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Europa,schesP_ MM M II M M M Ml I IN Ml I M Ml

J European Patent Office


Publication number: 0 448 716 B1
^ ,
Office europeen des brevets

EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

Date of publication of patent specification: 18.10.95 Int. CI.6: E02F 9/20

Application number: 90900989.6

@ Date of filing: 18.12.89

International application number:


PCT/JP89/01270

International publication number:


WO 90/07032 (28.06.90 90/15)

&) TEACHING/PLAYBACK METHOD OF WORKING MACHINE.

Priority: 19.12.88 JP 321785/88 Osaka 573 (JP)


Inventor: YOKOYAMA, Toshlo
@ Date of publication of application: Komatsu Osaka Plant
02.10.91 Bulletin 91/40 1-1, Ueno-3
Hlrakata-shl
Publication of the grant of the patent: Oska 573 (JP)
18.10.95 Bulletin 95/42 Inventor: TAKAMURA, Fujltoshl
Komatsu Osaka Plant
Designated Contracting States: 1-1, Ueno-3
DE FR GB Hlrakata-shl
Osaka 573 (JP)
References cited: Inventor: ONODA, Takuml
JP-A- 6 288 804 Komatsu Osaka Plant
JP-A-59 220 534 1-1, Ueno-3
JP-A-60 172 712 Hlrakata-shl
Osaka 573 (JP)
Proprietor: KABUSHIKI KAISHA KOMATSU
SEISAKUSHO
3-6, Akasaka 2-chome, Mlnato-ku Representative: Melssner, Peter E., Dipl.-lng.
Tokyo 107 (JP) et al
00 Melssner & Melssner,
CO @ Inventor: MORIYA, Yuklo Patentanwaltsburo,
Komatsu Osaka Plant Postfach 33 01 30
1-1, Ueno-3 D-14171 Berlin (DE)
00 Hlrakata-shl

Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person
may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition
shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee
has been paid (Art. 99(1) European patent convention).
Rank Xerox (UK) Business Services
(3. 10/3.09/3.3.3)
1 EP 0 448 716 B1 2

