Unipol Arena in Casalecchio di Reno near Bologna is one of the most important entertainment venues in northern Italy. Opened in 1993 and seating 11,000, the indoor arena hosts a variety of events from concerts and productions to all types of sporting competitions.
Eilon Engineering’s Italian distributor Molpass Stage Engineering & Multimedia Systems, based in Bologna, has installed an Eilon Ron StageMaster (RSM) load monitoring system in the arena to monitor overhead loads and reduce the risk of rigging accidents due to overloads caused by unequal load distribution. Molpass, which has been an Eilon distributor since 2008, has designed and distributed high-tech multimedia systems, stagecraft equipment and safety solutions for all types of installations and events since 1995.
Molpass CEO and engineer Giorgio Molinari has taken upon himself the task of improving safety when suspending loads with the goal of eliminating accidents or structure collapse during installation, setup and execution of events. “Because Unipol Arena often rigs a considerable amount of equipment above artists, technicians and the public - weights of more than 50 tons of lighting, audio, video and stage engineering equipment - they were looking for a reliable yet easy-to-use system to weigh suspended loads,” he explains. “They found it in the Eilon Ron StageMaster.”
Extra layer of safety
Unipol Arena is unique in that it has a large trussed ring between the stage and roof that allows incoming shows to easily attach to the ceiling. The structure not only reduces setup time but also makes for easier and more accurate verification and testing of suspended loads. Additionally, the law in Italy requires that loads be weighed according to Ministry Code VV.F. N°1689 of 2011, which requires analytical documentation signed by a professional engineer, certifying to the safety of the suspended loads and the safeguard of the people below it.
“Although the venue’s structure and the Ministry Code make for a safer environment in which to rig heavy loads, Unipol Arena wanted an extra layer of safety,” Giorgio states. “We offered an answer to the question of how to ensure the safety of a large rig during a show by providing a system that monitors the load in real-time using a permanent installation of 32 Eilon Engineering Ron StageMaster 6000 G4 wireless load cells.” The load cells are included in the main nodes of the arena structure, hanging from the roof of the building where equipment is mounted.
Ron StageMaster system
The RSM system communicates wirelessly to a laptop via a receiver with up to 200 load cells per receiver possible. It can produce an analytical "snapshot" of the load to ensure that it is suspended in perfect compliance with the Ministry Code and a practically unlimited number of receivers can be used. The system allows for simultaneous real-time monitoring on one screen of hundreds of individual hanging points, groups or the entire structure. The RSM software also allows for overlay of the load map right onto the plot on screen, enabling the rigger to immediately identify the location of an overload and take swift preventative action. Web server based, the system provides a record of the show and is compatible with smart phones and tablets and can even send SMS alerts.
Made of aerospace quality, high-strength alloy steel, the RSM 6000 G4 load cell, like all Eilon Engineering load cells, is fatigue rated to withstand unlimited load cycles without the risk of failure or damage to the steel. The RSM system has a transmission distance of up to 1000 yards (1 km) and can continuously monitor a rig 24/7/365 up to 5000 hours (10,000 hour battery life option). It contains absolutely no standby or sleep modes, which are risky and unacceptable from a safety perspective.
Prior to installation of the RSM load monitoring system at Unipol Arena, the load verification procedure there was marked by a dubious system of weight retrieval often transmitted by word of mouth with no real confirmation, or calculations were muddled by human error. Now any event hosted at Unipol Arena can be controlled and monitored accurately in all its phases, from installation through execution of the event, even in the case of dynamic movement of sets or artists during performances.
The importance of such a load monitoring system and its consequences cannot be overstated. Giorgio was quite candid, stating, “If use of a load monitoring system like the Eilon RSM system had been applied in Italy from the beginning, beyond the necessary Ministry Code for safety, we would definitely have saved a few lives.”
Used the world over
Based on proven technologies in constant development since 1976, Ron StageMaster systems are used by top companies worldwide such as NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce and more. In the world of entertainment, RSM systems are the preferred choice for load monitoring in the largest venues and theatres like the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Sydney Opera House, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Royal Shakespeare UK, Olympic Park Munich, Swiss TV and Esplanade Theatres Singapore. RSM systems are used by top rigging and rental companies such as Kish Rigging, Tait, and PRG and are utilized on tours the world over such as Rammstein, AC/DC and many others.
For more information contact your local Eilon representative or Noga Eilon-Bahar at:
Mobile: + 972-528-901851