Heavy lifting solutions
Enerpac: an international company focused on the development and construction of large hydraulic systems, a specialist in the field of heavy lifting applications. Enerpac’s installations often lift or move very large and very heavy objects.
Examples of this are:
Lifting (parts of) drilling platforms during construction or placing them on the high seas;
Placement of bridge sections;
Installation of components for power plants;
Storage of large objects, e.g. the Russian submarine Kursk;
Internal machine transport.
Very large forces are required to lift or move large objects. Several heavy hydraulic cylinders have to be controlled.
In the market in which Enerpac operates, so-called Self Propelled Modular Units (SPMU) are used (a kind of long trailer with a large number of axles) that can move extremely heavy loads over longer distances. Enerpac saw a growing need for an SPMU for the transport of large, heavy objects in limited spaces such as factory halls for the internal relocation of machines and large constructions. The Enerpac SPMU had to be compact, manoeuvrable, modular and able to operate on a standalone basis. The Enerpac SPMU consists of a maximum of 12 separate trailers, each equipped with 6 driven wheels that can rotate 180 degrees. In a configuration of 2 rows of 6 trailers, the SPMU can move a load of approximately 720 tonnes. Thanks to the rotating wheels, this load can be manoeuvred very flexibly forwards, backwards, sideways (‘Crab mode’) and around a central axis (‘Carousel mode’) over a terrain. In order to move such loads safely and easily, the SPMU is able to lift and lower the load independently. The drive of the SPMU is fully hydraulic: in order to provide 12 trailers with sufficient hydraulic pressure, 4 so-called power packs are required (mounted on 4 of the trailers) which contain very heavy hydraulic generators, valves and controls.
A controller for the vehicle was not for sale: a controller had to be developed especially for the SPMU that had to meet the following requirements:
Wireless control and monitoring of the SPMU by means of one hand transmitter;
Easy to use, operator has no knowledge of PCs;
Synchronous control of all trailers forming a SPMU;
Monitoring the status of the power packs;
Intrinsically safe operation: failure or malfunction of any part or subsystem, the control must always put the SPMU in a safe condition;
Applicable all over the world.
Since the Intellilift system was successfully developed for Enerpac, Brunelco’s knowledge was once again called upon to develop a control system for the SPMU. In addition, Brunelco has been supplying the SCC remote IO system, which was specially developed for Enerpac, for many years. Both were combined in an intelligent wireless control system for the SPMU: Intellidrive!
The Intellidrive hand transmitter is equipped with two joysticks and various function buttons that allow an operator to control the SPMU from a safe distance. The system automatically configures itself when composing the individual trailers of the SPMU. By using SCC remote IO modules and the fail-safe communication protocol and parts of the hardware from the Intellilift system, a ready-made solution was found that was quickly ready for production.
- User-friendly IP65 Intellidrive handheld transmitter with display and backlight;
- Simultaneously synchronised control of up to 4 power packs and thus the 12 trailers;
- Intelligent software algorithms to realise the different control modes, to keep the SPMU horizontal regardless of unevenness in the ground;
- Integrated emergency stop functionality with continuous system monitoring;
- Can be used for more than 12 hours in a row without having to recharge the vehicle in between;
- Applicable worldwide: works on the 2.4 GHz frequency band;
- FFrequency hopping: when one communication channel is not reliable, it switches to another channel.