Description The present invention has been accomplished


with a view to overcoming the above-described
The present invention relates to a teaching and problem. It is an object of the present invention to
playback method for a work machine and, more provide a teaching and playback method for a work
particularly, to such a method capable of assuring 5 machine that is capable of assuring that a playback
that construction equipment such as a hydraulic operation is performed exactly as specified during
excavator performs a playback operation exactly as teaching, even when, during the playback opera-
has been taught, even when a variation has oc- tion, the machine has encountered a variation in
curred in the load on the machine. The method the load from the level applied during the teaching.
thus enables the machine to operate with improved io In order to achieve the above-stated object, a
accuracy even in such an event. teaching and playback method for a work machine
A method with the features disclosed in the according to the present invention comprises the
preamble of claim 1 is already known from JP-A- steps of: effecting a teaching mode during teaching
59-220534. where an operation signal indicative of the oper-
Recently, it has often been the case with con- 75 ator's operation of a plurality of work machine
struction machines that they are required to per- actuators is stored, effecting a playback mode in
form work by repeating a certain operation. This which the actuators are operated in accordance
particularly applies to a hydraulic excavator which with the data stored during the teaching mode so
is required, by the nature of its work, to perform that the actuators perform the same operation as
repeated operations during, for example, earth ex- 20 that by the operator; and effecting a control mode
cavation or loading. On the other hand, automatiza- in which, when a variation in the load has been
tion of construction machines has been propelled detected during the playback mode a correction is
by recent development in electronics, as shown in, generated, characterized in that the teaching mode
e.g., JP-A-1-318621 (an application previously filed being effected in such a manner as to store the
by the same applicant). A conventional teaching 25 pump discharge amount and the amounts of flow
and playback method intended to automatize a supplied to the actuator that are present during the
construction machine of the above-described type teaching and that for the correction the output of
has the following arrangement. During teaching, a the engine linked with the pump is controlled and
locus of the work machine is taught by converting, the flows supplied to the individual actuators are
into an electrical signal, the amount by which a 30 adjusted in such a manner that the actual pump
work machine operation lever (hereinafter abbre- discharge and the actual flows supplied to the
viated to "work machine lever") is operated to actuators become equal to the stored pump dis-
move the machine along the locus, and storing the charge amount and the stored actuator flow supply
signal in a memory. During reproduction driving, amounts, respectively.
the stored data is read from memory so that the 35 The method according to the invention is such
machine performs a playback operation, which is that, even when, during playback, the load changes
an operation exactly the same as the taught opera- to become different from the level applied during
tion. the teaching, pump discharge compensation
With the conventional method, however, the through the engine output control, as well as com-
following problem may be encountered in the event 40 pensation for the flows supplied to the actuators,
that, during a playback operation, the load on the enables a playback operation to be performed ex-
machine should vary from the level upon which the actly as specified by teachings. The method thus
teachings have been formulated. When the load on overcomes the above-described problem. For this
the machine has varied, particularly when it has purpose, the engine output during teaching is re-
increased from the above-mentioned level, there is 45 duced to a level of the order of 80 % of the rated
the risk that the engine output may fall short. The output, thereby providing a certain margin. When,
engine rotational speed drops, causing a corre- during playback, the load has increased, the vari-
sponding drop in the pump discharge. The insuffi- ation in the load causes a drop in the engine output
cient pump discharge causes the work machine to and a corresponding drop in the pump discharge.
move along a locus different from what has been 50 According to the present invention, when the pump
taught. Thus, the machine operates with degraded discharge has dropped, the engine output is auto-
accuracy. If a load variation occurs during multiple- matically increased to maintain the pump discharge
actuator operation in which a plurality of work ma- at the amount that was present during the teaching,
chine actuators are operated, there is a risk that the thereby assuring that the same operation as speci-
amount of flow supplyed to the actuators may 55 fied by the teachings will be performed. If a vari-
change, also resulting in movement of the machine ation in the load has occurred during multiple-
along a locus different from the taught locus, actuator operation, the method uses a pressure
hence, in degraded accuracy of operation. compensated flow control valve disposed in an

