Buyers guide: Rigging race

An unusual rigging challenge at Ferrari World.
Analysis, Content production

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In a series of projects akin to its name, Unusual Rigging and Engineering provided the expertise and grunt to rig five Ferrari’s at the car company’s new theme park on Yas Island over a recent two-week period.

The first project at Ferrari World involved ensuring three F1 vehicles took pride of place - hung on platforms on the walls as priceless works of art. Placement was critical, Unusual says, requiring not just detailed measurements, but also a system that would enable careful manoeuvring for the final placement of the platforms.

The firm’s project manager, Leon Ingram, devised a hoist system which comprised a run of square truss and a runner beam carrying two hoists for each platform, thus enabling fine adjustments to be made both laterally and vertically.

The bare platforms were first offered to the wall and positioned to enable the bolt holes to be pre-drilled. They were then lowered back to the ground, where the cars were fitted by the Ferrari team.

After final check by the Unusual Rigging and Engineering crew to ensure they were secure, the platforms and cars - which together weighed 500 kilograms each - were hoisted into position and fixed firmly into place with chemical bolts.

The second project, carried out within the same two week time-frame, involved moving two vehicles – a Ferrari F430 and a Fernando Alonso F1 car – out onto the TechTransfer podium, where they can be seen hung vertically from a central post and revolving in opposite directions.

This careful and delicate move required Unusual Rigging and Engineering to build a bespoke frame to lift and support each of the vehicles, the heaviest being the F430 which weighed 950 kilograms.

The move was carried out using a 15 metre high truss grid, which necessitated two truss towers on each of two levels, with cantilevered support for the higher level.

The grid was fitted with ‘I’ beams on each side and another ‘I’ beam on a cross truss, enabling the vehicles to be moved in any direction.

Even2 investment
Growing demand in rigging expertise has seen Middle East rigging firm Even2 invest in more technologically-advanced products, according to consultant Stefan Wieland.

He says Even2 is facing a busy season with confirmed installation and rental projects along the GCC, Levant and MENA region. “Growing awareness of hiring state-of-the-art and tested material, as well as the qualification of the company riggers is a good thing. It means these are now a choosing point for many clients,” says Wieland.

The firm has recently invested in more chain hoist’s from industry giant Chainmaster in addition to “lots” of rigging hardware and accessories. New and more effective Cyberhoist software InMotion 3D with TimeCode and DMX capability has also been integrated in the scenic and kinetic movement department.

Wieland says attendance at the recent PLASA show and International Rigging Conference proved commercially successful and also gave the firm a chance to share information and build on their riggers knowledge.

“We also closed some distribution deals for some really interesting new products including the first wireless remote control for motor controllers, a new range of specialised tools for truss works, dedicated riggers clothing and some new safety products. We also ordered another 1000 metres of several types of trussing.”

Even2 has also invested in their workforce due to growing demand for technical consulting, appointing Lewis Calderwood to take care of clients in Qatar. Calderwood will work as project manager on a major assignment in December and joins operations director Alex Wurfel and managing director Rene Karnahl as a first point-of-contact for clients.

Tagging it
Anyone that’s in the rigging game knows how difficult it can be to keep track of all the associated hardware, so it’s no surprise that more and more companies are opting to go high-tech in the tracking and tracing of their gear.

Crosby’s ‘Quic-Check’ inspection and identification system combines an electronic inspection software program using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The system gives the user a quick reference to valuable inspection information on the specific product being inspected.

The RFID system means the time taken to complete often labour-intensive process of inspecting hardware including written reports can be drastically reduced. Using a series of drop down menus and check boxes, the inspector easily records the condition of the product in accordance with the specifications.

Compared to conventional inspection methods, the system provides a more streamlined approach, allows for a reduction in the manpower required when performing the inspection,while also providing quicker inspection reports with a higher level of accuracy.

Crosby estimates that users of the system to expect a 65 per cent reduction in the total inspection process time, as well as lower costs.

Stage Technologies release Chainhoist Intelligence controller
The CH:i (ChainHoist Intelligence) is the latest in Stage Technologies’ control systems.

The technology allows control of variable speed chainhoists even if they are integrated into a larger system with power flying winches, performer flying, deck tracks and stage lifts.

Fully compatible with all of Stage Technologies’ control desks and AU:tour touring automation systems, CH:i can be used on the road or in a permanent venue installation.

And the system doesn’t necessitate the purchase of new chainhoists as its compatible with versions from a number of manufacturers. CH:i is compatible with existing variable-speed chainhoists from a number of vendors, providing users with the flexibility to use existing equipment or preferred manufacturer’s chainhoists.

Also new from the company is an enhancement to the popular Verlinde Stagemaker hoist. Stagemaker Max:d uses an onboard variable-speed drive system, providing an advanced feature set to include locked groups, ‘teach and learn’, and complex cueing actions.

With two brakes and fully compliant to VGB-C1, Stagemaker Max:d ticks all the boxes for safety and functionality.

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