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Title:
SYSTEM FOR DAMPING MASS-INDUCED VIBRATION IN MACHINES HAVING HYDRAULICALLY CONTROLLED BOOMS OR ELONGATE MEMBERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/200700
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system for damping mass-induced vibrations in a machine having a long boom or elongate member, the movement of which causes mass-induced vibration in such boom or elongate member. The system comprises multiple pressure sensors operable to measure pressure fluctuations in the hydraulic fluid pressures in the non-load holding and load holding chambers of a hydraulic actuator connected to the boom or elongate member that result from mass-induced vibration, and a processing unit operable to control a first control valve spool in a pressure control mode and a second control valve spool in a flow control mode in order to adjust hydraulic fluid flow to the actuator's load holding chamber to dampen the mass-induced vibration. The system further comprises a control manifold fluidically interposed between the actuator and control valve spools that causes the first and second control valve spools to operate, respectively, in pressure and flow control modes.

Inventors:
YUAN, QingHui (7136 Mark Terrace Drive, Edina, Minnesota, 55439, US)
Application Number:
US2018/029401
Publication Date:
November 01, 2018
Filing Date:
April 25, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EATON INTELLIGENT POWER LIMITED (30 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4, D04, D04, IE)
YUAN, QingHui (7136 Mark Terrace Drive, Edina, Minnesota, 55439, US)
International Classes:
F15B21/00; F15B21/08
Foreign References:
US20140150416A12014-06-05
US20080034957A12008-02-14
KR20030088425A2003-11-19
US5571226A1996-11-05
US5715865A1998-02-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOWALCHYK, Katherine M. (Merchant & Gould P.C, P.O. Box 2903Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55402-0903, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for damping mass-induced vibration in a machine including an elongate member and a hydraulic actuator configured to move the elongate member and having a non-load holding chamber and a load holding chamber, said apparatus comprising:

a plurality of pressure sensors operable to measure the pressures of hydraulic fluid in the non-load holding chamber and the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator;

a plurality of control valve spools operable to supply variable flow rates of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator;

a control manifold fluidically interposed between the hydraulic actuator and said plurality of control valve spools; and

a processing unit operable with said control manifold to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

2. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein said processing unit is further operable with said control manifold to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

3. The apparatus of Claim 2, wherein said apparatus further comprises a plurality of control valve sensors operable to measure the pressure of hydraulic fluid exiting said control valve spools, and wherein said control manifold is further operable to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator.

4. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein said processing unit is further operable to produce signals for adjusting the flow rate of hydraulic fluid from said control valve spools.

5. The apparatus of Claim 4, wherein said apparatus further comprises a plurality of control valve sensors operable to determine the displacement of said control valve spools, and wherein said processing unit is operable to produce signals for adjusting the flow rate of hydraulic fluid from said control valve spools based at least in part on said displacement.

6. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein said control manifold includes:

a first isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure;

a first counterbalance valve fluidically connected to said first isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from said first isolation valve, said first counterbalance valve being fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and being operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator;

a second isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure; and

a second counterbalance valve fluidically connected to said second isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from said second isolation valve, said second counterbalance valve being fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and being operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

7. The apparatus of Claim 6, wherein said plurality of control valve spools comprises:

a first control valve spool fluidically connected to said first counterbalance valve and to said second isolation valve, said first control valve spool being operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a first pressure to said first counterbalance valve and said second isolation valve; and

a second control valve spool fluidically connected to said second counterbalance valve and to said first isolation valve, said second control valve spool being operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a second pressure to said second counterbalance valve and said first isolation valve.

8. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein a first control valve spool of said plurality of control valve spools is operable in pressure control mode and a second control valve spool of said plurality of control valve spools is operable in flow control mode.

9. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein said plurality of control valve spools are operable to simultaneously achieve different functions.

10. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein a first control valve spool of said plurality of control valve spools is operable with the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator, and a second control valve spool of said plurality of control valve spools is operable with the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

11. The apparatus of Claim 1, wherein said control valve spools comprise independently operable control valve spools of a metering valve.

