Case Study: Tower Crane Communication Systems
On any building site, particularly in a high-rise construction, effective communications between the crane operator in his high cab and the banksman on the ground is critical for both safety and efficiency. PinPoint is a company that specialises in innovative communications systems for industrial applications, and its Crane Comms Solution package is an elegant application of modern technology to an age-old problem.
The system consists of access points, mounted on the jib of the crane. Each access point contains two Bluetooth radios, supporting multiple concurrent users with full duplex communications capability. The access point is powered from the main computer, located in the cab of each crane, using dual Ethernet with Power over Ethernet (POE), minimising cabling requirements. The crane operator controls the system using a dual function foot switch and microphone. The crane operator can choose to communicate with other operators on a multi-crane site or his own banksman.
BVM designed and manufactured the physical heart of the system, a PC installed in the cab in a ruggedised enclosure. The computer runs Windows XP Embedded operating system ported by BVM with Pinpoint's software as an application. It contains a hard disc that records all conversations; it has dual Ethernet ports supporting POE and interfaces for external peripherals, the foot switch, an LCD monitor and an anemometer and boom-mounted camera. The universal PSU automatically accepts US and European mains voltages and options for low voltage DC inputs, enabling world-wide use. The system has been future-proofed to provide sufficient processing power and storage capacity to enable a full working day's worth of video recordings from the downward-facing boom camera, anemometer readings and GPS positional information when required.
The PinPoint project is another good example of BVM's strength in working with customers whose core capabilities are in software development. BVM turn development prototypes into saleable hardware that provides a platform for the operational requirements of the system, packaging to suit the installed environment, cost-effectively manufactured and future-proofed.