API Verifies Working Bucket Performance of Aerial Platform Vehicles

APICase Study

Radian PLUS and Active Target Measure Real-time Motion Vibration Amplitude

The lifting height of aerial platform vehicles is constantly rising, and the stability of the working bucket fixed at the end of the lifting mechanism needs to be strictly guaranteed. Because the working bucket is a platform for carrying the workers at high altitudes, its stability or lack thereof, will have a great impact on the safety and psychological state of the workers at high altitude. When a significant producer of these vehicles needed to verify the motion vibration amplitude of the buckets in real-time, API used Radian PLUS and Active Target to:

  • Automate the measurement process in real-time
  • Wirelessly deliver fast, accurate measurement results
  • Perform the necessary measurements in a single, 10-minute setup

Aerial platform vehicles are specialized trucks that can transport workers and equipment to the site to carry out aerial operations. Their basic structure is composed of the vehicle, a rotary mechanism, a lifting mechanism, and the working bucket (also known as working platform or hanging basket). With the continuous development of aerial platform vehicle manufacturing technologies, the effective lifting height is also constantly improving. Normally, the lift height of an aerial platform vehicle ranges from a few meters to dozens of meters.

In order to inspect the real-time dynamic motion vibration amplitude (and to evaluate and analyze the amplitude value) of the working bucket of a new type of aerial platform, one of the world’s largest aerial platform vehicle production bases, located in China, contacted API to provide solutions.

The design manager in charge of this new type of aerial platform vehicle wanted to conduct real-time monitoring of the motion vibration amplitude of the working bucket during the lifting, descending, swinging and other working processes. They hoped to obtain data for performance improvement analysis of this type of aerial vehicle.

API developed a plan to use Radian PLUS Laser Tracker with the automated Active Target accessory. The team at API would affix Active Target under the working bucket. During the bucket’s movement, Active Target’s dynamic displacement coordinates would be tracked and detected in real time by Radian PLUS, and the data would be recorded, to reflect the motion vibration amplitude value of the bucket during its programmed movements.

On site, API set up Radian PLUS and attached Active Target. Then, API’s metrologists established a coordinate system, with the lifting mechanism compressed to its shortest point as the origin, the horizontal plane of the ground as the Z coordinates, the lifting direction as the X coordinates, and the swing direction as the Y coordinates (see picture 4). Active Target was tracked in real-time by Radian PLUS, and the real-time coordinates of each point in the movement process were recorded, so as to calculate the motion vibration amplitude value in each test. Take the movement process of lifting the mechanism from the shortest position to the longest position as an example: Please refer to pictures 5, 6, and 7 for the motion vibration amplitude in the X, Y and Z directions.

API’s Radian Plus, in conjunction with Active Target, perfectly implemented the inspection plan, met the customer’s requirements, and delivered the required results.

Because Radian Plus is a highly integrated body design that incorporates a controller box, a battery powered system, and a wireless data transmission system for truly complete wireless measurements, it is easy to perform measurements even in an open field. In addition, it meets the IP manufacturing requirements for waterproof and dustproof grades, and greatly guarantees the dustproof and moisture-proof requirements when performing outdoor measurement work.

After the inspection Mr. Zhang, the design manager of the new model aerial platform vehicle said “Using the API Laser Tracker to do the measuring job is a high efficiency solution, needing only a simple set up, the whole process was performed automatically. In only 10 minutes, the data that we needed was obtained, and it is very important for us to manufacture high-quality products.”

API is currently in discussion with other aerial platform vehicle manufacturers looking to standardize these efficient quality control inspection processes across the industry.

With the continuous development of aerial platform vehicle manufacturing technologies, the effective lifting height is also constantly improving.

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