Rigging solutions and steel wire specialists Slingco will showcase their new Vortek system and their CABLEnet tensioned wire grid at PLASA 2005. Launched earlier this year, Hoffend & Son’s Vortek is a complete theatrical rigging system. Slingco is the exclusive UK representative for the system.

Vortek’s unique, patented brake, specifically designed for theatre applications, is a continuously applied, variable-load, back-up brake that eliminates over-speed brake and "shock-load"-type problems. The brake is connected to the drum, and operates independently of any electrical or drive-train system. In the event of all other elements in the drive-train system failing, everything stops within 3mm. The mechanical Vortek back-up brake also remains fully functional in the event of a power failure. Vortek also features over-load and under-load protection. The adjustable device allows the batten to be fine tuned to sense an over-load or under-load condition as little as 2kg.

The VAC™ (Vortek Automated Controls) center is at the core of the Vortek installation. There are variable speeds, with soft starts and soft stops. Multiple battens will move to within 0.5 mm in precise synchronisation–with a touch of the VAC screen. Automated cueing flies in props, raises and lowers flats, and drops and adjusts lighting pipes simultaneously–all with a touch of the VAC screen. The Vortek VAC can operate multiple battens together, and can control up to 250 Vortek units as a rigging system.

Slingco will also be highlighting its CABLEnet tensioned wire grid system at PLASA. Slingco was the first British-based company to design, manufacture and install a tension wire grid. The CABLEnet system is created by weaving and tensioning high tensile steel cable within a frame, which is then hoisted to the required level in a theatre or concert hall to create a safe virtual floor®. Lighting, audio, AV technicians and riggers can then work on this in complete confidence. Virtually invisible from ground level, the system has the key benefit of casting no shadows from lighting rigs positioned above.

CABLEnet is incredibly flexible. Systems can be modular or custom woven on site to accommodate any layout or room shape. CABLEnet can be installed around features such as columns, pillars and arches, and sleeves can be incorporated into the mesh to allow the movement of cable-controlled equipment through the platform.

Recent Slingco CABLEnet installations include Hampstead Theatre, the Western Studio at the Millennium Center in Cardiff, and the new Junction 2 theatre in Cambridge.

For more information, visit www.slingco.co.uk.