12. An apparatus for damping mass-induced vibration in a machine including an elongate member and a hydraulic actuator configured to move the elongate member, the hydraulic actuator having a non-load holding chamber and a load holding chamber, said apparatus comprising:

a first isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure;

a first counterbalance valve fluidically connected to said first isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from said first isolation valve, said first counterbalance valve being fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and being operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator;

a second isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure;

a second counterbalance valve fluidically connected to said second isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from said second isolation valve, said second counterbalance valve being fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and being operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator; a first control valve spool fluidically connected to said first counterbalance valve and to said second isolation valve, said first control valve spool being operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a first pressure to said first counterbalance valve and said second isolation valve;

a second control valve spool fluidically connected to said second counterbalance valve and to said first isolation valve, said second control valve spool being operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a second pressure to said second counterbalance valve and said first isolation valve; and

a processing unit operable to generate and output signals causing independent actuation of said first and second isolation valves and independent actuation of said first and second control valve spools, and causing said first control valve spool to operate in pressure control mode and said second control valve spool to operate in flow control mode.

13. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein said first pressure has a measure sufficient for operation of said second counterbalance valve.

14. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein said second pressure has a measure sufficient for actuation of the hydraulic actuator.

15. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein the apparatus further comprises a pressure sensor operable to measure the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator, and wherein said processing unit is further operable to receive the measured pressure and to generate and output signals controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

16. The apparatus of Claim 15, wherein the flow rate of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator is directly related to the measured pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

17. The apparatus of Claim 16, wherein the flow rate of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator is calculated as the mathematical product of the measured pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and a constant selected based at least on a desired damping rate.

18. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein said first control valve spool is operable independently of said second control valve spool.

19. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein said first control valve spool is operable in pressure control mode simultaneously while said second control valve spool is operable in flow control mode.

20. The apparatus of Claim 12, wherein said first control valve spool and said second control valve spool comprise control valve spools of a single metering control valve.

Description:
SYSTEM FOR DAMPING MASS-INDUCED VIBRATION IN MACHINES HAVING HYDRAULICALLY CONTROLLED BOOMS OR ELONGATE

MEMBERS

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is being filed on April 25, 2018 as a PCT International Patent Application and claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 62/491,903, filed on April 28, 2017, and claims the benefit of U. S. Patent Application Serial No. 62/532,764, filed on July 14, 2017, the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of hydraulic systems and, more particularly, to systems for damping mass-induced vibration in machines.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Many of today' s mobile and stationary machines include long booms or elongate members that may be extended, telescoped, raised, lowered, rotated, or otherwise moved through the operation of hydraulic systems. Examples of such machines include, but are not limited to: concrete pump trucks having articulated multi-segment booms; fire ladder trucks having extendable or telescoping multi-section ladders; fire snorkel trucks having aerial platforms attached at the ends of articulated multi-segment booms; utility company trucks having aerial work platforms connected to extendable and/or articulated multi-segment booms; and, cranes having elongate booms or extendable multi-segment booms. The hydraulic systems generally comprise a hydraulic pump, one or more linear or rotary hydraulic actuators, and a hydraulic control system including hydraulic control valves to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to and from the hydraulic actuators.

[0004] The long booms and elongate members of such machines are, typically, manufactured from high-strength materials such as steel, but often flex somewhat due at least in part to their length and being mounted in a cantilever manner. In addition, the long booms and elongate members have mass and may enter undesirable, mass-induced vibration modes in response to movement during use or external disturbances such as wind or applied loads. Various hydraulic compliance methods have been used in attempts to damp or eliminate the mass-induced vibration. However, such methods are not very effective unless mechanical compliance is also carefully addressed.

[0005] Therefore, there is a need in the industry for a system and methods for damping mass-induced vibration in machines having long booms or elongate members that requires little or no mechanical compliance, and that addresses these and other problems, issues, deficiencies, or shortcomings.

