After three years of construction, the time had finally come. The ZSC Lions opened their new home, the Swiss Life Arena, on 18 October 2022 with a narrow 2:1 home win against HC Fribourg-Gottéron. The steep tiers of the ice hockey arena ensure excellent visibility and the 12,000-capacity stadium regularly turns into a lions den. However, the Swiss Life Arena is not only home to the ZSC Lions and its passionate fans, but also the venue for a wide variety of events and functions. For example, the event hall hosted the floorball World Championships in autumn 2022 and the annual shareholders' meeting of Swiss Life Holding AG in spring 2023. In order to be equipped for a wide variety of uses, the multifunctional arena has a state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a flexible rigging system that was developed in collaboration between B+T Bild+Ton AG from Rothenburg and GIS AG from Schötz.
Rigging system with 6 traverses and 30 GIS motors
The rigging system consists of six 29.5 metre-long trusses, which are arranged above the entire (ice) surface. They are fitted with spotlights for the lighting and loudspeakers for the sound system. These trusses can be very flexibly lowered to the ground, equipped and raised again depending on the event. Each truss is attached to 5 GIS LP1600 electric chain hoists for synchronised lifting and lowering. The chain hoists, colloquially known as motors, are in turn combined with GIS GHF2500 push trolleys for manual travelling on steel girders in the longitudinal direction of the ice field. This enables targeted positioning to generate additional suspension points. The supply line for communication and power supply for the lights, loudspeakers and, if necessary, LED walls is provided via foldable energy chains from the hall ceiling to the trusses.
GIS motors in application-specific design
Each of the D8Plus motors in use has a load capacity of 1,250 kg and fulfils the safety requirements for holding loads above people thanks to double brakes and at least 8-fold chain safety. The chain hoists are equipped with a low-voltage contactor control, gear limit switches and external limit switches. The lifting beams are levelled by approaching the upper end position. For communication and control, each electric chain hoist has its own IP address and a TCP/IP communication interface integrated in the housing. All motors are connected to the server room by cable, ensuring trouble-free data traffic between the control panel, server and chain hoists via the LAN. This control system also allows external access for remote maintenance.
Simple operation via touchscreen
The rigging system is operated via a so-called "touch controller". This tablet computer has a latching emergency stop switch and a Go button. To use it, it is connected to the server via a network cable.
The required motors can now be activated and the direction of travel determined on the touchscreen. Once the presettings have been made, the lifting or lowering is carried out by pressing and holding the Go button.
For B+T Bild+Ton AG, as AV integrator, and GIS AG, as supplier of the electric chain hoists and trolleys, the realisation of the rigging system in the Swiss Life Arena is undoubtedly a showcase project. From planning to installation on the hall ceiling, 26 metres above the ground, there were several challenges to overcome. The result is an extremely practical system that contributes to making the Swiss Life Arena a state-of-the-art and versatile sports and event venue that offers fans and visitors an unforgettable experience.
Technical data / fact sheet
- 6 trusses are attached to a total of 30 GIS LP1600 D8Plus electric chain hoists. This results in 5 motors per truss.
- The LP1600 electric chain hoists are themselves attached to GHF2500 push trolleys, which can be moved longitudinally to the ice rink in the steel structure on the hall ceiling.
- All electric chain hoists in the D8Plus version have a second, independent DC spring-applied brake.
- The single-fall load capacity per motor is 1250kg.
- Operating voltage of the motors: 3x400V 50Hz, integrated transformer for control voltage 42VAC.
- Further key words about the motors: protection class IP65, lifting speed 4m/min, lifting height 26m, geared limit switch for highest and lowest hook position, external limit switch, profile steel chain 9.4x27.4 mm, chain safety static 10:1, textile chain bag, housing and chain in black.
- The trusses are levelled when the highest hook position is reached.
- The communication and power supply for the lights, speakers and LED walls from the hall ceiling to the trusses takes place via a foldable energy chain.
- Each motor has a TCP/IP interface integrated into the housing.
- A 19" rack houses the server as well as network switches, ports (POE) for the 30 motors and there is a network socket in the hall. Operation and monitoring is carried out on the touch controller with emergency stop switch and Go button.