Title of Invention  "AN ACTIVE GUIDANCE APPARATUS FOR AN ELEVATOR" 

Abstract  An active guidance apparatus for an elevator active guidance apparatus in order to avoid the action of one actuator (23) from interfering with the action of another, a controller (21) is provided that uses a force law based on a model of the elevator (40), and uses information from all of the sensors (22) in combination to determine, according to the force law, the force each actuator (23) should provide. The model of the elevator (40) is used to determine how the elevator (40) will respond to the forces exerted by the actuators (23). In the preferred embodiment, the elevator (40) is assumed to respond to the actuator forces as a rigid body. The full model is built up from this basic assumption, finally including all of the geometric and inertial attributes of the elevator necessary to describe its rigid body motion in response to forces from actuators (23). 
Full Text  TECHNICAL FIELD The present invention relates to an active guidance apparatus for an elevators and more particularly, to active horizontal guidance as the elevator moves vertically along rails in a hoistway. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Existing active horizontal guidance controllers use a simple control strategy that utilizes only local gap information to hold the elevator within a predetermined operating envelope, essentially a predetermined acceptable range in values of the position, velocity, and acceleration of the elevator. For controllers that are electromagnetbased, socalled active magnetic guidance (AMG) controllers, the electromagnetic actuators that produce forces in a particular direction at a particular guidehead use only the gap information for that direction at that particular guidehead. Since the forces produced by an actuator for one direction at one guidehead can produce motion at another guidehead or at the same guidehead in a transverse direction, when only, information local to an actuator is taken into account by the controller, one actuator can interfere with another. The controllers are often of the "proportional integral derivative" (PID) type. For these controllers, the control information utilized by the controller hi determining actuator forces consists of the gap (determined from the position of the guidehead relative to the rail), the absolute velocity of the guidehead, and the integrated gap over time. Such a controller uses sensors to directly measure guidehead acceleration and gap, and infers velocity of the guidehead from its integrating acceleration over tune. For each guidehead, acceleration and gap are usually sensed hi two directions, called here the x and ydirections, which are mutually perpendicular and also both perpendicular to the direction of the hoistway, taken here to be in the zdirection. In one embodiment of a global controller designed to use nonlocal information, a related patent application ("Active Magnetic Guidance for Elevators," filed August 18, 1994, under U. S. Serial No. 08/292,660) suggested the use of a "coordinated controller" in which gap information was expressed in terms of a set of coordinates especially suitable for the problem of describing the elevator cab motion. However, that invention did not base control of the elevator on knowledge of the dynamics of the elevator; the control law there is not modelbased, and is not designed to avoid actuatoractuator interference. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is to control the position and motion of an elevator relative to the guiderails it moves along as it travels the length of a hoistway, doing so according to a force law that commands a set of actuators to pull the elevator toward the guiderails with a force based on knowledge of the position and acceleration of a set of points of the elevator corresponding to the set of actuators, and based on knowledge of how the elevator as a whole will respond to the pulling forces exerted by the actuators. According to the present invention, an active guidance system for an elevator in a hoistway having two guiderails on opposing walls, the guiderails lying in a direction parallel to a hoistway axis extending lengthwise along the hoistway, the elevator having attached to it four guideheads for guiding the elevator along the guiderails, comprises: a) sensors responsive to absolute acceleration of the elevator and position of the elevator relative to the guiderails at four locations in a first sensing direction transverse to the hoistway axis, and at two locations in a second sensing direction transverse to the hoistway axis, for providing control information signals indicative thereof, b) a controller, responsive to the control information signals, for providing a plurality of force command signals according to a force law, and c) a plurality of actuators, each responsive to a corresponding one of the force command signals, each for exerting positive and negative forces at a location and in a direction corresponding to a location and sensing direction of a corresponding sensor, wherein the force law determines a value of force for exertion by each actuator according to a model that relates geometry and inertia of the elevator to motion of the elevator caused by the forces exerted by the actuators. A controller for such a system is here called a modelbased multiinput multioutput (MIMO) controller, and, according to the present invention, can be a PID type controller. The controller holds the elevator position and motion within a predetermined acceptable range of values. It is modelbased in that it determines what forces the actuator should exert is based on certain simplifying assumptions about the dynamical motion of the elevator cab, such as that the cab can be regarded as a rigid body with velocitydependent damping of its motion transverse to the hoistway, and further based on determining, through measurement and experimentation, values for all the parameters of the model. The controller uses the model to calculate what actuator forces should be exerted to restore the elevator cab to position and motion within an acceptable operating envelope. It is multiinput in that the controller uses gap information from several actuator locations; and it is multioutput in that the same controller produces commands for the actuator associated with each sensor. The upshot of this approach is that each actuator provides forces based not only on the gap information local to it, but on gap information globally, and uses this global information in a dynamical model to determine the precise value of the force each actuator should provide. In this approach, the actuators act in unison. