It’s been a busy month here at BPI, starting with the grand opening of the Water Cube downtown, followed by the smallest member of our team turning three! Her birthday presents included a puzzle featuring guys in hard hats (just like her dad!), a camera, and a tutu. Also a cake with math on it – she’s a well-rounded kid.
Immediately after the birthday festivities, Ben jumped into work on two different custom Horatio installations, which included finding and playing with some used metal halide lamps: he needed to figure out how to monitor the life span of similar lamps that will be integrated with one of the Horatios. Being the geek that he is, he was super excited to find that Carnegie Mellon’s facilities department had boxes of old lamps lying around for the taking… (For scale reference, each of those lamps is about 9 inches long.)
To round out the last week, Ben also did a pre-inspection for a school district that he’ll be doing rigging inspections for soon. Summer is the season for inspections, since so many theaters are dark!
John Rohe from the Colcom Foundation, who sponsored the Cube, speaks at the opening.
Kevin McMahon, President of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, speaks at the Cube opening.
Box full of used lamps as big as your arm. A mad scientist’s dream!
Lamps lined up in the shop to be tested.
Inspecting a rigging system at a local high school.
The junior team member’s birthday cake.
Theatrical rigging can be found in nearly every theater, from small systems supporting drapery tracks in cafeteria auditoriums to counterweight systems suspending hundreds of pounds of equipment in high school, college and professional theaters.
The general industry recommendation is to have your rigging system inspected annually by a qualified inspector – someone who is familiar with the full gamut of rigging systems and can evaluate whether or not a particular system or component is safe.
Ben has been working with, designing, and inspecting rigging systems for over 15 years and is familiar with the most recent developments in the industry. Through our sister company, Pittsburgh Hoist & Sandbag, we offer annual rigging inspections at competitive rates, and since Pittsburgh Hoist and BPI do not offer repair services, you can be assured that Ben’s reports are unbiased: we offer inspections for the sake of making your systems safer, not to find more work for ourselves. If your system is in need of repair, we can also recommend several rigging contractors throughout the region who can offer competitive bids based on his inspection report, allowing you to get the best price available for the necessary repairs.
Pittsburgh Hoist’s inspections start with a pre-inspection visit to ensure that safe access is available to every part of your rigging system. Call or e-mail to set up your pre-inspection today, on USITT’s Day of Rigging Safety, and we’ll give you a $500 discount on your inspection and report!
Image via USITT
Last week we got a visit from our friendly JLG Sales Rep, showing off their X600AJ — a remarkably tiny electric boom lift that seems like it was designed just for rigging inspections.
It’s a crawler that can compact itself down enough to roll through a single man door. It’ll reach 30′ out or 60′ up, and the crawler tread design means it won’t overload stage floors. With some simple ramping, it can even go up and down stairs.
All-in-all it’s an amazing machine, and far better suited to our rigging inspections than the rented bucket lifts and scaffolding we’ve been using. Hopefully as our inspection business continues to grow, we’ll be able to get a lift like this of our very own!
Our tiny CNC router spent the day making parts for a hoist out of ABS plastic.
This hoist is on its way to join a fleet of 9 being installed on a contour curtain in a 1920’s era theater/movie house.