Flexible Crane Exclusion Zones

The standard anti-collision system allows for exclusion zones to be set up by a controller at the base of the crane. These zones are set as ‘permanent’ unless changed by the supplier (SMIE) technician, with the operator only being able to turn the zone off to enable engaging free-slew when the crane is not operating. The issue with this standard system is that any additional mobile or crawler cranes cannot be included within exclusion zones and it relies solely on operator’s awareness of the adjacent cranes.

On the University of Sussex project, we have worked with SMEI to implement a Pro-Site system that provides the site much greater control and flexibility of exclusion zones where the parameters can be readily adjusted thus greatly reducing the risk of human error.

This system was developed to meet the needs of Balfour Beatty’s extremely busy site with restricted working space. It now allows them to set exclusion zones from a computer in the office, where they can continually monitor operations and adjust and switch the operating zones on and off as required. They can monitor accurate boom and jib positions to ensure the zones are safe and appropriate and they provide a print out from the system to better inform and direct the lifting teams on the zones in place.

The system allows for jib over-sailing in the proviso that the trolley is not within the exclusion zone thus preventing a live load over-sailing. The system also allows diagnostic checks, communication between cranes, system checks and the ability to be able to vary the type of zones, so the jibs can over-sail but prevent live load over-sailing. The key advantage of this process is the ability to update exclusion zones throughout the day in accordance with the crane usage and maximum availability whilst maintaining overall control of the crane.

Footer Reference

Monitor report. Balfour Beatty. East Sussex. September 2019.

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