SUMMARY

[0006] Broadly described, the present invention comprises a system, including apparatuses and methods, for damping mass-induced vibration in machines having long booms or elongate members in which vibration is introduced in response to movement of such booms or elongate members. In one inventive aspect, a plurality of control valve spools are operable to supply hydraulic fluid respectively to a non-loading chamber and load holding chamber of an actuator connected to a boom or elongate member, with a first control valve spool being operable in a pressure control mode and a second control valve spool being operable in a flow control mode. In another inventive aspect, a plurality of pressure sensors are operable to measure the pressure of hydraulic fluid in a non-load holding chamber and in a load holding chamber of a hydraulic actuator, and with a processing unit, to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the load holding chamber to damp mass-induced vibration based at least in part on fluctuations in the measured pressure of the hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber. In still another inventive aspect, a control manifold is fluidically interposed between a hydraulic actuator and a plurality of control valve spools to cause a first control valve spool to operate in a pressure control mode and a second control valve spool to operate in a flow control mode. In yet another inventive aspect, a control manifold comprises a first part associated with a non-load holding chamber of a hydraulic actuator and a second part associated with a load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0007] Other inventive aspects, advantages and benefits of the present invention may become apparent upon reading and understanding the present specification when taken in conjunction with the appended drawings. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Fig. 1 displays a pictorial view of a mobile machine in the form of concrete pump truck configured with a system for damping mass-induced vibration in accordance with an example embodiment of the present invention.

[0009] Fig. 2 displays a block diagram representation of the system for damping mass- induced vibration in accordance with the example embodiment of the present invention.

[0010] Fig. 3 displays a schematic view of a control manifold of the system for damping mass-induced vibration of Fig. 2.

[0011] Fig. 4 displays a control diagram representation of the control methodology used by the system for damping mass-induced vibration.

[0012] Fig. 5 displays a flowchart representation of a method for damping mass- induced vibration in accordance with the example embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EXAMPLE EMBODIMENT

[0013] Referring now to the drawings in which like elements are identified by like numerals throughout the several views, Fig. 1 displays a machine 100 configured with a system for damping mass-induced vibrations 200, including apparatuses and methods, in accordance with the present invention. More specifically, in Fig. 1, the machine 100 comprises a concrete pump truck having an articulated, multi-segment boom 102 that is connected to the remainder of the concrete pump truck by a skewing mechanism 104 that enables rotation of the boom 102 about a vertical axis relative to the remainder of the concrete pump truck. The boom 102 comprises a plurality of elongate boom segments 106 that are pivotally connected by pivot pins 108 in an end-to-end manner. The machine 100 also comprises a plurality of hydraulic actuators 110 that are attached to and between each pair of pivotally connected boom segments 106. The hydraulic actuators 1 10 generally comprise linear hydraulic actuators operable to extend and contract, thereby causing respective pairs of pivotally connected boom segments 106 to rotate relative to one another about the pivot pin 108 coupling the boom segments 106 together. Each hydraulic actuator 110 has a cylinder 112 and a piston 1 14 located within the cylinder 112 (see Figs. 1 and 3). The piston 114 slides within the cylinder 112 and, with the cylinder 112, defines a plurality of chambers 1 16 for receiving pressurized hydraulic fluid. A rod 1 18 attached to the piston 114 extends through one the chambers 116, through a wall of the cylinder 112, and is connected to a boom segment 106 to exert forces on the boom segment 106 causing movement of the boom segment 106. A first chamber 1 16a (also sometimes referred to herein as the "non-load holding chamber 116a") of the plurality of chambers 116 is located on the rod side of the actuator's piston 1 14 and a second chamber 1 16b (also sometimes referred to herein as the "load holding chamber 1 16b") of the plurality of chambers 1 16 is located on the opposite side of the actuator's piston 1 14. When the entire boom 102 is rotated by the skewing mechanism 104 or when connected boom segments 106 rotated relative to one another about a respective pivot pin 108, vibration is induced in the boom 102 and boom segments 106 because the boom 102 and its boom segments 106 have mass and are being moved relative to the remainder of concrete pump truck or relative to one another.

[0014] Before proceeding further, it should be noted that while the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 is illustrated and described herein with reference to a machine 100 comprising a concrete pump truck having an articulated, multi-segment boom 102, the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 may be applied to and used in connection with any machine 100 having long booms, elongate members, or other components the movement of which may induce vibration therein. It should also be noted that the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 may be applied to and used in connection with mobile or stationary machines having long booms, elongate members, or other components in which mass-induced vibration may be introduced by their movement. Additionally, as used herein, the term "hydraulic system" means and includes any system commonly referred to as a hydraulic or pneumatic system, while the term "hydraulic fluid" means and includes any incompressible or compressible fluid that may be used as a working fluid in such a hydraulic or pneumatic system.

