Encoders put on a good show
Heidenhain absolute en-coder technology is playing a key role in the global success of Stage Technologies' stage engineering automation solutions which enthrall audiences at entertainment venues throughout the world by moving sets, scenery, people and objects around accurately and safely. Based in London and with offices in Las Vegas, Macau, Australia and Italy, award-winning Stage Technologies has since its inception in 1994 been an automation supplier of choice for many venues and it consistently achieves defining moments in live entertainment history in more than 30 countries worldwide - from putting Mary Poppins in flight during a production at Helsinki City Theatre, to the 'wine angel' at the SAS Radisson Wine Tower at Stanstead Airport. And Heidenhain absolute encoders are central to this continued success.
For example, Heidenhain ECN 1113 single-turn encoders are regularly integrated into specially-designed wheel motors, while Heidenhain ROQ425 and EQN 425 multi-turn encoders are used on winches. In one particularly innovative application, the two encoder types are combined to operate moving trolleys that incorporate rotating winches to enable objects or people to be 'flown' around and across stages. According to Stage Technologies' director of mechanical engineering Ewart Richardson: "Heidenhain encoders are selected by us not only due to their ease of integration (EnDat compatibility) with the motors we use, but also because they consistently provide enhanced reliability and accurate repeatability - which is obviously crucial to everything we do."
Whether a turnkey solution or single-axis control, an ultra-high-speed winch or a radio-controlled stage truck, Stage Technologies provides solutions that follow guidelines such as EN61508 and conform to quality management systems like ISO 9001:2000, as well as incorporate safety features like emergency stops (dead man's handles), light curtains and 'safe edges'. The company's solutions have been successfully employed worldwide in theatres, opera houses, West End musicals, cruise ships and rock concerts, as well as for films and TV.
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