Simulation of Flexible Tower Cranes

Coordinator Florentin Rauscher M.Sc.
Partner Liebherr-Components Biberach GmbH





Top-slewing tower cranes are complex mechanical systems which are usually built as large lightweight steel constructions and therefore exhibit notable structural dynamics.

The Liebherr LiSIM simulator for tower cranes is a training simulator for crane operators. It consists of an original crane cabin with visualization system and a 6-DOF motion platform. The simulator therefore provides a safe but realistic environment which can e.g. be used for the first steps as a crane driver or for the preparational training of demanding and risky tasks.

The goal of this project is to provide a realistic real-time simulation of the overall tower crane dynamics. Since the correct emulation of the structural motions is important in order to emulate the forces on the crane cabin realistically, the elasticity of the latticed steel structure is taken into account. For modelling the crane dynamics, different system descriptions are derived like a multibody system with elastic joints or distributed-parameter descriptions of continuous beams.

The ongoing research covers topics like

  • the mechanical modelling of the tower crane dynamics including the payload pendulum dynamics the structural dynamics and the drive dynamics
  • the validation of the dynamic models by measurements and a detailed analysis of a real crane,
  • the implementation of a real-time simulation with interfaces with a visualization environment that allows for a co-simulation, with the motion platform controller and with the crane cabin electronics.

Source: Liebherr