PI 050-13 Lohr am Main, 2013-06-05

More stringent safety requirements for stage drives


Testbay for stage drives

New technological developments and tightened standards pose challenges to manufacturers and users

At present, an intense safety discussion is arising in the field of stage automation. Two factors give rise to the need for action: Firstly, new test and simulation setups provide important results in the measurement of load peaks for various emergency stop scenarios. This leads to changes in the technical basis for planners, manufacturers, experts, and operators. Secondly, the landscape of standards is changing: national regulations were revised and now stipulate more precise requirements.

Safety technology always reflects state of the art. New findings in science or by individual manufacturers set new boundary conditions and will later be integrated in standards and laws. This was the case with, for example, cars. In the 1970s, individual manufacturers carried out crash tests. As a consequence, they fundamentally changed the design of their cars. New findings and technical progress change safety technology also in stage technology.

Increasingly more powerful and faster drives

Recently, we have observed a continuing trend towards increasingly more powerful stage drives. State of the art in overhead machinery are payloads of up to one ton at velocities of up to 1.8 m/sec. “We felt that in view of this performance, it was not possible to continue to upgrade the rating for the designs in a linear fashion”, explains Volker Kirsch, Sales Manger of Stage Technology at Bosch Rexroth. “The results showed that we were right.”

In a test bay set up specifically for drives systems of stage technology, Bosch Rexroth engineers carried out comprehensive test series. The result: In the test setup that largely simulates the situation in a theatre, loads occurred at both, the mass to be moved and the machine, which were much higher than twice the nominal load. Consequently, the rating of components involved in the flow of forces must be rated for significantly greater forces.

“This does not mean that existing stage drives are generally less safe” underlines Volker Kirsch. The majority of installed drives are clearly smaller than modern heavy-duty drives, for which the test setups were dimensioned.“

Manufacturers and users must now take these challenges. Bosch Rexroth already implemented the findings from tests in first solutions.

Economical, precise, safe, and energy efficient: drive and control technology from Bosch Rexroth moves machines and systems of any size. The company bundles global application experience in the market segments of Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation, and Renewable Energies to develop innovative components as well as tailored system solutions and services. Bosch Rexroth offers its customers hydraulics, electric drives and controls, pneumatics, gear technology, and linear motion and assembly technology all from one source. With locations in over 80 countries, more than 37,500 associates generated sales revenue of approximately 6.5 billion euros in 2012.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In fiscal 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.5 billion euros. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.8 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

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Susanne Herzlieb
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-1573