[0015] The system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 (also sometimes referred to herein as the "system 200") is illustrated in block diagram form in the block diagram representation of Fig. 2. The system 200 operates on the basis that mass-induced vibration causes fluctuations or perturbations in the pressures of the hydraulic fluid in the load holding and non-load holding chambers 116a, 1 16b of a hydraulic actuator 110 and, hence, that by controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid to the chambers 116a, 1 16b based at least in part on pressure fluctuations or perturbations, the mass-induced vibration can be dampened. The system 200 comprises a processing unit 202 operable to execute a plurality of software instructions that, when executed by the processing unit 202, cause the system 200 to implement the system' s methods and otherwise operate and have functionality as described herein. The processing unit 202 may comprise a device commonly referred to as a microprocessor, central processing unit (CPU), digital signal processor (DSP), or other similar device and may be embodied as a standalone unit or as a device shared with components of the hydraulic system with which the system 200 is employed. The processing unit 202 may include memory for storing the software instructions or the system 200 may further comprise a separate memory device for storing the software instructions that is electrically connected to the processing unit 202 for the bidirectional communication of the instructions, data, and signals therebetween.

[0016] The system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 also comprises a plurality of actuator pressure sensors 204 that are connected to the hydraulic actuators 110. The actuator pressure sensors 204 are arranged in pairs such that a pair of actuator pressure sensors 204 is connected to each hydraulic actuator 110 with the actuator pressure sensors 204 of the pair respectively measuring the hydraulic fluid pressure in the non-load holding and load holding chambers 116a, 116b on opposite sides of the actuator's piston 114. The hydraulic fluid pressures are directly correlated to mass-induced vibration and, hence, their measures and changes in their measures are indicative of the amplitude of and changes in the level of mass-induced vibration. The actuator pressure sensors 204 are operable to produce and output an electrical signal or data representative of the measured hydraulic fluid pressures. The actuator pressure sensors 204 are connected to processing unit 202 via communication links 206 for the communication of signals or data corresponding to the measured hydraulic fluid pressures. Communication links 206 may communicate the signals or data representative of the measured hydraulic fluid pressures to the processing unit 202 using wired or wireless components.

[0017] Additionally, the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 comprises a plurality of control valves 208 that are operable to control pressure and the flow of pressurized hydraulic fluid to respective control manifolds 216 (described below) and, hence, to the respective hydraulic actuators 110 serviced by control manifolds 216 in order to cause the hydraulic actuators 1 10 to expand or contract. According to an example embodiment, the control valves 208 comprise solenoid-actuated, twin-spool metering control valves and the hydraulic actuators 110 comprise double-acting hydraulic actuators. The control valves 208 each have at least two independently-controllable valve spools 209a, 209b (also sometimes referred to herein as "spools 209a, 209b") such that each control valve 208 is operable to perform two independent functions simultaneously with respect to a hydraulic actuator 110, including, without limitation, pressure control for the non-holding camber 1 16a of the hydraulic actuator 110 and damping flow control for the load holding chamber 116b of the hydraulic actuator 110. To enable such operation, the spools 209a, 209b are arranged with one spool 209a of a control valve 208 being associated and operable with the non-load holding chamber 116a of the hydraulic actuator 110 and the other spool 209b of the control valve 208 being associated and operable with the load holding chamber 1 16b of the hydraulic actuator 1 10. The operation of each spool

209 is independently controlled by processing unit 202 with each control valve 208 and spool 209 being electrically connected to processing unit 202 by a communication link

210 for receiving control signals from the processing unit 202 causing the spools' solenoids to energize or de-energize, thereby correspondingly moving the spools 209 between open, closed and intermediate positions.

