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					Schneider Electric Case Study

Motion Labs Changes the Game in
Entertainment Rigging




                More than 60,000 people attended the inaugural           One technological advance that surely went
                event at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in               undetected by attendees, however, was the chain
                Arlington, Tex., on June 5, 2009. And by all accounts,   hoist control and load monitoring system that
                the futuristic stadium was as much of a draw as          lifted approximately 85 tons of lighting and sound
                the performers — the “king” of country music,            equipment above the stage for the stadium’s first-ever
                George Strait, along with someone who arguably           concert. Concerts such as the Strait/McEntire show
                is the “queen” of the genre — Reba McEntire.             are ever-changing in their production scale, growing
                Concertgoers were in awe of the performers as well       more complex every year with advanced lighting,
                as the $1.15 billion, 3 million square foot stadium,     video and sound effects. As the concerts have
                complete with 60-yard-long video boards hanging          evolved, so has the technology that enables them
                above the field and more than 2,800 other monitors,      and makes them safe.
                including concession stand menus, suite TVs and
                electronic advertising signs. Dallas Cowboys team        Since 1981, Motion Laboratories, Cortlandt Manor,
                owner Jerry Jones wanted to ensure the stadium           N.Y., has been building motor/hoist control systems
                was one of the most technologically advanced in the      for rigging, lighting, staging and sound reinforcement
                country, and to succeed he met with many of the          companies in the entertainment industry, including for
                largest technology companies and incorporated items      concerts/arenas, theater, Broadway, sports shows,
                from their 10-year roadmaps.                             theme parks and convention centers.




Make the most of your energy                          SM
                                           Motion Labs began employing load cell technology, which had been around
                                           for years and used in industrial environments, in its hoist solutions for the
                                           entertainment industry. Load cells attached to the chain hoists give users a real-
                                           time electronic reading of how much weight is being lifted. When lifting massive
                                           trusses, it’s critical that the weight is distributed evenly over multiple points
“We wanted to meet our                     because any one hoist lifting too much puts unequal weight on the truss. Even
                                           an eighth of an inch of uneven lift results in a substantial weight difference.
customers’ heavy duty power
                                           Prior to load cells, riggers would try to adjust the weight distribution of a truss by
distribution needs for things              manually checking the tension on the chains to see if they were equally taut. While
                                           the chains may seem equally taut at first, any differences in weight are magnified
like their lighting grids, amplifier       as the trusses are elevated, and riggers had no way to monitor the exact load of
                                           each chain.
racks, speaker systems, backline
                                           Motion Labs created its load cell product, Cell*Mate, by combining the load cell
and other accessories,” we didn’t          technology with an eight-channel Cell*Mate Hub and Cell*Mate Digital Display
want a specialized circuit breaker         module, giving users the ability to monitor both dynamic and static loads in
                                           unlimited quantities from one or more remote locations. Each load cell transmits
that customers would have to wait          inline force measurements to the eight channel hub unit, which then sends all
                                           channels of data to the Cell*Mate Digital Display module. This system provides
a long time for, or would become           the most reliable load monitoring system on the market today.

obsolete quickly. We wanted to             In 2008, Motion Labs wanted to take their hoist control and load monitoring
                                           solution a step further.
find a circuit breaker that was an
                                           “Our Cell*Mate system provided users with load weights any time they needed
exceptionally high quality and             them,” said Peter Herrmann, president at Motion Labs. “But we also noticed
also was available anywhere in             that users were spending so much time with their eyes glued to the Cell*Mate
                                           to ensure proper loading that they weren’t able to actually pay attention to the
 the world on short notice.                equipment that was being moved.”

Schneider Electric fit the bill.”          Herrmann thought it made sense to develop a solution that would allow users
                                           to keep their eyes focused on the equipment and not a display.
– Peter Herrmann, President, Motion Labs
                                           “We wanted to create a system that would not only control the chain hoist
                                           and monitor the loads, but also shut the hoist control down if the loads got
                                           out of whack so the problem could be corrected,” Herrmann said. “We thought
                                           this solution would allow users to concentrate on the equipment being lifted
                                           because they would have confidence that the system would shut down if there
                                           was a problem.”
With the help of Schneider Electric, one of the world’s leading suppliers of power,
control and automation solutions, and GCF, a Schneider Electric distributor,
Motion Labs’ brainchild — the WardeN Control Unit — was born.

