the operator to control the crane from any convenient working environment. By decoupling the crane system from the operator station, the safety of crane operators can be further increased and on-site costs can be minimised.
Where is the best position from which to operate an overhead travelling crane? For decades the answer was from the crane bridge, because this was where the operator had the best overview. In many applications, however, the (often additional) radio control has since become established. It creates the conditions for sensitive handling of the load. For manually controlled cranes in aggressive environments, such as waste incineration plants, control stations can also be installed in glass-fronted cabins. Now the crane operator can choose another option: the Demag Remote Operating Station (ROS).
In simple terms, the ROS is a complete, location-independent operating station for cranes. The operator has access to all the control elements that are normally installed in a crane cab. Just as in the cab, the control unit can be optimally adapted to meet the operator’s needs. With ROS, however, the owner can decide where the “virtual” cab is located.
On the ROS, all control elements are compactly and ergonomically integrated into a console panel, the height of which can be adjusted so that the crane – wherever it is located – can be operated from either a sitting or a standing position. In addition to the usual joysticks with adjustable armrests, a touch panel or – or if the user chooses – a tablet can be used as a human-machine interface, via which the operator can call up additional information.
A widescreen monitor provides a view of the process, receiving real-time images from several cameras. The screen layout with up to eight individual images can be configured by the operator as required. A dashboard with process-relevant information can be displayed so that it can be seen at a glance in the lower part of the screen. Speakers integrated into the monitor make the operating environment even more realistic. The operator receives acoustic feedback from the process, which supports him or her in operating the system and enables a better assessment of any faults in the process.
Compared with a conventional crane cab, Demag ROS offers the operator an even better view. This is because the cameras can also “look” where the normal field of vision would be restricted. Zoom functions via an additional joystick or the display of further information (graphics) are also possible. And the possibility of saving screenshots or digital videos and making them available to third parties makes it easier – for example – to train staff.
A typical application for this new operating technology is that of bulk material cranes, e.g. in waste recycling. Handling of waste, including feeding of incineration lines, can thus be carried out from a safe and convenient position. In other environments, such as stores for coils, containers or other goods, Demag ROS can also be used for loading and unloading trucks. This not only provides a high level of comfort for the operator, but is also a good basis for safe andw concentrated work. It also significantly reduces investment and operating costs because no cabs need to be installed on the cranes themselves and access to the cab is not needed.
Demag sees applications for the Remote Operating Station as a virtual crane cab primarily in cranes that operate in unfavourable ambient conditions. In addition to waste management (waste incineration plants, biomass/composting plants), examples include metal production and processing, such as foundries and steelworks. In principle, there are no limits to the use of ROS in any application or environment. It goes without saying that both the ROS itself and the (remote) data transmission meet all relevant safety requirements for crane control systems.
Previous experience with Demag ROS has shown that this new type of remote crane control not only increases crane productivity and reduces costs. Cranes operated by ROS also operate with a very high level of safety and low risk of damage because the operator always has the best view of the process, and can work in an ergonomic and comfortable environment.
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