[0018] While the system 200 is described herein with each control valve 208 comprising a solenoid-actuated, twin-spool metering control valve having two independently-controllable spools 209a, 209b, it should, however, be appreciated and understood that control valves 208 may comprise other forms of control valves 208 in other example embodiments that are operable to simultaneously and independently provide, in response to receiving control signals from processing unit 202, pressure control for the non-load holding chamber 1 16a of a hydraulic actuator 1 10 and damping flow control for the load holding chamber 116b of the hydraulic actuator 110. It should also be appreciated and understood that control valves 208 may comprise respective embedded controllers that are operable to communicate with processing unit 202 and to operate with processing unit 202 in achieving the functionality described herein.

[0019] In addition, the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 comprises a plurality of control valve sensors 212 that measure various parameters that are related to and indicative of the operation of respective control valves 208. Such parameters include, but are not limited to, hydraulic fluid supply pressure (P s ), hydraulic fluid tank pressure (Pt), hydraulic fluid delivery pressure (P a , Pb), and control valve spool displacement (x a , xb), where subscripts "a" and "b" correspond to actuator chambers 116a, 1 16b and to the first and second control valve spools 209a, 209b of a control valve 208 configured to operate as described below. The control valve sensors 212 are generally attached to or at locations near respective control valves 208 as appropriate to obtain measurements of the above-identified parameters. The control valve sensors 212 are operable to obtain such measurements and to produce and output signals representative of such measurements. Communication links 214 connect the control valve sensors 212 to processing unit 202 for the communication of such output signals to processing unit 202, and may utilize wired and/or wireless communication devices and methods for such communication. [0020] According to an example embodiment, the control valves 208, control valve sensors 212, and processing unit 202 are co-located in a single, integral unit. However, it should be appreciated and understood that, in other example embodiments, the control valves 208, control valve sensors 212, and processing unit 202 may be located in multiple units and in different locations. It should also be appreciated and understood that, in other example embodiments, the control valves 208 may comprise independent metering valves not a part of the system 200.

[0021] As illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2, the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 further comprises a plurality of control manifolds 216 that are fluidically located between the control valves 208 and the hydraulic actuators 110. Generally, a control manifold 216 and a hydraulic actuator 110 are associated in one-to-one correspondence such that the control manifold 216 participates in controlling the flow of pressurized hydraulic fluid delivered from a control valve spool 209a, 209b to a chamber 116a, 1 16b of the hydraulic actuator 1 10. The control manifold 216 associated with a particular hydraulic actuator 1 10 is, typically, mounted near the hydraulic actuator 1 10 (see Fig. 1). Each control manifold 216 is communicatively connected to processing unit 202 via a communication link 218 for receiving signals from processing unit 202 that control operation of the various components of the control manifold 216 according to the methods described herein. The communication links 218 may comprise wired and/or wireless communication links 218 in different example embodiments.

[0022] Fig. 3 displays a schematic view of a control manifold 216, in accordance with an example embodiment, fluidically connected for the flow of hydraulic fluid between a hydraulic actuator 110 and independently-controlled, control valve spools 209a, 209b of a control valve 208. More particularly, the control manifold 216 is connected to the non- load holding chamber 1 16a of hydraulic cylinder 1 10 for the flow of hydraulic fluid therebetween by hose 220a, and is connected to the load holding chamber 116b of hydraulic cylinder 1 10 for the flow of hydraulic fluid therebetween by a hose 220b. Additionally, the control manifold 216 is connected to control valve 208 and valve spool 209a for the flow of hydraulic fluid therebetween by hose 222a, and is connected to control valve 208 and valve spool 209b for the flow of hydraulic fluid therebetween by hose 222b. In addition, the control manifold 216 is fluidically connected to a hydraulic fluid tank or reservoir (not shown) by a hose 224 for the flow of hydraulic fluid from the control manifold 216 to the hydraulic fluid tank. It should be appreciated and understood that although hoses 220, 222, 224 are used to connect the control manifold 216 respectively to hydraulic cylinder 110, control valve 208, and a hydraulic fluid tank or reservoir in the example embodiment described herein, the hoses 220, 222, 224 may be replaced in other example embodiments by tubes, conduits, or other apparatuses suitable for conveying hydraulic fluid.