The WardeN Control Unit offers many of the same features as the Cell*Mate
system, but gives users the ability to detect any overload/underload condition
and automatically stop all motor movement through its interface with the chain        “Schneider Electric is invaluable
hoist control system. It also shows the operator which channel has the potentially
unsafe condition.                                                                     as a resource. Within a short
Motion Labs initially became a Schneider Electric customer when it began              period of time we can have a
manufacturing power distribution solutions in 1995.
                                                                                      group of people here helping
After partnering with the company for over 13 years, Schneider Electric was
                                                                                      us with any application
a natural resource when Motion Labs was looking for engineering support to
develop the WardeN system.                                                            engineering we need, they
“We came to Schneider Electric, gave them the parameters we wanted to work            are extremely responsive
within and asked, ‘How do we do this?’” Herrmann said.
                                                                                      with new product ideas,
With the engineering expertise of Motion Labs’ staff, Schneider Electric and
distributor GCF, the group collectively developed a solution and agreed on            programming, troubleshooting
the components.
                                                                                      and commissioning.
Schneider Electric proposed tying in the controls of Motion Labs’ chain hoist
with the M340™ programmable automation controller (PAC) and Magelis® human            Schneider Electric has never
machine interface (HMI). Initially, Motion Labs feared they would need to design
                                                                                      failed us in service or support.
their own products. They were pleased that Schneider Electric had the needed
components to create the WardeN system, without customization, so they could          We didn’t think twice about
continue offering their customers commercially available solutions.
                                                                                      using them.”
“Schneider Electric and GCF were very helpful in picking out the components that
would best serve the application,” Herrmann said. “We ultimately chose the M340       – Peter Herrmann, President, Motion Labs
PAC and Magelis HMI because of their flexibility, expandability, ruggedness and
intuitive use. We know that these products will be easy for our customers to use
and will stand up to the extreme conditions of going on tour.”
                                               The WardeN system’s greatest benefit to customers is not only its ability to offer
                                               continuous real time monitoring of the weights, displayed on the Magelis HMI, but
                                               the capability to automatically stop the chain hoists when there’s a problem. Users
                                               define what percentage of weight needs to be out of proportion for the M340 PAC
                                               to stop the chain hoist, and program the PAC with that logic. The most important
                                               time to ensure proper weight distribution is when the riggers are erecting the
                                               trusses. It’s critical to ensure there’s no undue stress on the building. The WardeN
                                               system also is helpful if the equipment being hung is heavier than anticipated. The
                                               chain hoists will stop so that riggers can change the equipment being lifted or add
                                               additional points to allow for the weight.

                                               Like the Cell*Mate system, the WardeN Control Unit gives users the ability to
                                               remotely monitor up to eight channels of load cell data simultaneously on a
                                               constant basis. The Magelis HMIs also allows users to link multiple WardeN
                                               systems together so they can monitor 32, 64 or more chain hoists at one time.
                                               These smaller eight-channel building blocks can be combined to create a
                                               super grid.

                                               “At the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium we created a 100 x 200-foot mega grid to
                                               support all of the traveling acts that perform at the stadium, including the George
                                               Strait concert,” Herrmann said. “The grid consists of six eight-channel controllers.
                                               The WardeN systems watch and control the entire matrix of 45 points and allow
                                               for the movement of the entire grid as one unit, while also analyzing the weight
                                               per eight-channel grid or the weight of each individual point on the truss on a
                                               real time basis.”

                                               According to Herrmann, it’s also cheaper for Motion Labs customers to tie
                                               together multiple eight-channel grids than to build and maintain a custom
                                               32-channel unit.

                                               Motion Labs has been so impressed with Schneider Electric’s products that
                                               they switched over the breadth of their product line to the company. As much
                                               as Motion Labs likes Schneider Electric’s high-quality, commercially available
                                               products, what they found most valuable was the company’s technical support,
                                               application expertise and solutions approach.

                                               For the entertainment industry, the WardeN system is revolutionary. While this
                                               type of technology has been employed commonly in other industries, no one
                                               else in the world has applied it to entertainment before.

                                               “The entertainment industry has an unbelievable safety record,” Herrmann said.
                                               “Riggers are constantly evaluating what they’re doing, checking weights and
                                               making sure things are safe. We look at the WardeN system as validation and
                                               assurance of the work they’ve done. It will ensure everything is safe each and
                                               every time.”




                                                                                                                                                ©2010 Schneider Electric Industries SAS, All Rights Reserved.




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Document Number 8000HO1062                                                                                                  July 2010      lh

				
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