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3 EP 0 448 716 B1 4

inflow circuit through which the actuators are sup- actuator are illustrated and will be described so as
plied with flow. The valve is operated to adjust, i.e., to avoid reader's confusion.
increase or decrease, the flows supplied to the The automatization controller 3 (hereinafter ab-
actuators in such a manner that the actual flows will breviated to "AC") comprises an input interface 13,
become equal to the amounts that were present 5 a circuit 14 for performing calculation and control
during the teaching, thereby assuring that exactly on the basis of the signal input through the inter-
the same operation as the taught operation will be face 13, a circuit 15 for storing processing proce-
performed. dures, constants, etc., and an output interface 16
Therefore, the method according to the present for outputting the values obtained by the calcula-
invention is capable of, in addition to various ad- io tion and control. During teaching, the AC 3 con-
vantages inherent in a teaching and playback verts the work machine lever operation amount into
method, overcoming the problem conventionally an electric signal, stores the signal, and performs
encountered, i.e., a variation in the load causing a the necessary calculation. During playback, the AC
deviation in the playback movement, more specifi- 3 transmits the stored data to the electronic con-
cally, a discrepancy in the locus of the work ma- 15 trailer 4 by generating an output signal.
chine from that taught during teaching. The method The AC 3 is connected with switches 17, 18
overcomes the problem by maintaining, through and 19. The switch 17 is a mode changeover
engine output control, the pump discharge at a switch for changing from one of the manual mode
certain amount and by maintaining, through flow (designated by "OFF" in Fig. 1), the automatic
adjustment, the flows supplied to the actuators at 20 teaching mode ("T"), and the automatic playback
certain amounts. Consequently, the operation dur- mode (P).to another of these three modes. The
ing playback can be performed with improved ac- switches 18 and 19 are each a teaching or
curacy. This is a great improvement in the automa- playback ON/OFF switch for starting and terminat-
tization of work machines. ing a teaching or playback operation.
Fig. 1 is a circuit diagram of a circuit for the 25 The electronic controller 4 (hereinafter abbre-
teaching and playback control of a work ma- viated to "EC") is connected, via signal circuits 20
chine to which an embodiment of the present and 21, with the electronic hydraulic valve 11.
invention is applied; During playback, the EC 4 operates the valve 11
Fig. 2 is a circuit diagram of a control circuit on the basis of the signal input from the AC 3 so
having electronic poppet valves substituting an 30 as to control, through the actuator 10, a playback
electronic hydraulic valve of the circuit shown in operation of the work machine. During playback, in
Fig. 1; and order to cope with a variation in the load, the EC 4
Fig. 3 is a flowchart showing control performed receives feedback input signals and sends, on the
in the embodiment shown in Fig. 1. basis of these input signals, command signals for
Certain embodiments of the present invention 35 the control of various members. For this purpose,
will now be described with reference to the draw- the EC 4 is connected with the engine fuel injection
ings. control device 5 via input/output signal circuits 22
Fig. 1 shows a circuit for the teaching and and 23, with the regulator 7 of the variable-dis-
playback control of a work machine (not shown), placement pump 8 via input/output signal circuits
such as a hydraulic excavator, to which an embodi- 40 24 and 25, and with the pressure compensated
ment of the present invention is applied. The con- flow control valve 12 via input/output signal circuits
trol circuit includes a work machine lever 1, a 26 and 27. When a variation has occurred in the
device 2 for converting the operation amount of the load during a playback operation, commands from
work machine lever 1 into an electrical signal, an the EC 4 cause the engine output and/or pump
automatization controller 3, an electronic controller 45 discharge to be controlled in proportion to a value
4, a device 5 for controlling the amount of fuel indicative of the variation, so that the pump dis-
injected into an engine 6, and a variable-displace- charge will be maintained at the discharge amount
ment pump 8 connected to the engine 6. The that was present during the teaching. If a load
pump 8 has a regulator 7. An actuator 10, an variation has occurred during a multiple-actuator
electronic hydraulic valve 11 and a pressure com- 50 operation, the pressure compensated flow control
pensated flow control valve 12 are connected to an valve 12 is controlled in a similar manner in propor-
inflow circuit 9 which is in turn connected to the tion to a variation value, so that the flow supplied to
pump 8. the actuator 10 will be maintained at the flow
Although not shown, the hydraulic excavator supply amount that was present during the teach-
has a plurality of work machine pump levers, and a 55 ing.
plurality of actuators corresponding thereto. Since Specifically, the EC 4 stores signals output
the levers or the actuators have the same construc- from the pump 8 and the flow control valve 12
tion, only one of the levers and the corresponding during the teaching. When a change in the dis-