[0023] The control manifold 216 comprises isolation valves 230a, 230b, counterbalance valves 232a, 232b, and pressure relief valves 234a, 234b that are arranged in manifold sides "a" and "b" and that are associated and operable, respectively, with the hydraulic actuator's non-load holding chamber 1 16a and load holding chamber 1 16b. As seen in Fig. 3, isolation valve 230a is fluidically connected between the pilot port of counterbalance valve 232a and the work port of control valve 208 for valve spool 209b. The input port of valve spool 209b of control valve 208 is fluidically connected to a pump, reservoir, or other source of appropriately pressurized hydraulic fluid. Counterbalance valve 232a is fluidically connected between the work port of control valve 208 for valve spool 209a and chamber 116a of the hydraulic actuator 1 10. In addition to being fluidically connected to chamber 116a, the output port of counterbalance valve 232a is fluidically connected to the input port of pressure relief valve 234a. The output port of pressure relief valve 234a is fluidically connected to a receiving tank or reservoir such that if the pressure of the hydraulic fluid being delivered from counterbalance valve 232a to actuator chamber 116a has a measure greater than a threshold value, the pressure relief valve 234a opens from its normally closed configuration to direct hydraulic fluid to the receiving tank or reservoir.

[0024] Similarly, isolation valve 230b is fluidically connected between the pilot port of counterbalance valve 232b and the work port for valve spool 209a of control valve 208. The input port of valve spool 209a of control valve 208 is fluidically connected to a pump, reservoir, or other source of appropriately pressurized hydraulic fluid. Counterbalance valve 232b is fluidically connected between the work port of valve spool 209b of control valve 208 and chamber 116b of the hydraulic actuator 110. In addition to being fluidically connected to chamber 116b, the output port of counterbalance valve 232b is fluidically connected to the input port of pressure relief valve 234b. The output port of pressure relief valve 234b is fluidically connected to a receiving tank or reservoir such that if the pressure of the hydraulic fluid being delivered from counterbalance valve 232b to actuator chamber 116b has a measure greater than a threshold value, the pressure relief valve 234b opens from its normally closed configuration to direct hydraulic fluid to the receiving tank or reservoir. [0025] The counterbalance valves 232a, 232b, according to an example embodiment, have a high pressure ratio and are capable of being opened with a relatively low pilot pressure. The pilot pressure to counterbalance valves 232a, 232b is controlled, respectively, by isolation valves 230a, 230b together with valve spools 209a, 209b of control valve 208. By default, electric current is not supplied to the isolation valves 230a, 230b and the isolation valves 230a, 230b allow hydraulic fluid to flow therethrough. The valve spools 209 of control valves 208 are operable in pressure control, flow control, spool position control, and in various other modes.

[0026] During operation of the system for damping mass-induced vibration 200 and as illustrated in control diagram of Fig. 4, the actuator pressure sensors 204 produce electrical signals or data representative of the pressure of the hydraulic fluid present in actuator chambers 116a, 116b. Also, the control valve sensors 212 produce electrical signals or data representative of the hydraulic fluid supply pressure (P s ) to control valves 208, hydraulic fluid tank pressure (Pt), hydraulic fluid delivery pressure (Pa, Pb) at the work ports of control valves 208, and the spool displacement (x a , x¾) of the spools 209a, 209b of control valves 208. The processing unit 202 receives the signals or data from actuator pressure sensors 204 and control valve sensors 212 via communication links 206, 214. Operating under the control of stored software instructions and based on the received input signals or data, the processing unit 202 generates output signals or data for delivery to the isolation valves 230a, 230b and valve spools 209a, 209b of control valves 208 via communication links 218, 210, respectively. More particularly, the processing unit 202 produces separate actuation signals or data to cause the turning on or off of isolation valves 230a, 230b and to adjust the operation of valve spools 209a, 209b of control valves 208 in accordance with the methods described herein.

