Tag: Pfaff-Silberblau

Pfaff Rail Systems Help Maintain London Underground Tube Trains

Pfaff Rail Systems Help Maintain London Underground Tube Trains

rail systems
At Ealing Common Depot, a railway service workshop of the London Underground, the tube subway trains used on the District Line will now be maintained with the aid of a lifting system from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik GmbH located in Kissing, Germany. On account of its futuristic design, the maintenance staff has nicknamed the versatile and unique system the “Transformer.”

The dual-purpose system is comprised of a total of 28 stationary hybrid lifting jacks from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik with bogie lifting beams and body supports that raise and hold the trains, which measure up to 384 ft (117 m) long and 4.7 ft (1.44 m) high. This design gives engineers ample and safe access underneath the train when performing service.

Precision and Versatility

rail systemsThe versatility of the lifting system from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik lies with its ability to lift the tube trains as either a complete unit or as individual carriages to infinitely adjustable, ergonomic heights. The 28 jacks can lift up to 308 tons (280 metric tons), and the supports can carry a load of up to 218 tons (196 metric tons). This is a task that requires utmost precision. If a complete train is lifted, the lifting process of the Pfaff-silberblau jacks runs in precise synchronization with a deviation of less than ± 2 mm. The worm gear screw jacks achieve this precision through a series of frequency converters, which also permit different lifting speeds within the system.

Once the vehicle has been lifted, the next set of system components is ready to go into action. The jacks feature additional motor-driven supports for holding up the carriage bodies. This, in turn, makes it possible to lower the individual bogies back down onto the rails and roll them out from underneath the raised vehicle. Large, bright LED lights integrated into the lifting beams ensure illumination of the work area under the raised vehicle.

Once the Pfaff Verkehrstechnik system is lowered, the lifting beams mesh together with the main rail and sit flush with the floor. As soon as the lifting beams go up, they are followed by gap covers, thereby resealing the recesses, which would otherwise remain open, such that they can be stood on.

The lifting system and the work processes are controlled by an easy-to-use touch display, which also enables the maintenance staff to check the status of all major system components at all times.

New and Cost-Efficient Concept

Pfaff Verkehrstechnik’s hybrid lifting jack system is a new concept and will serve as a cost-effective alternative to established underfloor lifting and support systems. It is an excellent value for our customers due in part to the fact that extremely shallow pit depths require significantly less foundation work.

The motion technology for the lifting system from Pfaff Verkehrstechnik GmbH was developed by Pfaff’s sister company also based in Kissing – Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products (CMEP). Working together, they were able to provide a sophisticated system that will meet the ongoing needs of the London Underground.

Pfaff-silberblau Provides Specially Designed Lifting System for Flood Protection Gate in Germany

Pfaff-silberblau Provides Specially Designed Lifting System for Flood Protection Gate in Germany

CMCO Sperrwerk Greifswald
Anyone who lives or works along a body of water knows that flooding is always a concern. In the North/Baltic Sea region, the city region of Greifswald and the urban district of Greifswald-Wieck in Germany know this all too well. Due to its exposed location, this region is one of the most vulnerable in the area. So, this summer, the first steps were taken to protect this area from storm surges with the construction of a flood barrier in Griefswald. This barrier utilizes Pfaff-silberblau brand SHE worm gear screw jacks, manufactured by Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products in Germany, to move the sliding gates of the harbor pier into place to protect against flood waters.

The new flood barrier in Greifswald is part of what is currently the largest coastal protection project in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. If a flood warning is issued, the main gate of the flood barrier is locked with the aid of a revolving segment to protect against high tide. At the same time, sliding gates that are approximately 55.7 ft (17 meters) wide and weigh 19.8 tons (18 metric tons) are closed on the south and north pier of the flood barrier. These gates run on railway tracks similar in principle to an oversized sliding door. This is precisely where the worm gear screw jacks from Pfaff-silberblau come in.

In the event of an emergency, and also for maintenance purposes, each sliding gate has to be lifted from its parked position in the sliding gate chambers of the dam. This is done using a rocker with travel wheel to lift the gate up to 5.9 inches (150 millimeters) and then safely lower it onto the rail. The wheel is lifted at a speed of 1.96 inches (0.05 meters) per minute by means of an electromechanical drive unit designed specifically for this application by Pfaff-silberblau.