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5 EP 0 448 716 B1 6

charge of the pump 8, caused by a variation in the an electrical signal, to the AC 3, and is then stored
load on the actuator, has been detected, the EC 4 therein. The electrical signal indicative of the lever
operates to output an engine rotational speed ad- operation amount is also input, through the EC 4,
justing signal to the fuel injection control device 5 to the solenoids 32 and 33 of the electronic hy-
of the engine 6 which is directly connected to the 5 draulic valve 11. Through the control of the valve
pump 8, thereby performing control in such a man- 11, the actuator 10 is operated in such a manner
ner that the discharge of the pump 8 will become that the work machine moves along a predeter-
equal to the discharge amount that was present mined locus, the machine thus being taught. The
during the teaching. On the other hand, there are a teaching mode is terminated by turning off the
plurality of actuators 10, each associated with a io switch 18.
flow control valve 12 and an electronic hydraulic
valve 11, which actuators 10 may be driven in a (2) Playback Operation:
suitable combination thereof during a multiple-ac-
tuator operation. If such an operation is performed Prior to the start of a playback operation, the
during playback, the actual flows which are present is posture of the work machine is set. Thereafter, the
during the playback operation are compared with mode changeover switch 17 is operated to select
the flow amounts which were present during the the playback mode (P). Then, the playback switch
teaching. The EC 4 performs control, with or with- 19 is turned on, thereby starting a playback opera-
out a variation in the load, in such a manner that tion.
the actual flows will become equal to the flow 20 The playback operation is repeated until the
amounts during the teaching. playback switch 19 is turned off. When, during the
The EC 4 has a construction similar to that of playback, the load has varied from the level applied
the above-described AC 3, and comprises an input during the teaching, no special operation from the
interface 28, a control circuit 29 for performing operator is required. Instead, the engine output is
calculation and control on the basis of the signal 25 automatically controlled in such a manner as to
input through the interface 28, a circuit 30 for maintain the pump discharge at the amount that
storing processing procedures, constants, etc., and was present during the teaching. When a load
an output interface 31 for outputting the values variation has occurred during a multiple-actuator
obtained by the calculation and control. operation, the pressure compensated flow control
The electronic hydraulic valve 11 is, as de- 30 valve 12 is adopted to adjust the flows in such a
scribed above, used to control the operation of the manner that they are maintained at the amounts
actuator 10. A voltage indicative of the operation that were present during the teaching. Thus, the
amount of the work machine lever 1 is input to the playback can be performed exactly as specified by
valve 11, and command currents are applied to two the teaching.
solenoids 32 and 33 of the valve 11, with the 35 When, during the playback, the operator op-
relationship of the command currents being cal- erates the work machine lever 1, an additional
culated and controlled. The electronic hydraulic signal is added to the AC 3 so that the electronic
valve 11 may be substituted by electronic poppet hydraulic valve 11 and the actuator 10 are operated
valves 34a to 34d, as shown in Fig 2. With this in accordance with the additional signal as well.
substitution, when signals expressing the command 40 Fig. 3 shows a flowchart illustrating the teach-
currents from the EC 4 are input to two solenoids ing and playback control. The flowchart shows ba-
35a and 35b, a meter-in poppet valve 34a and a sic procedures for carrying out a teaching and
meter-out poppet valve 34b open in response to playback method for a work machine according to
and in accordance with the signals, whereby a the present invention. In Step S1, initial setting is
command flow in accordance with the command 45 performed. A determination is made, in Step S2, as
currents is supplied to the actuator 10. to whether or not the current mode is an automatic
Next, description will be given of the manner mode. If the current mode is an automatic mode, it
and procedure of operations performed by the is determined, in Step S3, whether it is the teach-
teaching and playback control circuit. ing mode or the playback mode.
50 If the current mode is the teaching mode, it is
(1) Teaching Operation: determined, in Step S4, whether or not the teach-
ing switch is turned on, and, in Step S5, whether or
The teaching mode (T) is selected by switching not the playback switch is turned off. If affirmative
the position of the mode changeover switch 17. answers are obtained in both of Steps S4 and S5,
Subsequently, the teaching switch 18 is turned on 55 the memory of the electronic controller is cleared
to start a teaching operation. When the work ma- in Step S6. When a signal indicative of the opera-
chine lever 1 is moved to the desired direction, the tion of the work machine lever 1 has been input,
amount by which the lever is operated is input, as the lever signal is stored (Step S7). The teaching