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS An embodiment of the invention is described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Fig. 1 is a drawing of a conventional rollerguide elevator system. Fig. 2 is a drawing of an active magnetic guidance controlled elevator system according to both prior art and the present invention. Fig. 3 shows a controller according to the present invention responsive to a sensed local signal relating to a cab for providing a command signal to an actuator to impress a force. Fig. 4 is a top view of a typical active magnetic guidance system guidehead and the corresponding guiderail according to both prior art and the present invention. Fig. 5 is a schematic of the sidetoside motion, or ydirection motion, of an elevator cab illustrating some of the coordinates used in the model of the present invention. Fig. 6 is another schematic of sidetoside motion, showing both Cartesian coordinates (y1 y2) and generalized coordinates (ɸ1, ɸ2) used to describe that motion. Fig. 7 is a schematic of the fronttoback motion, or xdirection motion, of an elevator cab showing both the Cartesian coordinates (xlt x2, x3, x4) and the generalized coordinates (θ1, θ2, ψ) used in the model of the present invention. Fig. 8 is a predicted comparison of performance under rail disturbance between a conventional singleinput singleoutput controller and the modelbased MIMO controller of the present invention. Fig. 9 is the predicted comparison of performance under wind disturbance between a conventional singleinput singleoutput controller and the modelbased MIMO controller of the present invention. BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Fig. 1, which illustrates prior art, shows an elevator cab 40 held in a rectangular frame 38; the cab is raised and lowered along guiderails (not shown) by steel cables 39. In this prior art, the elevator cab is guided along the guiderails by guidewheels 37, which respond mechanically to the elevator cab moving offtrack. The guiderails are mounted on opposite hoistway walls and a motor in a machine room at the top of the building turns a sheave over which the cables are lain. A counterweight is attached to the other end of the cables. Fig. 2 shows an elevator system with the coordinates used in the model of the preferred embodiment. There are four guideheads 31 affixed to the frame 38. The actuators are electromagnetbased in the preferred embodiment, and are located on the guideheads. These actuators produce forces at each guidehead in the xdirection for countering sidetoside motion, and in the ydirection for countering fronttoback motion, as directed by the controller according to the present invention. Referring now to Fig. 3, a controller 21 according to the present invention responds to gap information from several local sensors 22, each having a corresponding actuator 23. Based on the information from all of the local sensors, the controller calculates the force each actuator should provide by using the model of the elevator cab, thereby holding the elevator motion within a predetermined operating envelope of acceptable position and motion. Fig. 4 shows how electromagnetic actuators can be affixed to a guidehead 31 to move it farther from, or closer to, a guiderail 36 in the two transverse directions, fronttoback (xdirection) and sidetoside (ydirection). Two fronttoback electromagnets 33 on one guidehead are used to provide an xactuator; whereas one electromagnet 32 on one guidehead and its oppositely oriented electromagnet on the other guidehead on the other guiderail, at the same height along the hoistway, is used to form a single yactuator. Thus, eight electromagnets make four xactuators, and four electromagnets make two yactuators. Each such actuator is capable of exerting a force that is positive or negative, controlled by simply turning on one or the other electromagnet of the pair that make up the actuator. The sidetoside (xdirectipn) gap 34 and fronttoback (ydirection) gap 35 are often measured with airgap sensors but can be measured in any convenient manner. Sidetoside and fronttoback acceleration of each guidehead are often measured with an accelerometer. Referring now to Fig. 5, the two yactuators that act on the cab to cause sidetoside motion are shown. In this description the yactuators are associated with the sensors at guideheads with coordinates having numbered subscripts one and two in Fig. 2 are used. Thus, in this control system, sidetoside motion is countered with only two forces Fyl and Fy2, either of which can be positive or negative. Fig. 6 also shows what are here called generalized coordinates (ɸ1, ɸ2) used to describe the sidetoside motion of the elevator cab. These coordinates are related to the (directly measured) Cartesian coordinates (y1, y2), which could also be used to describe the sidetoside motion but which make the equations of motion more complicated. Referring to Fig. 7, the second type of motion is in the fronttoback direction, or xdirection, countered by forces Fxl, Fx2, Fx3 and Fx4 produced by xactuators at guideheads with numbered subscripts one through four in Fig. 2. Fig. 7 also shows the three