Device for Improving Crane Productivity and Safety
Cranes are the most
important pieces of equipment on many construction sites.
While technological advances have been made in crane
hardware, the communication system used to coordinate the
crane operator's actions with other craftsmen has not
changed in decades. Crane operators frequently cannot see
the loads they are moving, so they rely on hand signals
relayed among craftsmen.
CRANIUM Camera Housing with Damped Gimbaled Mount and Angle
CRANIUM is a video
system designed to improve productivity and safety of crane
operations by improving communications. A video camera
mounted on the crane bottom transmits an image to the
television monitor in the crane cab. The operator has a
real-time picture of the loads and craftsmen that might
otherwise be out of the direct line of sight.
Reduction of delay
in communications leads to productivity improvements.
Reduction of errors in communication leads to safe
improvements. Experimental results show that for moderate
and high precision lifts, productivity can be increased
16-21%. Crane safety is also improved. Both signal delays
and signal errors can be reduced by using CRANIUM.
The cost of the prototype
CRANIUM, including all the components, is approximately
$3,200. This figure is based on the retail prices for
individual components, but does not account for labor to
fabricate and assemble the components. Mass producing the
CRANIUM would certainly lower the unit cost.
In addition to direct labor
and equipment savings, the CRANIUM may produce large
indirect economic benefits. Crane operations are frequently
found on the critical path of construction projects. By
reducing the duration of critical path activities, the
overall duration of the project is shortened. Improved
safety also provides major economic, humanitarian, and
social benefits to the contractor and the owner.
CRANIUM Camera Unit Mounted on Crane Bottom
fully-operational prototype CRANIUM has been designed,
fabricated, and extensively tested in the field.
Up to the moment the
primary consideration was to establish the technical
feasibility and operational practicality of the CRANIUM.
However, before the CRANIUM can be commercialized, it would
require additional development.
Points of Contact
- Everett, John G.,Asst. Prof. of Civil and
Envir. Engrg., Univ. of Michigan, 2352 G. G. Brown, Ann Arbor, MI
48109-2125, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Slocum, Alexander H, Flower Carrer
Development Assoc. Prof. of Mech. Engrg., Room 35-008, Massachusetts
Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, MA 02139. Phone: (617) 253-0012, Email email@example.com,
Everett, John G. and Slocum, Alexander H.,
Cranium: Device for Improving Crane Productivity and Safety, Journal of
Construction Engineering and Management, Vol.119, No. 1, March 1993.
the Construction Safety Alliance nor Purdue University in
any way endorses this technology or represents that the
information presented can be relied upon without further