classic | mobile
 

Search...

 

Beacon lights of the modern age
2nd Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components


In a lighthouse the structures may appear old and dignified, but the technology inside is modern and robust. Availability, low operating costs and long maintenance intervals are the decisive criteria for the electromechanical design of the lamps. Anyone who takes a look inside a lighthouse along the French coast has a good chance of experiencing drive technology from Faulhaber.

The beam from the lamp room must be visible at least 40 km away. Particularly in areas near the coast, visual navigation signs cannot be replaced by anything else. Some 120 lighthouses with rotating lights are operated, monitored and maintained along the French coast by the government agency, Cerema.

The typical flash of the lighthouses can be achieved with three technical methods: through constant lighting with a flashing light, a constant light source with rigidly arranged lenses and a circumferential aperture, or the combination of continuous light and a circumferential lens system. Cerema makes use of LED technology, which results in a long-lasting and robust lighting system. An availability rate of 99% is achieved. “Reliability was a very important criterion for the choice of drive and led us to Faulhaber,” says Laurent Bernicot from the department for navigation and positioning systems at Cerema.

The design made use of DC-micromotors of the Faulhaber 2342 and 3257 series, as well as brushless DC-servomotors of the 3268 series – each combined with appropriately matched Faulhaber planetary gearheads. In addition to the general functionality of the drives, intensive test runs determined their behaviour in salty air.

The high demands on operation reliability are reflected in a drive unit with two motors. Two motors are connected to one gearhead and run alternately. The alternating operation harmonises the operating hours and ensures availability, as longer periods of downtime often lead to startup difficulties. Should one motor fail, the system in the lighthouse automatically switches to the second motor and reports the malfunction to the control centre. “We use remote monitoring, particularly with the large lighthouses”, explains Dirk Berger, spokesperson of the Stralsund Waterways and Shipping Office. “A two-stage escalation level is integrated in the control, prewarning in the event of impending malfunctions and failure.”

Reliable operation is monitored with a sensor that measures the time per revolution. The lighthouses must turn at the exact speed specified in their identifier. Hidden behind the identifier is a special type of flash sequence that is listed in the nautical charts and, particularly when navigating at night, allows a lighthouse to be identified unmistakeably. “Our goal is to achieve a constant rotational speed on the optical level,” continues Berger. “Thus our motors must be precise.”

The French lighthouses use a control developed by Cerema. The intelligence in the lamp room specifies how frequently and at what rate the light is to be visible within a given unit of time. A sensor measures the rotational speed of the optics and transmits the information to the control. After performing the calculation, the controller adjusts the motor speed via the analog set value directly with the motor supply voltage. The speed is constantly monitored and adjusted. Should a problem be detected, the automation solution saves the error and starts the second motor.

During the design process, Cerema employees selected three different motor types as the standard drive solution. The DC-micromotor of the DC2342 series is tailored for small optics that require only low motor power. Medium-sized optics are put into motion by the graphite-commutated motors of the Faulhaber DC3257 series. For powerful systems with high light intensity and correspondingly heavier construction, the brushless, four-pole servomotors of the 3268BX4 series are used.

During design, it is therefore important to ensure that, apart from normal operation, the motors deliver powerful peak torques in order to safely handle the high starting torques of between 5 and 8 Nm. “This was also an important factor in selecting the Faulhaber motors,p explains Bernicot. “If, however, a standstill occurs because the lighthouses are only operated at night, the optics are decoupled from the motor via a freewheel integrated in the rotary machine when the lamp is stopped.”

With respect to the high requirements on availability with long maintenance intervals, the framework conditions in a lighthouse are demanding. This is why it is so important to maintain a close project partnership. Cerema and Faulhaber have been working closely together since 2011.

For more information contact David Horne, Horne Technologies, +27 76 563 2084, sales@hornet.cc, www.hornet.cc


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Horne Technologies
Tel: +27 76 563 2084
Fax: 086 653 5225
Email: sales@hornet.cc
www: www.hornet.cc
Share via email     Print this page  

Further reading:

  • Flying motion
    2nd Quarter 2019, Beckhoff Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A planar motor system of free-floating movers with six degrees of freedom.
  • Data, light and the smart factory
    2nd Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    Photonics – the science of harnessing photons through the cutting edge use of lasers and fibre optics – has become a key technology for smart factories.
  • Five hydraulics technology trends
    2nd Quarter 2019, Parker Hannifin - Sales Company South Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, Hydraulic systems & components
    In this article are five key technology trends presented by Parker Hannifin that are shaping the future of hydraulics.
  • Industry 5.0 – the best of both worlds
    2nd Quarter 2019, Cobots , This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
    The convergence of robot capabilities and human skills.
  • SEW-Eurodrive and Film Riggers help French Spiderman
    2nd Quarter 2019, SEW-Eurodrive, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Specialist rigging company, Film Riggers, was recently called upon to ensure the safety of Alain Robert, aka the French Spiderman, while he scaled a skyscraper in central Johannesburg to create an advertisement for an international tyre manufacturer.
  • Creating tomorrow’s marine braking solutions
    2nd Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Stromag has designed and manufactured marine braking systems for decades, and the company’s products are installed on vessels operating across the globe.
  • Faster results with a digital twin
    2nd Quarter 2019, Siemens Digital Industries, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    The digital twin allowed all the functions and permutations of the stacker to be simulated while simultaneously developing the initial motion control program to provide an optimum starting point for virtual commissioning.
  • Stepping carefully into the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    2nd Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    Rapid advances in technology and artificial intelligence in the mining industry raise issues like data protection, intellectual property ownership and legal liability.
  • Innovation and intelligence for the smart factory
    2nd Quarter 2019, Omron Electronics, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Thanks to increased processing power and the availability of increasing volumes of data (sensitisation of the industry), the discussion about artificial intelligence (AI) in the mechanical engineering sector is gaining momentum.
  • Pneumatic robotics meets artificial intelligence
    2nd Quarter 2019, Festo, This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
    Festo’s pneumatic robot hand BionicSoftHand, combined with the BionicSoftArm, a pneumatic lightweight robot, shows that future concepts are suitable for human-robot collaboration.
  • Music festival is a flying success
    1st Quarter 2019, SEW-Eurodrive, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    One of the most spectacular stunts ever achieved at a live music event in South Africa involved flying a replica helicopter across the stage at the Afrikaans is Groot festival at the Sun Arena in Menlyn, Pretoria, which was achieved using state-of-the-art automation and mechatronics technology from SEW-Eurodrive.
  • A bionic flying fox
    1st Quarter 2019, Festo, This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
    Festo has for years been developing research platforms where the basic technical principles are derived from nature.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronics Buyers’ Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.