Modelling and Control of a Forklift’s Hydraulic Lowering Function
Abstract: Material handling and logistics are fundamental parts of today’s global societyand forklifts are a crucial part of the material handling process. Making these asefficient and reliable as possible are therefore of great interest. In this master thesis, an effort has been made to improve the control of the hydraulic lowering function of a specific forklift. Today the lowering function iscontrolled through an open-loop control scheme making the control performancesensitive to disturbances and system changes. One disturbance of special interestis the temperature of the hydraulic fluid. The goal of this thesis was therefore todesign a controller with improved robustness as well as improved performance. To solve this a model-based control design approach was used and a nonlineargrey-box model was derived, implemented and validated. The model parameterswere estimated using a nonlinear least-squares optimisation problem. The resulting model captures most of the system dynamics and the model fit is higher than 70% which was deemed good enough to use for control design. A PID controller was designed based on the estimated model and the controllerparameters were optimised. Furthermore, the controller was evaluated in simulations and implemented in a real forklift. The proposed controller was compared to the original controller for various scenarios. The results reveal improvedsteady state behaviour with enhanced temperature robustness compared to theoriginal controller.
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