PCB development for improved maintenance and cost savings
Based on this starting point, our customer requested us to develop an electronic control unit for a lifting and dropping system with synchronous and group operation that is controlled at the push of a button via an app. A further requirement of the electronics was that it could safely overcome a height of up to 20 meters. The electronics are to be designed in such a way that different payload classes (10, 20, 50 and 70kg) can be implemented with one layout using different assembly variants. In addition, power supply is monitored and a service notification automatically sent in the event of an error. One particular challenge was that usability and networked control had to be in harmony with strict safety regulations. In 2020 we began work on the development, and not the fully mechatronic system could be delivered to the customer.
- Given the requirements above, the controller we developed stands out for:
- Mesh networkable.
- The lifting systems communicate with each other.
- Additional machines can be easily integrated into the existing network.
- The lifting systems can be controlled together/synchronously as a group.
- Operation is possible via smartphone or tablet instead of a proprietary remote control.
- The four load class variants can largely be covered by the same spare parts. We were thus able to achieve a cost reduction of some 15%-20%.
The electronics includes the following functions
- Performing STM32F302 ARM Cortex M4 processor
- Control of a 24V DC motor (incl. motor current measurement) with a full bridge Motor Gate Driver configurable via SPI
- Assessment of the sensors for position recognition of the movable parts
- Integration of a Bluetooth Mesh module for connection to a smartphone or tablet. The firmware and application software required for this were also developed by Melecs BU Industrial.
We are currently in an extended test phase with the customer to come closer to the next step for the series production that is planned to begin shortly.
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