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Mensch-Maschine-SystemeDEMAG - Assistance systems


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DEMAG - Assistance functions on industrial cranes

Developing ergonomic optimized control concepts for assistance functions on industrial cranes

Winter term 2012/2013

Project partners

Client: Stefan Elspass, DEMAG Cranes & Components

Project team:

Martina Becker, Erik Dohanetz, Benjamin Haasler, Roland Hofmann, Anna Hudalla, Taher Jalali, Andreas Mäder, Sarah Martens, Deoniziy Tymchuk, Huascar Villarroel, Max von Schlippe

Team manager: Gloria Pöhler

Responsibility: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Rötting

Advisors: M.Sc. Antje Venjakob, B.Sc. Christoph Kohlwes


Control concept of an industrlal crane

The project aimed to develop ergonomic optimized control concepts for universal ceiling-mounted cranes. The requirement in regards to performance was a focus on the primary demands of DEMAG Cranes & Components, which were “safety”, “efficiency” and “robustness” and to take into consideration the company’s traditionalist clientele. Furthermore, the control concept was intended to integrate so-called assistance functions, which were designed to facilitate the users’ interaction with the cranes.

The first step was to conduct extensive research. This included both literature and branch considerations. After extracting the most practical ideas, two final control concepts were created, which included acoustic warnings, vibrating feedback and governance, which is independent of the users’ position. Moreover, five safety and efficiency increasing assistance functions were implemented. The main difference between both concepts was the handling, resulting in a menu with a rotary knob on the one hand and common buttons on the other hand.

To test both control concepts, a digital mock-up for each one was built, with emphasis on a specific assistance function for storing positions. The handling of this assistance function in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and contentment was tested by a sample of university students. The user test revealed a preference for the conventional control concept with only buttons when it comes to effectiveness and contentment, while no difference in efficiency between the both concepts could be found.


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