The National Theatre required an overhead crane system to be installed on the scene dock for the Dorfman Theatre to assist their teams with set builds.
The crane system the NT required would need to maximise their operational space and to achieve this a low headroom solution would be the best choice. The work space’s ceiling where the crane is to be installed was not entirely level, so our engineers would need to plan and agree a suitable suspension method for the crane.
We supplied our customer with a radio controlled low headroom Eurosystem ST crane, complete with 2 runways, and 2 crane bridges. Each bridge was rated with a 500kg safe working load and configured with 2 VR Electric Chain Hoists, each with a safe working load of 250kg. In order to optimise the available headroom so the customer could achieve the greatest possible height of lift we opted for a single girder low headroom girder on each bridge.
The ceiling where the installation was planned wasn’t level and had a distinguishable void, so because of this our engineers had to install suspension brackets, that were a mixture of short and long straight ceiling brackets, into the customer’s existing ceiling structure. The long ceiling brackets effectively closed the gap and the crane system was installed safely. To further increase the travel of the hoists and the bridge, the crane system was fitted with an enclosed power feeding line, so as to not lose any hook travel on the hoists, and the whole system can be electrically fed from one point.
Each of the hoists were configured with a Eurosystem Push Travel Trolley allowing for manual movement forwards, backwards, left and right. Partnered with an electric chain hoist to provide powered lifting gives the NT the most suitable lifting solution to meet their requirements, whilst also offering an economical solution.
Whilst on site our engineers fitted a ‘plug and play’ control system whereby the NT can unplug the radio receiver from the hoist and plug in a cabled push button pendant as a backup in the unlikely event of a radio failure, preserving operational time so the NT doesn’t experience equipment down-time on site.
Each of the 4 hoists was fitted with a radio control receiver so that they can all be controlled from the same radio control transmitter. This controller offers tandem lifting functionality so 1, 2, 3 or 4 hoists can be raised and lowered at the same time, and both the controller and the hoists have been labelled ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ for easy identification. The radio transmitter also has an LED light so that when the hoist is selected a corresponding light shows up for that hoist.
“Hoist UK’s engineers are regularly on site at the National Theatre and this latest project is something we discussed with Hoist UK’s Paul Jordan during one of his previous visits. We needed a lifting solution to help our team move and position large and cumbersome props and set pieces, enabling us to build sets in the scene dock area of our recently redeveloped Dorfman Theatre. Paul discussed a few options with us and we agreed that the overhead crane system would be the best solution for our needs.
We know that we can rely on Hoist UK to fully understand our requirements and work with us to provide precisely what we need, one of the main reasons we have developed such a strong working relationship.”
“This latest project is one of many we have worked with the National Theatre to complete and we value the relationship we have built with Kevin and his team. Hoist UK has a lot of experience in the entertainment sector and we apply this knowledge and experience to every project we work on, so that our customers really do get the benefit of our experience.
As always, Kevin had a strong sense of what solution they needed, and we worked with him to plan a crane system that would achieve their operational goals. We look forward to working with Kevin again in the future and we’re delighted that the crane system we have supplied and installed has exceeded the National Theatre team’s expectations.”