generalized coordinates (θ1, θ2, ) needed to describe the fronttoback motion assuming the elevator cab is a rigid body. Referring now to Figs. 5, 6 and 7, the geometry and force diagram for the equations of motion ignoring damping for sidetoside and fronttoback motion are shown. In these equations, the acceleration due to gravity is represented by g, Young's modules for stretching of the steel cables is represented by E, and the cross sectional area of each of the steel cables is represented by A. Finally Ix, Iy, Iz, are the moments of inertia of the elevator cab for rotation about the x, y, and z axis, respectively, passing through the center of mass of the elevator cab. The lengths 1ABS and 1ABS between the hitch 41 (Fig. 5) and the top sidetoside actuator and top fronttoback actuators, respectively. Similarly, the lengths 1BCS and 1BCF are between the hitch 41 and the bottom sidetoside actuator and the bottom fronttoback actuators, respectively. Thus the equations for sidetoside motion, or motion in the ydirection, are (Equation Removed) where the sensormeasured gaps y1 and y2 are related to ɸ1 and ɸ2 by the equations (Equation Removed) which define a transformation between the generalized and Cartesian coordinates for sidetoside motion. The overall dynamics of the fronttoback motion, which is motion in the xdirection, can be described by the equations (Equation Removed) where the four sensor measurements xlf x2, x3 and x4 are related to the (generalized coordinates) angles θ1 θ2 and ψ by the equations (Equation Removed) which defines a transformation between the generalized and Cartesian coordinates for fronttoback motion. The dynamical equations for fronttoback and sidetoside motion can be combined into one matrix equation. Using the linear array Q to represent all of the generalized coordinates, and the linear array H to represent all of the actuator forces calculated by the controller, so that (Equation Removed) the dynamical equation can be written in matrix form as (Equation Removed) with matrices M, K, and B defined by the dynamical model, i.e. with elements set equal to the appropriate terms in the dynamical equations for fronttoback and sidetoside motions as written in nonmatrix form above. In addition, the matrix C has as its elements coefficients that represent damping of the transverse motion of the cab (fronttoback and sidetoside motion) in proportion to its transverse velocity. These coefficients are derived from experimental measurements. The linear array H can also be used to represent direct disturbance forces acting on the elevator, such as aerodynamic wind forces. Using the notation G = (y1yr1, y2y, xrxrl, X2xr2, x3xr3, x4xr4) to represent the measured gaps, here accounting for rail irregularities using R = (yrl, yr2, xrl, xr2, xr3, xr4) where each component of the column matrix R is a zdependent constant of the elevator system, the equations of the coordinate transformation between the gap measurements G and the generalized coordinates Q can be written in matrix form as G = TQ  R where T is the 6 x 5 transformation matrix defined by the above equations that relate the Cartesian gaps to the generalized coordinates for both fronttoback and sidetoside motion. With this notation, the forces to be provided by each actuator, according to the modelbased MIMO controller in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, are given by (Equation Removed) where KP, KD, and KI are 5 x 5 diagonal matrices with diagonal elements determined as described below. With this choice of the control law, the dynamical equation becomes, in matrix form, (Equation Removed) and by eliminating the common factor, matrix M, the system of dynamical equations becomes five uncoupled nonhomogeneous integrodifferential equations. To use this force law it is necessary to determine values for the (diagonal) elements of KP, KD, and KI. These are determined by setting the righthand side of the equation to zero. This results in five uncoupled homogeneous integrodifferential equations, which, in matrix form, is a systemindependent control equation (Equation Removed) with Q(t) as the unknown, representing motion of the elevator in terms of the generalized coordinates in the absence of rail irregularities. For instance, the equation for ɸ1 becomes (Equation Removed) where the variables kd1, kp1, and ku are the 11 (diagonal) elements of KD, KP and KI respectively, and are chosen so as to hold the elevator to within a predetermined operating envelope with respect to the generalized coordinate ɸ1. In the present context, the term operating envelope refers to an acceptable range in the position, velocity, and acceleration of the elevator in each generalized coordinate, each generalized coordinate corresponding to a different degree of freedom of the elevator according to the model used. From the point of view of the sensors at each guidehead, the controller should ami to hold .a nominal gap at each guidehead, it should respond with a minimum force from the actuators to an offbalancing force, such as from an imbalance in load tending to tilt the elevator, and it should respond so as to move the elevator back to the nominal gap without causing the elevator to vibrate internally i.e. hi nonrigid body (elastic) modes of vibration. In practice, the values of the (diagonal) elements of the matrices KD, KP and KI are chosen by transforming each of the individual integrodifferential equations represented by the systemindependent control equation into an algebraic equation, using, for example, a Laplace transform. Then to hold the elevator within the operating envelope, the values of the (diagonal) elements of KD, KP and KI are chosen, according to the teaching of the present invention, so that, first, the algebraic equation has its poles in the lefthalf complex plane. Next, values of the KP elements are chosen to ensure necessary minimum spring rates, and the Kj elements are chosen