Hirschmann Offers Crane Makers and Owners Flexibility in Mobile Control

Hirschmann Automation and Control, Chambersburg, Pa., introduced a Scalable Mobile Control System at ConExpo, which is designed to allow OEMs to mix-and-match components according to the application. While mobile cranes are a primary market for this product series, the system also meets the requirements of other construction, agricultural, and mining applications such as telehandlers, wheel loaders, excavators, and road pavers.

“It has become a market trend for OEMs to develop their own load moment indicator systems according to their specific applications,” says Jergen Besel, product manager for the Electronic Control Systems division. Instead, the Scalable Mobile Control System gives OEMs the flexibility to tailor the input and output components as needed rather than engineering their own custom solutions. The advantage for OEMs and end-users, as some systems can be retrofitted, is the ability to save money with built-in function blocks which also reduces the system integration time.

Hirschmann's new system consists of two levels of iFLEX Controls, with a wide range of different models to choose from, as well as a full range of iSCOUT consoles. The controls combine 32-bit microprocessor technology with an integrated system for safety-related applications in a compact housing designed for harsh environments. The application software can be separated from safety-related software functions and protected against modifications. The operating system offers multi-tasking and user-defined interrupt handling. Among the features are Ethernet interface for programming and communication, USB interface for data storage and download, and CAN Bus technology to minimize installation and servicing costs.

New controls and consoles

Simultaneously, Hirschmann has introduced several new control and console modules, which can be packaged as part of the Scalable Mobile Control System. Both compact and superior class controls join the iFlex controller family. The compact class offers a more cost-effective solution with support of CANopen as a sensor/actuator bus and Industrial Ethernet as a fast data bus, while the superior class systems offer high end performance, memory size, and video interfaces. For the first time, these controllers allow standard integration of Industrial Ethernet communication in mobile applications. Examples include networking different controllers with each other or linking intelligent sensors.

These two new control classes can also control and monitor other functions, such as jib, steering axle, rotation unit or rocker unit control, working area, and engine monitoring of a telescopic crane.

Among the new iScout console products available is the iScout expert compact console that features a 6.5-inch color display, up to 256 colors, and 400 x 200 pixel resolution. Communication via Ethernet ensures fast data transfer and enables easy wiring. Menu selection is controlled by a rotary knob. Additional consoles in the Scalable Mobile family can be operated by keys, touch screen or rotary selection wheel. “The touch screen is very robust,” says Wolfgang Schenk, global director of sales and marketing for the Electronic Control Systems division. “It is designed to resist scratching but also works with gloved hands.” These consoles come in a variety of display and CPU sizes, depending on the application and the number inputs/outputs needed.

Other new components

The company has also introduced several new components, including new force sensors, angle encoders, and rotary encoders.

The addition of force sensors with CANopen interface measures axes, traction, and compression. They can be used for precision measurements of static and dynamic loads. The sensors are suitable for use on cranes, forklifts, or virtually any type of equipment.

The new gSENS WGB angle encoder is compact and features tilt sensor or redundant angle encoder. Because of three different communication interfaces, the angle encoder is suitable for use in new cranes or retrofit applications. The housing measures only 64 mm long x 58 mm wide x 38 mm high and can easily be mounted on the telescopic boom with fastening holes and mounting plate.

Finally, the gSENS DWG 20 rotary encoder is a high-resolution optical absolute value sensor. With aluminum housing and a protection class of IP67, mechanical angle settings can be converted to digital signals and forwarded to the control system via CANopen interface. This makes the encoder well-suited to vehicles with a turntable superstructure.

For more information, visit www.hirschmann-usa.com.