4
7 EP 0 448 716 B1 8

mode is terminated when the teaching switch is teaching mode, the engine (6) output is re-
turned off. duced to a value smaller than the rated output
On the other hand, if the current mode is the of the engine, which value is then stored as the
playback mode, determinations are made as to engine output to be used during said playback
whether or not the playback switch is turned on 5 mode, and wherein, in said control mode en-
(Step S8) and whether or not the teaching switch is tered upon the detection of a variation in the
turned off (Step S9). If affirmative answers were load during said playback mode, the actual
obtained in both of Steps S8 and S9, the data engine output is controlled.
stored in a memory of the electronic controller is
read (Step S10). In Step S11, on the basis of the io 3. A teaching and a playback method for a work
memory data, a driving signal is output to the machine according to claim 1, wherein, in said
electronic hydraulic valve 11. In this step, if an control mode entered upon the detection of a
additional signal indicative of the operation of the variation in the load during said playback
work machine lever 1 has been added, this signal mode, the actual flows supplied to said ac-
is also output to the valve 11. When the reading of 15 tuators are adjusted by a pressure compen-
the memory data has been completed, the sated flow control valve disposed in an inflow
playback operation is completed (Step S12). circuit connected to said actuators.
The teaching and playback method according
to the present invention is applicable to construc- Patentanspruche
tion equipment. The method can be particularly 20
advantageously applied to the hydraulic drive ap- 1. Programmier- und Playback-Verfahren fur Ma-
paratus of a hydraulic excavator. The method is schinen, bestehend aus folgenden Schritten:
applicable to a work machine of any type which Realisierung der Betriebsart Programmie-
has an hydraulic drive apparatus and which is rung wahrend des Programmierens, wobei ein
required to perform repeated operations. 25 Operationssignal gespeichert wird, welches die
Betatigung einer Vielzahl von Stellgliedern (1)
Claims der Maschine durch den Maschinenbediener
anzeigt, wobei diese Betriebsart realisiert wird,
1. A teaching and playback method for a work indem die AbfluBmenge der Pumpe (8) und die
machine comprising the steps of: 30 DurchfluBmengen zum Stellglied (1) gespei-
effecting a teaching mode during teaching chert werden, die wahrend des Programmie-
where an operation signal indicative of the rungsvorgangs vorliegen;
operator's operation of a plurality of work ma- Realisierung der Betriebsart Playback, in
chine actuators is stored, welcher die Stellglieder (1) entsprechend den
effecting a playback mode in which said 35 wahrend der Betriebsart Programmierung ge-
actuators (1) are operated in accordance with speicherten Daten betatigt werden, so dal3 die
the data stored during the teaching mode so Stellglieder (1) genau die gleichen Operationen
that said actuators perform the same operation ausfuhren wie bei der Bedienung durch den
as that by the operator; and Maschinenbediener; und
effecting a control mode in which, when a 40 Realisierung der Betriebsart Regelung, in
variation in the load has been detected during welcher beim Feststellen einer Abweichung bei
the playback mode, a correction is generated, der Belastung wahrend der Betriebsart Play-
characterized in that the teaching mode being back eine Korrektur veranlaBt wird, dadurch
effected in such a manner as to store the gekennzeichnet, dal3 die Betriebsart Program-
pump (8) discharge amount and the amounts 45 mieren realisiert wird, indem die AbfluBmenge
of flow supplied to said actuator (1) that are der Pumpe (8) und die DurchfluBmengen zum
present during the teaching; and that for the Stellglied (1) gespeichert werden, die wahrend
correction the output of the engine (6) linked des Programmierungsvorgangs vorliegen und
with the pump (8) is controlled and the flows dadurch gekennzeichnet, dal3 bei der Korrektur
supplied to the individual actuators are ad- 50 die Leistung des mit der Pumpe (8) verbunde-
justed in such a manner that the actual pump nen Motors (6) geregelt wird und die Durch-
discharge and the actual flows supplied to said fluBmengen zu den einzelnen Stellgliedern (1)
actuators become equal to the stored pump so angepaBt werden, dal3 die tatsachliche Ab-
discharge amount and the stored actuator flow fluBmenge der Pumpe (8) und die tatsachli-
supply amounts, respectively. 55 chen DurchfluBmengen zu den Stellgliedern (1)
jeweils mit der gespeicherten AbfluBmenge der
2. A teaching and a playback method for a work Pumpe (8) und mit den DruchfluBmengen zu
machine according to claim 1, wherein, in said den Stellgliedern (1) ubereinstimmen.

