SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. and Film Riggers help French Spiderman scale Jhb building

14 March 2019
Specialist rigging company Film Riggers was recently called upon to ensure the safety of Alain Robert, known as the French Spiderman, while scaling a skyscraper in central Johannesburg for an advertisement for an international tyre manufacturer.
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PreviewThe winches devised by Film Riggers use the MOVIDRIVE® drive inverter from SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd.1.21 MBDownload
PreviewSEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. MAXOLUTION® Engineer Dylan Enslin.3.02 MBDownload
video/mp4 iconSpecialist rigging company Film Riggers was recently called upon to ensure the safety of Alain Robert.17.44 MBDownload

The specialist rigging company is a long-time user of automation and mechatronics technology from SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd., in addition to deploying its drives for its customised winches. It was approached by a production company to execute the logistics and safety requirements for the advertisement. The idea was to have Robert climb the building while it was raining, as a metaphor for the extra grip provided by the tyres being showcased.

 

Partner Graham Terrell, who established Film Riggers with Alard Hüfner in 2012, explains that Robert had two ropes attached to a harness, controlled by SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. drives with a custom program based on torque control to belay the climber.

 

The winches devised by Film Riggers use the MOVIDRIVE® drive inverter from SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd., including the IPOSplus® integrated positioning and sequence control system as standard. The drive inverters have a wide power range, large overload capacity, and a modular design. In addition, they facilitate unrestricted application of AC drives, featuring the most modern digital inverter technology, according to MAXOLUTION® Engineer Dylan Enslin.

 

For this particular project, Film Riggers used CM112 synchronous servomotors from SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. Two 11 kW drives were used to secure the climber, and a 30 kW drive for the accompanying camera system.

 

Terrell was given access to the OEM’s electronics workshop to configure a miniature set-up of the system, based on a 0.55 kW MOVIDRIVE® drive inverter. This allowed for more controlled and refined testing, allowing Terrell to ultimately scale up the solution to the specific requirements of the project.

 

Commenting on the challenges posed by the project, Hüfner points out that Film Riggers had the dual responsibility of winching the camera platform up and down, in addition to securing Robert, and ensuring his own safety during the filming process.

 

“The idea was for the camera to be seen to be almost in pursuit of him, then tilting as it went past and tracking him. There were certain changes made at the last minute, which meant we had to adjust our programming in order to cater for the new reference points needed for our rigging,” Terrell elaborates.

 

While this is a unique application of the MOVIDRIVE® drive inverter technology, it is an excellent example of the flexibility and innovation of SEW-EURODRIVE (Pty) Ltd. in responding to specific customer requirements, offering tailormade solutions based on the latest developments, Enslin concludes.

 

Ends

 

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Nomvelo Buthelezi
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