Control Strategy Investigation for a Down-Scaled Forwarder : Refinement, Testing and Analysis

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Author: Anqing Duan; [2017]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The predominant method of trees harvesting in Nordic countries is cut-to-length logging (CTL). CTL is realized by two machines: a harvester which is used for felling the trees, and a forwarder which is used for transporting the logs to a road accessible by trucks. To increase the productivity, one possible solution is to increase the forwarder driving speed. However, this will make the operator exposed to larger vibration and cause bigger tire-ground pressure. To solve the abovementioned problems, Skogforsk developed a six-wheel pendulum arm suspended forwarder with each wheel of the forwarder controlled individually by the corresponding hydraulic motor. Given that conducting the field tests on the real forwarder will be time consuming and inconvenient, a 1:5 down-scaled forwarder was manufactured previously to facilitate the research. Due to the size limitation, the hydraulic motors are replaced with the linear actuators besides a few other design changes. The work of this thesis is to further refine the down-scaled forwarder with the focus on implementing the control system. The forwarder is modeled using Simscape MultibodyTM which provides a 3D animation modelling environment. The control strategy is proposed in a perspective of kinematic control. The proposed control algorithm can balance the down-scaled forwarder orientation by solving a linear optimization problem in real time. Restricted by the sensors implementation and filter algorithms, only a simplified kinematics control is tested in the simulation and the real down-scaled forwarder. It can be seen in simulation that both the pitch and roll angle can be reduced greatly by driving through the Skoforsk standard test track with the simplified control method. Stability analysis method for the down-scaled forwarder is also discussed in this thesis. The main contribution of this thesis will be indicating a different point of view from the previous work in terms of control strategy proposal.

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