to set how fast the controller should center the elevator if it moves offcenter because of an unbalance in load. Finally, the KD elements are chosen to be as large as possible, but not so large as to cause the cab to vibrate as an elastic deformable body. To avoid exciting these modes of vibration, which are higher in frequency than the rigid body oscillatory motion of the cab, the elements of KD must be kept below a threshold that depends on the elevator. Consistent with this constraint on KD, the elements of KP and Kr are chosen to be above minimum values preset by the user so that the poles of the equations derived by Laplace transform of the integrodifferential equations for each of the generalized coordinates have as negative a real part as possible. Figures 8 and 9 show a prediction of how a singleinput singleoutput (SISO) controller would perform compared to a modelbased MIMO controller according to the present invention. The two kinds of controllers in this comparison have been tuned to yield approximately the same level of performance with a rail disturbance input, as shown in Fig. 8. The displacement of the elevator per unit rail disturbance is seen to be the same at all frequencies for both controllers. As shown in Fig. 9, for the same set of gains, the modelbased MIMO controller yields far superior performance when a wind disturbance is imposed. The displacement per unit of wind force is seen to be almost an order of magnitude less hi the case of the modelbased MIMO controller compared to the SISO controller. The modelbased MIMO controller in this case also has a 6 db gain margin and a 40° phase margin. Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to a best mode embodiment, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and various other changes, omissions and additions in the form and detail thereof may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. We Claim: 1. An active guidance apparatus for an elevator in a hoistway having two guiderails on opposing walls, the guiderails lying in a direction parallel to a hoistway axis extending lengthwise along the hoistway, the elevator having attached to it four guideheads for guiding the elevator along the guiderails, the active guidance apparatus comprising: • sensors responsive to absolute acceleration of the elevator and position of the elevator relative to the guiderails at four locations in a first sensing direction transverse to the hoistway axis, and at two locations in a second sensing direction transverse to the hoistway axis, for providing control information signals indicative thereof, • a controller, responsive to the control information signals, for providing a plurality of force command signals according to a force law, and • a plurality of actuators, each responsive to a corresponding one of the force command signals, each for exerting positive and negative forces at a location and in a direction corresponding to a location and sensing direction of a corresponding sensor, wherein the force law determines a value of force for exertion by each actuator according to a model that relates geometry and inertia of the elevator to motion of the elevator caused by the forces exerted by the actuators, wherein the model is of a rigid body with damping of motion transverse to the hoistway axis, and so uses a dynamical equation (Equation Removed) to predict the motion of the elevator transverse to the hoistway axis, where • Q is a fivecomponent column matrix of generalized coordinates that in combination describe the elevator motion transverse to the hoistway axis, and is related to a sixcomponent column matrix G of gap values indicated by the sensors according to a transformation equation G—TQR, in which T is a sixbyfive matrix determined from the geometry of the elevator and R is a sixcomponent column matrix representing rail irregularities corresponding to each sensor; • H is a sixcomponent column matrix, one component for each actuator, each component having a value representing the magnitude and direction of force each actuator is to provide; • B is a fivebysix matrix, with components calculated from the geometry of the elevator, that relates forces applied by the actuators to the motion of the elevator expressed in the generalized coordinates; • M and K are fivebyfive matrices, M having calculated components depending on inertia of the elevator and K having calculated components depending on restoring torques acting on the elevator; and • C is a fivebyfive matrix having components representing damping of motion of the elevator in the first and second sensing directions transverse to the hoistway axis. 2. The active guidance system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the force law is (Equation Removed) where KP, KD, and KI are fivebyfive diagonal matrices with elements chosen so that a system independent control equation (Equation Removed) has a solution Q representing motion of the elevator in the first and second sensing direction transverse to the hoistway axis within a predetermined operating envelope. 3. An active guidance apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein each actuator comprises two electromagnets oriented and positioned for pulling the elevator along a same line in opposite directions. 

2211del1997correspondenceothers.pdf
2211del1997correspondencepo.pdf
2211del1997description (complete).pdf
2211del1997petition137.pdf
2211del1997petition138.pdf
Patent Number  214567  

Indian Patent Application Number  2211/DEL/1997  
PG Journal Number  09/2008  
Publication Date  29Feb2008  
Grant Date  13Feb2008  
Date of Filing  08Aug1997  
Name of Patentee  OTIS ELEVATOR COMPANY  
Applicant Address  TEN FARM SPRINGS, FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT 06032, USA.  
Inventors:


PCT International Classification Number  B66B 7/00  
PCT International Application Number  N/A  
PCT International Filing date  
PCT Conventions:
