Reducing the potential for collisions between overhead cranes, monorail systems, and fixed objects/obstructions has been a challenge for the overhead material handling industry for many years. Until recently it was only possible to minimize the resulting impact from collisions using mechanical means such as bumpers or limit switches. With today’s advances in electrical technology, it is now possible to prevent these collisions using more sophisticated means in a variety of operating environments. This means reducing maintenance costs and increasing operator safety.
Laser based distance detection and collision avoidance are primarily used in an automated environment where the distances between monorail carriers or cranes can be relatively great. The range of a laser based system (from 0 to over 1000 ft.) allows the ability to monitor distances between cranes, trolleys and monorail carriers, and when interfaced with a PLC, can be used to prevent collision between this equipment. Laser based systems also offer the advantage of precise positioning accuracy which is critical in an automated environment.