Dr. Khalid Sorensen
CAMotion Inc.

Tim Foster
Novelis Inc.


Atlanta-Based Robotics Firm CAMotion Announces Supervisory Crane Control System for Novelis Inc.

Atlanta-based robotics firm, CAMotion, completed the design, installation, and commissioning of their Supervisory Control System (SCS) for Novelis Inc., a leading manufacturer of aluminum sheet products. CAMotion developed the SCS for improving motion control, and ease-of-use for material handling applications that involve the use of cranes. The principal feature of the SCS is that it accepts payload transfer commands from a supervising operator. Then, the system automatically drives the SCS-enabled crane to execute the operator's directives. The SCS-enabled crane automatically avoids workspace obstructions, takes the most time-efficient path, reduces payload swing, and positions payloads within an inch of desired positions.

The crane that Novelis equipped with CAMotion's SCS is located at the Oswego Works Plant in Oswego, NY. The crane is used for transporting aluminum ingots through the ingot-scalping process – a machining operation that smooths ingot surfaces. Ingots can be quite large, weighing up to 50,000 pounds, and nearly seven feet across.

The deficiency that Novelis engineers wished to overcome by installing the SCS is related to the difficulty of manual control. Cranes have a tendency to exhibit significant payload swing; this is especially true for novice operators. Payload swing inhibits efficient operation, and is a contributing factor in workspace collisions. By installing the SCS, Novelis designed to 1) improve throughput efficiency, 2) reduce the equipment damage resulting from payload swing, and 3) permit novice crane operators to perform as well as their experienced counterparts.

Tim Foster, Novelis' lead engineer overseeing the crane project, stated that "CAMotion delivered on our expectations of the Scalper crane automation. They were very responsive to our timetable. The crane repeatedly operates much smoother and controlled then in the past. New operators can better simulate movements that used to be reserved for more experienced operators. This is expected to reduce equipment damage and excessive wear. The use of wireless technology minimized Scalper downtime for commissioning phase. Very pleased with the results after completion of the project."

CAMotion hosts several crane demonstrations monthly near their headquarters, in Atlanta, GA. For more information about crane control solutions, or to schedule a product demonstration, contact Khalid Sorensen.

About CAMotion: CAMotion is a Georgia Institute of Technology spin-off company. CAMotion's products are distinguished by the use of advanced motion control to achieve high precision and speed. In addition to industrial crane control solutions, CAMotion also manufactures high-speed case packing, palletizing and depalletizing machines. 

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