CMCO Sperrwerk Greifswald
This drive unit consists of a 25 Series worm gear screw jack with a rotating and self-locking trapezoidal screw, special travelling nut, absolute encoder, special grease and a bevel gear box motor with 2 hp (1.5 kW) actuating power. In case of an emergency, the drive unit also features a hand wheel at the motor.

When designing the drive unit, the team also took special care to ensure the harsh conditions of this outdoor maritime application would not affect its functionality. The screw jack has a special flexible protection boot. All other driving elements are made of weatherproof materials and are protected with special high-quality paint. The electrical components are designed in compliance with protection class IP66. Because of these features, the drive solution from Pfaff-silberblau can also withstand outdoor use in temperatures ranging from -4°F to +122°F (-20°C to +50°C.)

This is a great example demonstrating how Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products designs special systems to meet tough and challenging customer applications.

Pfaff-silberblau Products Perform in “The Miracle of Bern”

Pfaff-silberblau Products Perform in “The Miracle of Bern”

Photo Courtesy of http://www.stage-entertainment.de/

Columbus McKinnon recently supplied Pfaff-silberblau brand products for a new musical venue in Hamburg, Germany. Stage Entertainment constructed the ultra-modern performance venue, “Theater an der Elbe,” capable of holding more than 1,800 spectators for the production of “The Miracle of Bern.”

Stage Entertainment commissioned Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH, based in Kissing, for the design, project planning and construction of the stage upper machinery and the “iron curtain” for the venue.

For the technical fire-protection equipment and the stage upper machinery, the company invested in tried-and-trusted stage technology from Pfaff-silberblau – our powerful DELTA electromechanical wire rope winches. These winches are designed to move the stage scenery and props quickly and precisely, while ensuring a maximum level of safety for the performers on the stage in accordance with the safety regulations for public performance venues BGV C1 and DIN 56950.

For the daily performances of the musical, more than 28 DELTA winches are used. Designed for loads between 650 kg and 1,500 kg, they move stage scenery and props with a speed of 1.2 m/sec and approximately 8 km of wire rope. The winches are anchored in a fly loft, which Pfaff-silberblau designed, produced and installed to meet specific customer requirements. Altogether, Pfaff-silberblau engineers installed a total of 15 tons of structural steelwork for the theatre’s fly loft. This is a great example of Pfaff’s products at work in a tough and challenging application.

Pfaff-Silberblau Keeps Action Alive at Hamburg’s Neue Flora

Pfaff-Silberblau Keeps Action Alive at Hamburg’s Neue Flora


This month we head to Germany to look at an extensive winch application in the Neue Flora, one of Europe’s largest musical theaters located in Hamburg.

In 2002, stage technology specialists from Pfaff Silberblau were involved in the renovation of the Neue Flora to upgrade the fly machinery to a new state-of-the-art technology.  At that time Pfaff delivered 34 electrical wire rope winches used for the various scene changes along with a computerized control system. In the installation, there were 27 winches with a 900 kg capacity and 7 winches with a 1000 kg capacity.

For the Walt Disney Musical TARZAN, the Neue Flora had new requirements.  They installed additional customized electrical wire rope winches in their newly arranged FlyGrid. Each of these winches had to be installed very securely above the stage as they are used for supporting and quickly changing the set and the structures on the stage as necessary. Each one of the centrally controlled winches lifts a max weight of 900 kilograms. Also worth noting is the traveling speed of up to 9.8 ft/sec (3m/sec), which is much greater than the standard 3.9 ft/sec (1.2m/sec).

This installation includes a complete, computerized, control system developed by Fulling & Partner GmbH. The FlyGrid system was the chosen solution for the Tarzan musical since a lot of the action takes place above the heads of the audience, when Tarzan and Jane are swinging through “the jungle”.

Many thanks to our CMCO office located in Velbert, Germany and our sales team at Pfaff-Silberblau for providing this interesting entertainment application story.