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Journal ArticleDOI

A heavy lift planning system for crane lifts

TL;DR: In this article, the authors present the work done toward developing a computerized heavy lift planning system (HELPS) for planning crane lifts, which is based on a survey of the industry and identifies the developments necessary to improve the planning process.
Abstract: This paper presents the work done toward developing a computerized heavy lift planning system (HELPS) for planning crane lifts. Initially, a survey of the industry was carried out to define the heavy lift planning process and identify the developments necessary to improve the process. This survey identified eight tasks in the lift planning process. Based on these tasks, a logicalframework representing the planning process was developed. The scope of the current work was limited to developing a tool for planning three of these tasks. A visualization environment-Walkthru-was selected to implement the heavy lift planning system. Although Walkthru provided many of the features required for the system, critical functions had to be added. The developmental work for this study focused on (1) developing a shell that could control the visualization environment and related files to provide seamless access to the library of cranes and (2) providing features to perform critical lift planning functions. The resulting prototype system was tested on sample lifts, and all the functions worked as designed.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: 3D visualization is helpful in the verification and validation of simulation results, and can effectively communicate the essence of a simulated operation, thus improving the accessibility of simulation as a decision making aid.
Abstract: Most high-rise building construction projects rely on tower cranes to perform lifting and hoisting activities. In practice, tower cranes are managed based on demand, urgency, and prioritized work tasks that must be performed within a set period of time in the field. As a computer tool, simulation has proved to be effective in modeling complex construction operations and can be a substantial help in aiding practitioners in construction planning. However, the use of simulation has fallen far below its maximum potential due to a lack of appropriate support tools which would allow construction managers to use simulation tools for themselves. Special purpose simulation (SPS) and 3D visualization of simulated operations are two potential means that enable domain experts, who are knowledgeable in give domains, but not familiar with simulation, to easily model an operation within their domain and analyze the simulation results. This paper presents a practical methodology for integrating 3D visualization with SPS for tower crane operation. An integrated system was built in a 3D Studio MAX environment and tested in the construction of the new civil and environmental engineering building at the University of Alberta. This paper demonstrates that 3D visualization is helpful in the verification and validation of simulation results, and can effectively communicate the essence of a simulated operation, thus improving the accessibility of simulation as a decision making aid.

141 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a new approach for automated path planning of cooperative crane manipulators using a genetic algorithm (GA) is presented, where the inverse kinematic problem is defined as an optimization problem and solved using GA, and the GA approach finds a near-optimal path with lower path cost and less computational time than earlier heuristic searches.
Abstract: This paper presents a new approach for automated path planning of cooperative crane manipulators using a genetic algorithm (GA). The inverse kinematic problem, i.e., determining the joint angle configuration for the cooperative crane manipulator system in moving the object from pick location to place location, is defined as an optimization problem and solved using GA. For generating the collision-free path, GA with an interference detection algorithm is employed and search is made in the manipulator joint angle space (configuration space). The effectiveness of the proposed approach for automated path planning is demonstrated by comparing the performance of the present approach with the earlier heuristic search proposed by Sivakumar et al. The GA approach finds a near-optimal path with lower path cost and less computational time than earlier heuristic searches.

120 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a conceptual framework of adopting virtual prototyping (VP) technology to aid in construction safety management is developed, which consists of three components: modelling and simulation, the identification of unsafe factors, and safety training.
Abstract: Construction safety is a serious problem in the construction industry worldwide, especially in large-scale construction projects. In order to improve the safety management performance, through the identification of the key factors that cause accidents, this research develops a conceptual framework of adopting virtual prototyping (VP) technology to aid in construction safety management. It consists of three components: modelling and simulation, the identification of unsafe factors, and safety training. A real-life case study is presented to demonstrate how to implement the VP-based safety management platform and evaluate its feasibility and validity. It is shown that the VP-based safety management platform can effectively aid in safety management and improve the safety performance of construction projects.

96 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a computer-aided path planner for two crane lifts is presented, based on the type of movement of cooperative cranes in synchronous or asynchronous manner and the presence of trapping space.
Abstract: The use of cooperative cranes can improve the cost effectiveness of heavy lift operations. However, the complexity in developing a reliable lift plan prevents the widespread use of cooperative crane lifts. The availability of a computer-aided planning system can improve planning efficiency and reliability. Path planning is an important subtask of the lift planning process. This paper presents work done to develop a computer aided path planner for two crane lifts. Two heuristic search methods, hill climbing and A*, were implemented for automating the path-planning task. Search space was represented using the concept of configuration space. The effec- tiveness of the search methods was evaluated by solving three problems with increasing levels of complexity. The formulation of these problems was based on the type of movement of cooperative cranes ~in synchronous or asynchronous manner! and the presence of trapping space. It was found that while the hill climbing approach found feasible paths in a few seconds or minutes, these paths were far from optimal in situations containing trapping space. In contrast, the A * search resulted in near optimal paths, but the execution time was of the order of hours.

