The Vertex crane is smarter and safer now. This upgrade ensures that the two sections of I-beam (8ft, 4ft) remain firmly latched to form a straight member till the latch is released.
In specific, it ensures that problems such as this one do not occur in the future.
The new safety features are:
When the I-beam sections are latched together, a pneumatic piston ensures that the latch is secure.
If the latch is not engaged the trolley does not move outward beyond the end of the 8-foot section of the I beam.
If the trolley is out on the 4-foot section of the beam then we cannot disengage the latch.
How does it work?
The state of the Limit Switch 1 changes when the trolly goes past it. The Limit Switch 2 gets pressed when the two sections are latched together.
The pneumatic piston raises or lowers the latch. The Pneumatic Latch Switch operates a pneumatic valve controlling the state of the piston.
The new controller now has Pneumatic Latch Switch in addition to the usual Start, Stop, Up, Down, In and Out buttons.
Each of the Up, Down, In and Out buttons have two operational states: Half pressed (low speed) and Full pressed (High Speed). Their functions remain the same as before.
The new Pneumatic Switch:
When this switch is 'Engaged' and the 4 ft section is swung in-line with the 8 ft section, the two sections get latched together.
To unlatch them we have to throw the switch into the 'Disengage' state. This makes the piston push the latch open and a spring rotates the 4 ft section about its pivot.
Limit Switch 2 is not pressed (I-beams not aligned straight) ==> Limit Switch 1 will prevent the trolley from out going beyond the 8 ft section.
While Limit Switch 2 is pressed we cannot disengage the latch.
The pneumatic piston requires 80psi of pressure to operate. However we have only 40psi in the lab and the piston seems to operate quite well at this pressure as well. I believe a request has been made to get an 80psi line laid just for this application.