Managing multiple mobile cranes and multiple heavy lifts on congested industrial sites requires careful planning, arranging adequate crane support and preparing collision-free paths. Selecting optimum cranes and identifying spatial conflict-free locations on sites can result in productivity and safety improvements for large-scale industrial construction projects. Generally, the tasks of selecting mobile cranes and developing engineered lift studies are achieved based on the lift-capacity specifications of the selected cranes provided by crane manufacturers, where each lift is individually analyzed. In current practice, experienced lift engineers select cranes based on the heaviest lift and/or the largest lifting radius of the identified crane. This practice is relatively time consuming, and optimizing the mobile crane’s motions and location is difficult. To assist in the field operation of mobile cranes and provide engineers with an appropriate planning tool, the participating company (PCL Industrial Management Inc.) and the IRC are collaborating on this proposed Advanced Crane Planning and Optimization (ACPO) research project.
Path Planning for Crane Operation
Industrial projects are constructed in the form of prefabricated modules that are transported to site for installation, a process which enhances efficiency and productivity. Today these prefabricated module have become larger and heavier, necessitating proper planning for onsite efficiency and safety in order to reduce the errors that may cause schedule delays and increase costs. One aspect of heavy lift study is lifting path checking, which checks the path feasibility for a specific lifted module satisfying crane and site constraints. Current practice in the path checking process is intuitive, lengthy and prone to errors. Currently we are working on a generic methodology for automating the crane path planning process. It is implemented in VB.Net and linked to a company database.