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Cab

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(Redirected from cab)
Mechanical Features and Designs

A cab refers to an enclosed compartment situated on top of the undercarriage of a machine, where the machine’s operational controls are located and, therefore, where  the machine operated.

Cab design is very important to the efficient operation of any piece of equipment. Since an operator has to sit in the cab for extended lengths of time, the ergonomics an safety features of the cab are of particular importance because they increase the machine’s overall productivity if planned and designed well.[1] Today, checklists are used dictate what goes into designing a good ergonomic and safe cab.

Contents

[edit] Range of Vision

For example, new modern cabs are being built with larger glass windows that contain slimmer pillars and no crossbar to diminish blind spots. To eliminate sun glare and dust, and minimize susceptibility to fallen objects, cabs also feature sun visors, rain shields, and falling object rollover protection systems.[2] Getting rid of clutter in the cab, especially from the operator's foot area, is also of paramount importance.[3] Instrument panels are also being moved to the side of the cab so as not to crowd the operator's forward view.[4]

[edit] Controls

Controls are being standardized and designed smaller and more compact to fit more comfortably in palm of the hand. The integration of multi-lever controls to multi-functional joysticks is also a new, recent development in cab design. Such multi-functional joysticks combine finger switches to control attachments, speed, the horn, and the blinkers.[5]

[edit] Seating

Since the operator is expected to sit in the cab of the machine for extended periods of time, an ergonomic seat is necessary. Almost all construction equipment designed today features an air suspension seat. The air suspension seat provides a more robust “spring rate” adjustment to accommodate a wider range of operator sizes and operating conditions.[6] Several modes of adjustment are also factored into seat design such as weight, leg support angle, backrest angle, lumbar support, forward and back, height and armrest height, and whether the controls are adjustable in relation to the seat.[7]

[edit] Noise and Vibration

Stronger undercarriages that have a lower resistance to vibration and noise and other types of anti-vibration components are key aspects incorporated in good cab design.[8] The walls of the cab are also being built heavier to sustain vibration and minimize noise levels.[9]

Anti-vibration components on construction equipment are also designed to deal with a variety of operating conditions and shock inputs that include rough terrain to accidental impacts and unloading and loading heavy burdens.[10]

[edit] Environmental Control Systems

To regulate the internal temperature within the cab, manufacturers are now outfitting machines with very sophisticated heating/ ventilating/ air conditioning (HVAC) systems.[11]

[edit] Comfort and Efficiency

The trend among many equipment manufacturers today in designing cabs that maximize a machine's or unit's overall efficiency is to use very complex virtual reality software and tools to test different aspects of cab ergonomics. The data yielded from these tests is then being used to analyze the full scope of operator comfort, accommodation, and usability inside the cab.[12]

Therefore, some of the things that might be considered modern cab design include:

  • range of vision
  • seat design
  • climate control
  • air conditioning
  • layout of control panel and control design
  • noise and vibration (anti-vibration components and shock inputs)

[edit] References

  1. Making Machines For Mankind. Goliath. 2008-09-29.
  2. Making Machines for Mankind. Goliath. 2008-09-29.
  3. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  4. Making Machines for Mankind. Goliath. 2008-09-29.
  5. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  6. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  7. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  8. Making Machines for Mankind. 2008-09-29.
  9. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  10. Making Machines for Mankind. 2008-09-29.
  11. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.
  12. MacKenzie, Stuart. The Evolution of Ergonomics. Site Prep. May 1, 2007. 2008-09-29.