Virtual Prototyping, Multibody Dynamics, and Control Design of an Adaptive Lift Table for Material Handling

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II 132, 84084 Fisciano, Italy


This paper is devoted to presenting the results of the computer-aided design, the multibody dynamic analysis, and the proportional-derivative control synthesis of an adaptive mechanism serving as a lifting table. More specifically, the first part of the manuscript deals with the methodological approach and the mathematical background employed in the entire research work, whereas the second part of the present paper is focused on the model development and the numerical experiments carried out in this investigation. The analytical derivations presented herein demonstrate that the desired adaptive behavior can be successfully obtained for the virtual prototype of the lift mechanism devised in this investigation. Furthermore, a detailed CAD model of the proposed design was constructed in this investigation using SOLIDWORKS. To this end, particular attention was paid to the actual assembly and disassembly of each mechanical component, in conjunction with the choice of the actuators and sensors that are necessary for the proper functioning of the lifting mechanism. Then, a three-dimensional multibody model was developed starting from the CAD model of the virtual prototype devised in this investigation. The resulting multibody model, following appropriate simplifications, was subsequently imported into the MATLAB virtual environment, thereby allowing for readily performing kinematic and dynamic simulations of the nonlinear behavior of the mechanical system under study by using the SIMSCAPE MULTIBODY computational software. By doing so, the development of an appropriate control strategy, as well as the analysis of its behavior under loading and unloading goods conditions, was carried out and tested in the case of four different scenarios considered as the case study. For this purpose, the applicative scenarios considered are: 1) an impulsive loading scenario; 2) a progressive loading scenario; 3) an impulsive unloading scenario; 4) and a progressive unloading scenario. The performance of the feedforward plus feedback control strategy devised in this study was discussed based on several computer simulations. Numerical simulations demonstrate that the desired adaptive behavior is successfully obtained for the virtual prototype of the lift table designed in this study.


Main Subjects

Publisher’s Note Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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