94 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This research proposes a motion planning algorithm to efficiently generate safe and smooth paths for crane motions while taking into account engineering constraints and the path quality, and is the first time that dual-tree RRT algorithms have been applied to crane motion planning.
Abstract: Safe and efficient operation of cranes requires not only good planning, but also sufficient and appropriate support in real time. Due to the dynamic nature of construction sites, unexpected changes in site layout may create new obstacles for the crane that can result in collisions and accidents. Previous research on construction equipment motion planning focuses on off-line support, which considers static environment or predictable obstacles. These plans may not fit the reality when the environment has any change. In this case on-site safety and efficiency can be affected. In this research, a motion planning algorithm is proposed to efficiently generate safe and smooth paths for crane motions while taking into account engineering constraints and the path quality. Path smoothness is taken into account to provide a realistic path for cranes and to reduce unnecessary movements. A dynamic motion planning algorithm is proposed to ensure safety during the execution stage by quickly re-planning and avoiding collisions. In addition, an anytime algorithm is proposed to search for better solutions during a given time period by improving path smoothness and by reducing path execution time. The proposed algorithms are compared with other available algorithms to evaluate their performance in terms of planning and re-planning time and the cost of the path. Based on the literature review, this is the first time that dual-tree RRT algorithms have been applied to crane motion planning.

94 citations


Cites methods from "A heavy lift planning system for cr..."

  • ...In this research, a motion planning algorithm is proposed to efficiently generate safe and smooth paths for crane motions while taking into account engineering constraints and the path quality....

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Concepts from the areas of information representation, geometric reasoning, and artificial intelligence are found to be applicable for automating route-planning tasks and to automate the tedious and difficult tasks within the process.
Abstract: This paper describes the development of a prototype system for planning access routes for large vehicles within an industrial construction site. Access planning is an important consideration in the development of an effective project-execution plan. But conventional planning tools do not facilitate effective planning. The primary objectives of this work are to define a structured process for planning access and to automate the tedious and difficult tasks within the process. Concepts from the areas of information representation, geometric reasoning, and artificial intelligence are found to be applicable for automating route-planning tasks. The implementation of these concepts to develop the route-planning system is achieved by using the expert system Nexpert Object and the geographic information system Arc/Info in conjunction with the computer-aided design (CAD) package Microstation, the spreadsheet Excel, and custom programs.

55 citations

01 Jan 1994
TL;DR: The Automated Lift Planning System (ALPS) software contains a wide range of features enabling the user to select the appropriate crane for a lift, design a rigging assembly to interface with the load, simulate the lift in three dimensions, and automatically determine all relevant safety parameters and potential interferences with surrounding structures or components.
Abstract: This paper describes the Automated Lift Planning System (ALPS) software developed by Bechtel Corporation. The software was developed to assist the construction engineer with planning and visualizing heavy crane lift plans. The software is the most recent addition to Bechtel Corporation's set of construction simulation and visualization tools. ALPS contains a wide range of features enabling the user to select the appropriate crane for a lift, design a rigging assembly to interface with the load, simulate the lift in three dimensions (in the context of a 3D project model), and automatically determine all relevant safety parameters and potential interferences with surrounding structures or components.

15 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The proposed Multi-Task Motion Planning system will provide the capability to effectively plan conflicting multiple tasks to be performed concurrently and also provide a mechanism to directly output code to automate the overall process.
Abstract: This paper describes a proposed system, Multi-Task Motion Planning (MTMP), for planning and modeling operations of large material-handling equipment typically found in construction. The system will provide the capability to effectively plan conflicting multiple tasks to be performed concurrently and also provide a mechanism to directly output code to automate the overall process. MTMP aims at integrating structural dynamic behavior of the equipment at the path-planning stage to resolve conflicts. A geometric/graphical approach is proposed that considers equipment constraints and degrees of freedom. The system is conceived within a three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) animation and simulation graphics package, which allows modeling of the environment and provides an interactive tool for motion planning. A capability to store motion variables for individual objects will allow for automatically generating code for automation. The system has been envisioned to meet the demand for automation to improve planning and operational safety in the construction industry. However, the underlying concepts can be useful for a variety of material-handling operations and off-line programming of robots.

4 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, a 3D CAD crane model based on crane specifications obtained from the crane manufacturers is presented, which can be used in the planning of heavy lift using mobile cranes.
Abstract: This paper describes the research performed to lay a foundation for developing a graphical simulation system which can be used in the planning of heavy lifts using mobile cranes. Mobile crane components are represented as different objects and each object is given a unique name and number. A common terminology is developed to represent objects of different crane configurations. This decomposition of mobile cranes into standard objects is used for developing a standard crane model. A methodology is developed for creating a 3D CAD crane model based on crane specifications obtained from the crane manufacturers. Intergraph's MicroStation (3D CADD Package) is used to create the crane geometry. A procedure is presented for creating a fully animated mobile crane model based on the created 3D CAD crane geometry. Bechtel's Walkthru (Walkthrough Animation Package) is used to create the animated models and perform graphical simulation of mobile cranes. The hierarchical kinematics relationships between different crane objects is defined, and crane motion menus are developed for the nine possible degrees of freedom. A library of crane models is developed which includes crawler cranes, truck carrier cranes, crawler cranes with tower, and all-terrain carrier cranes.

3 citations