5
9 EP 0 448 716 B1 10

2. Programmier- und Playback-Verfahren fur Ma- actionneurs deviennent egaux a la quan-


schinen entsprechend Anspruch 1, bei dem in tite de decharge de pompe memorisee
der Betriebsart Programmierung die Leistung et aux quantites d'alimentation de flux
des Motors (6) auf einen Wert unterhalb der des actionneurs memorisees, respective-
Nennleistung des Motors (6) reduziert wird und 5 ment.
dieser Wert dann als Motorleistung gespeichert
wird, die in der Betriebsart Playback verwendet Procede d'apprentissage et de lecture de me-
wird, und bei dem in der Betriebsart Regelung, moire pour une machine de travail selon la
in welche beim Auftreten einer Abweichung revendication 1, dans lequel, dans ledit mode
der Belastung wahrend der Betriebsart Play- 10 d'apprentissage, la puissance du moteur (6)
back gewechselt wird, die tatsachliche Motor- est reduite a une valeur plus petite que la
leistung geregelt wird. puissance nominale du moteur, laquelle valeur
est alors memorisee comme la puissance du
3. Programmier- und Playback-Verfahren fur Ma- moteur a utiliser pendant ledit mode de lecture
schinen entsprechend Anspruch 1, bei dem im is de memoire, et dans lequel, dans ledit mode
Betriebszustand Regelung, in welche beim de commande entre lors de la detection d'une
Auftreten einer Abweichung der Belastung variation dans la charge pendant ledit mode de
wahrend der Betriebsart Playback gewechselt lecture de memoire, la puissance reelle du
wird, die tatsachlichen DurchfluBmengen zu moteur est commandee.
den Stellgliedern (1) mit Hilfe eines Druckaus- 20
gleichsventils zur Steuerung des Durchflusses Procede d'apprentissage et de lecture de me-
angepaBt werden, welches sich in einem Zu- moire pour une machine de travail selon la
fluBkreis befindet, der mit den Stellgliedern (1) revendication 1, dans lequel, dans ledit mode
verbunden ist. de commande entre lors de la detection d'une
25 variation de la charge pendant ledit mode de
Revendicatlons lecture de memoire, les flux reels fournis aux-
dits actionneurs sont regies par une vanne de
1. Procede d'apprentissage et de lecture de me- commande de flux compensee en pression,
moire pour une machine de travail, compre- disposee dans un circuit d'entree de flux relie
nant les etapes consistant a : 30 auxdits actionneurs.
- mettre en oeuvre un mode d'apprentissa-
ge pendant I'apprentissage ou un signal
operatoire, indiquant I'actionnement par
I'operateur d'une pluralite d'actionneurs
de la machine de travail, est memorise, 35
- mettre en oeuvre un mode de lecture de
memoire dans lequel lesdits actionneurs
(1) sont actionnes conformement aux
donnees stockees pendant le mode d'ap-
prentissage, de sorte que lesdits action- 40
neurs realisent la meme operation que
celle effectuee par I'operateur ; et
- mettre en oeuvre un mode de comman-
de dans lequel, quand une variation dans
la charge a ete detectee pendant le 45
mode de lecture de memoire, une cor-
rection est engendree, caracterise en ce
que le mode d'apprentissage est effectue
de fagon a memoriser la quantite de
decharge de pompe (8) et des quantites 50
de flux fournies audit actionneur (1) qui
sont presentes pendant I'apprentissage,
et en ce que, pour la correction, la puis-
sance du moteur (6) lie a la pompe (8)
est commandee et les flux fournis aux 55
actionneurs individuels sont regies d'une
fagon telle que la decharge de pompe
reelle et les flux reels fournis auxdits

6
P 0 448 716 B1
EP 0 448 716 B1

START

INITIAL
SETTING

WORK
CLEAR MEMORY START R E A D I N G
MACHINE
LEVER MEMORY

S7
S11- MEMORY DATA
STORE +
LEVER S I G N A L
LEVER S I G N A L

S12 COMPLETE
READING MEMORY

F I G . 3