Columbia Lift System Hoists Are Key To Displaying Aerial Sculpture

Columbia Lift System Hoists Are Key To Displaying Aerial Sculpture

Application:  A lift system to raise and suspend an outdoor sculpture by artist Janet Echelman
Customer:  Frank Blum Company
Location:  LeBauer Park, Greensboro, North Carolina
Hoist model: Columbia HL7000-4A17-L-05
Line pull: 7,000 pounds
Line speed: 7.5 feet per minute
Power source: 208 VAC / Three Phase / 60 HzSpecial features: 

  • Ratchet and pawl assembly to support loads for extended durations.
  • Absolute encoder to allow remote monitoring of sculpture position and loads.
  • Custom lead sheaves at the top of the support pylons to allow for vertical and horizontal movement of the sculpture.
  • Control panel with touch screen operation to co-ordinate the operation of the four hoists in the lift system.
  • Real time display of ratchet and pawl position as well as load cell tension and line angle at lead sheaves.
Lift System Hoists

Why APPI: Janet Echelman’s installation, “Where We Met” is unique in it that it was designed to be displayed by utilizing a lift system to raise it between four pylons ranging from 35 to 60 feet tall and more than 200 feet apart.   Clayton Binkley, PE SE, at ARUP Engineering, who was responsible for all the engineering required to accomplish this task, turned to us for assistance on the hoisting portion of his work based on our wide range of experience with applications that required a complex lift system.

Crucial to his design was providing hoists for the sculpture’s lift system that could be mounted out of sight, inside the support pylons.  This meant they had to be very compact without compromising their ability to lift and hold the artwork in all types of weather conditions.  Our Columbia HL7000 AC electric hoists, with their compact “cast and machined” construction and sealed design were an ideal match for both hoist performance and minimal maintenance requirements.

Additionally, the lift system had to provide the ability to monitor the line tension in the hoist lines as well as track the angle of the directional sheaves at the top of each pylon and the position of the sculpture based on how much line was on the hoist drum.  This was accomplished with load cells and sensors that feed into a PLC that can automatically operate the hoists in the lift system based on load parameters set by ARUP Engineering.  A touch screen at the control panel and an additional interface with 40 feet of range allows for manual operation of the hoists.

While it’s relatively easy to list the specifications and technical information that serve to support her work, there is nothing we can say that can equal the photographs of this installation on the artist’s website.  We invite you to click and enjoy at  http://www.echelman.com/project/greensboro/.

Please contact us if you would like more information about this particular lift system or any of our other products and services.


Allied Power Products, Inc. has specialized in providing winches, hoists, capstans and cranes to meet our customers’ specific application requirements for more than 30 years.

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