[0027] The system 200 operates in accordance with a method 300 illustrated in Fig. 5 to damp mass-induced vibration. Operation according to method 300 starts at step 302 and proceeds to step 304 where the isolation valves 230 are initialized to an "on" state by the processing unit 202 generating respective isolation valve actuation signals that cause electrical current to be supplied to the isolation valves 230. In such "on" state, the isolation valves 230 stop the flow of hydraulic fluid to the pilot port of respective counterbalance valves 232, causing the counterbalance valves 232 to be closed to the flow of hydraulic fluid therethrough. Next, at step 306, the processing unit 202 identifies the non-load holding and load holding chambers 116a, 116b of hydraulic actuator 110 based on the pressures measured for each actuator chamber 1 16. To do so, the processing unit 202 uses the actuator pressure signals received from the actuator pressure sensors 204 for each chamber 1 16 and the known dimensions and area of the piston 1 14 and rod 1 18.

[0028] Continuing at step 308 of method 300, the work port pressure (P a ) for valve spool 209a associated with non-load holding chamber 1 16a is adjusted to be high enough to open counterbalance valve 232b. The adjustment is made by the processing unit 202 generating and outputting appropriate signals or data to valve spool 209a and control valve 208 via a communication link 210. According to an example embodiment, such work port pressure may be approximately 20 bar. Then, at step 3 10, the processing unit 202 determines the pressure present in the actuator' s load holding chamber 1 16b by using actuator pressure signals received from the actuator pressure sensor 204 for chamber 1 16b and the known dimensions and area of the piston 1 14. Subsequently, at step 312, the processing unit 202 sets a reference pressure equal to the determined pressure of the hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber 1 16b. The processing unit 202 then, at step 3 14, causes adjustment of the work port pressure (Pb) of the load holding chamber 1 16b to be slightly higher than the reference pressure. To do so, the processing unit 202 generates and outputs appropriate signals or data to valve spool 209b of control valve 208 via a communication link 210.

[0029] At step 3 16 and after hydraulic fluid pressures stabilize, active damping control is begun by setting the isolation valves 230a, 230b to an "off state. The processing unit 202 sets the isolation valves 230a, 230b in the "off state by generating and outputting a signal or data on respective communication links 218 that is appropriate to cause no electrical current to be supplied to the isolation valves 230a, 230b. In such "off state, hydraulic fluid flows through the isolation valves 230a, 230b and to the pilot ports of the respective counterbalance valves 232a, 232b, resulting in the counterbalance valves 232a, 232b opening for the flow of hydraulic fluid therethrough because the controlled pressures are high enough to maintain the counterbalance valves 232a, 232b open. Next, at step 3 18, valve spool 209a of control valve 208 continues to operate in pressure control mode to build sufficient pilot pressure for counterbalance valve 232b, and valve spool 209b of control valve 208 operates in flow control mode. In flow control mode, the flow rate of hydraulic fluid from valve spool 209b of control valve 208 is directly related to the hydraulic fluid pressure and is given by:

where: k is the gain for pressure-based flow control;

Pb is the perturbation of the work port pressure around a mean value. [0030] The perturbation of the work port pressure should be associated with the key vibration mode. Therefore, it may be necessary to filter the pressure signals using one or more band pass filters to remove the mean value not associated with the key vibration mode. With valve spool 209a of control valve 208 operating in pressure control mode and valve spool 209b of control valve 208 operating in flow control mode, the method 300 ends at step 320.

[0031] Whereas the present invention has been described in detail above with respect to an example embodiment thereof, it should be appreciated that variations and modifications might be effected within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Examples

[0032] Illustrative examples of the apparatus disclosed herein are provided below. An example of the apparatus may include any one or more, and any combination of, the examples described below.

[0033] Example 1. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, an apparatus for damping mass-induced vibration in a machine including an elongate member and a hydraulic actuator configured to move the elongate member and having a non-load holding chamber and a load holding chamber, the apparatus including a plurality of pressure sensors that are operable to measure the pressures of hydraulic fluid in the non-load holding chamber and the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. The apparatus includes a plurality of control valve spools operable to supply variable flow rates of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator. The apparatus includes a control manifold fluidically interposed between the hydraulic actuator and the plurality of control valve spools. The apparatus includes a processing unit operable with said control manifold to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0034] Example 2. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the processing unit is further operable with said control manifold to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0035] Example 3. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the apparatus further includes a plurality of control valve sensors operable to measure the pressure of hydraulic fluid exiting the control valve spools, and the control manifold is further operable to control the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator.

