Position control of a flexible cable gantry crane: theory and experiment

Sandeep Joshi, Christopher D. Rahn

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Cranes are commonly used at construction sites and shipyards to transport heavy payloads. The swinging of the payload during and after transit poses a major safety and site efficiency problem. The objective of this research is to design implementable stabilizing controllers for a distributed model of the crane system. The governing partial differential equations of a horizontally-translating gantry, flexible cable, and payload are derived. A control law, based on Lyapunov theory, is developed to dampen the vibrations of the payload using the gantry motor, gantry position and velocity sensors, and a cable departure angle sensor. An exact modal analysis of the closed loop system is performed assuming constant tension and no damping. A Galerkin approach is used to incorporate spatially varying tension and damping. Design of the control gains is demonstrated using a root locus approach. The theory is successfully tested on an experimental mockup of the gantry crane system. The controller significantly reduces the time required for the payload oscillations to damp out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2820-2824
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the American Control Conference
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
EventProceedings of the 1995 American Control Conference. Part 1 (of 6) - Seattle, WA, USA
Duration: Jun 21 1995Jun 23 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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