The beautiful old stage of The Danish Royal theatre is located in the heart of Copenhagen. In summer of 2007 Visual act upgraded the machinery and installed a new control system.
The old stage ‘Gamle Scen’ had considered replacing the complete winch system as it has been on the go for quite some time and the DC motor drives were not supported any longer. Thankfully, Visual act was able to utilize nearly all of the original motors and maintain most of the original mechanics.
Visual act replaced the control system and using Sprint DC drives, supplied the much needed upgrade at a far reduced cost. New drives and electronics were installed for control of the DC motors on 37 fly bar winches. To monitor the position of the fly bars; a new arrangement with an angular gear, absolute encoder and limit switch was mounted on each winch. Two Profibus communication channels were provided; one for drives and one for absolute encoders and safety i/o.
The six existing lighting bridges were upgraded to increase the load capacity to 800 kg. This involved replacing motors, gearboxes and brakes. New electrical cabinets with servo amplifiers and electronics were also installed. In order to increase safety, slack wire detection was added. Angular gear arrangements similar to those used on the fly bars were installed for the light bridge encoders also.
The revolving stage was inspected and fitted with new encoders and a very old motor was removed in order to increase the degree of efficiency and reduce risk of fire. The delivery also included four completely new movable point hoists; the point hoists have individual control cabinets that are electrically similar to the light bridge control cabinets and are also connected to the control system through Profibus.
The Visual act Control System is being installed in more and more theatres throughout Scandinavia and is becoming the new standard in theatrical motion control. The system comes with two types of control desks. The Visual act Advanced Desk includes a full keyboard and ergonomically designed for work over longer periods. The second type, Visual act Touring Desk uses a touch screen and is more compact and suitable for operation from a variety of locations. At the Danish Royal Theatre two touring desks are rail mounted on one of the galleries.
The control system operates all movement in the theatre through a combined Profibus and Ethernet network.
The networks allow for communication to all devices in the system. The Ethernet is based on the concept of a double redundant ring. A number of hot swap boxes, for control desks, are placed at various points in the stage area. A double emergency stop circuit is connected in series through all the e-stop switches in the system and will cause the system to stop all motion if activated.
If your theatre is full of steam powered motor control technology and the spare part factory was closed fifty years ago, it could be time for an upgrade.