[0036] Example 4. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the processing unit is further operable to produce signals for adjusting the flow rate of hydraulic fluid from the control valve spools.

[0037] Example 5. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the apparatus further includes a plurality of control valve sensors operable to determine the displacement of the control valve spools. The processing unit is operable to produce signals for adjusting the flow rate of hydraulic fluid from the control valve spools based at least in part on the displacement.

[0038] Example 6. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the control manifold includes a first isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure. The control manifold includes a first counterbalance valve fluidically connected to the first isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from said first isolation valve. The first counterbalance valve is fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and is operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. The control manifold includes a second isolation valve operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure. The control manifold includes a second counterbalance valve fluidically connected to the second isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from the second isolation valve. The second counterbalance valve is fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and is operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0039] Example 7. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the plurality of control valve spools include a first control valve spool fluidically connected to the first counterbalance valve and to the second isolation valve. The first control valve spool is operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a first pressure to the first counterbalance valve and the second isolation valve. The plurality of control valve spools includes a second control valve spool fluidically connected to the second counterbalance valve and to the first isolation valve. The second control valve spool is operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a second pressure to the second counterbalance valve and the first isolation valve.

[0040] Example 8. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, a first control valve spool of the plurality of control valve spools is operable in pressure control mode and a second control valve spool of the plurality of control valve spools is operable in flow control mode.

[0041] Example 9. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the plurality of control valve spools are operable to simultaneously achieve different functions.

[0042] Example 10. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, a first control valve spool of the plurality of control valve spools is operable with the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. A second control valve spool of the plurality of control valve spools is operable with the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0043] Example 11. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the control valve spools include independently operable control valve spools of a metering valve.

[0044] Example 12. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, an apparatus for damping mass-induced vibration in a machine including an elongate member and a hydraulic actuator configured to move the elongate member, the hydraulic actuator having a non-load holding chamber and a load holding chamber, the apparatus includes a first isolation valve that is operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure. The apparatus includes a first counterbalance valve fluidically connected to the first isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from the first isolation valve. The first counterbalance valve is fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and is operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. The apparatus includes a second isolation valve that is operable to deliver pilot hydraulic fluid at a pilot pressure. The apparatus includes a second counterbalance valve fluidically connected to the second isolation valve for receiving pilot hydraulic fluid from the second isolation valve. The second counterbalance valve is fluidically connected to the non-load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and is operable to deliver hydraulic fluid to the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. The apparatus includes a first control valve spool fluidically connected to the first counterbalance valve and to the second isolation valve. The first control valve spool is operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a first pressure to the first counterbalance valve and the second isolation valve. The apparatus includes a second control valve spool fluidically connected to the second counterbalance valve and to the first isolation valve. The second control valve spool is operable to supply hydraulic fluid at a second pressure to the second counterbalance valve and the first isolation valve. The apparatus includes a processing unit operable to generate and output signals causing independent actuation of the first and second isolation valves and independent actuation of the first and second control valve spools, causing the first control valve spool to operate in pressure control mode and the second control valve spool to operate in flow control mode.

[0045] Example 13. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the first pressure has a measure sufficient for operation of the second counterbalance valve.

[0046] Example 14. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the second pressure has a measure sufficient for actuation of the hydraulic actuator.

[0047] Example 15. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the apparatus further includes a pressure sensor operable to measure the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator. The processing unit is further operable to receive the measured pressure and to generate and output signals controlling the flow of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator based at least in part on the pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0048] Example 16. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the flow rate of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator is directly related to the measured pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator.

[0049] Example 17. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the flow rate of hydraulic fluid to the hydraulic actuator is calculated as the mathematical product of the measured pressure of hydraulic fluid in the load holding chamber of the hydraulic actuator and a constant selected based at least on a desired damping rate.

[0050] Example 18. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the control valve spool is operable independently of the second control valve spool.

[0051] Example 19. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the first control valve spool is operable in pressure control mode simultaneously while the second control valve spool is operable in flow control mode. [0052] Example 20. In combination with, or independent thereof, any example disclosed herein, the first control valve spool and the second control valve spool comprise control valve spools of a single metering control valve.