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18.02.2019

Counselling turns ideas for the scenography into reality at Aarhus Theatre in Denmark

Aarhus Theatre often has unusual challenges and tasks, and it is not always easy to find the right transmission solution. Therefore, they are pleased that BJ-Gear A/S gives them advice and guidance to find the solution that covers their needs.

Everyday life at Aarhus Theatre and the planning of each performance – from acting to scenography and effects – is an exciting and creative process. That is also the case for the theatre’s technical handyman, Peder Jacobsen:

“When we set out to design the scenography and special effects for a certain play, all ideas are on the table. At that point, we rarely know how it will end.” Peder works closely with the directors and scenographers.

He elaborates: ”In this process we start out focusing on what kind of solutions that will work well or look good. Afterwards I suggest solutions and ideas as to how it can be solved in practice. It is also an extra challenge that the gear drive units must be adapted to the physical surroundings, as the gearbox often has to be built into something where the technical requirements has not been considered in advance."

The hatch in the stage floor moves up and down by means of a belt drive driven by a gearbox solution that is able to lift 500 kg.

Personal relations and a close collaboration are important factors

Many ideas can be in consideration, and it is Peder’s responsibility to ensure that the idea becomes a practical and possible solution. Therefore, he is happy to be able to draw on BJ-Gear’s experience:

“We don’t have engineers employed at the theatre, so we don’t have the experience to calculate the gear ratio or torque for each gearbox. So, I’m really glad that I get assistance from BJ-Gear, so we can find the right solution together. A good communication with the sales representative means a lot as well the possibility to meet in person, since it often requires a lot of explanation to solve a specific issue.”

Fast delivery and adaptable gearbox solutions

Peder never knows what technical challenges the next performance will offer, and therefore it is important to him to find a solution that is easy to reuse in new ways. That is why he is pleased with  the collaboration with BJ-Gear since he gets help to adapt old gearboxes to new conditions: “BJ-Gear is flexible when it comes to adapting new solutions to the gearboxes and motors, the

The theatre's technical handyman often has to work creatively to solve the technical part of the scenography, for example to get this staircase to rise directly from the stage floor.

theatre already has in stock. Furthermore, they have flexible delivery times and can deliver within a short time frame when needed. This is a necessity for us, as the premiere of a performance is an indisputable and tight deadline. We are also pleased about their swift service if unexpected problems should occur in the period a show is playing.”

A solution with worm gearboxes and belt drive

Most recently Peder needed two vertical movements in the production of The Neverending Story. The theatre needed a hatch at the left side of the stage as well as a staircase that was able to rise from the stage floor at the right side of the stage.

Both gearbox solutions had to be able to lift 500 kg, and it was important that the staircase and the hatch were moving at just the right speed.

Aarhus Theatre solves their challenge with a belt drive driven by a series 52 worm gearbox assembled with a series 99 worm gearbox.

It was essential to find the right gear ratio, and the solution was to assemble a series 99 worm gearbox with a gear ratio of 15:1 and a series 52 gearbox with a gear ratio of 7:1 mounted with a motor. The hatch and the staircase elevate by means of a belt drive, and BJ-Gear has helped figure out the right dimensioning of the toothed belt as well as the size of the belt pulley. This determines the speed of the toothed belt and thus determines how quickly the hatch and staircase elevate.


You can see a demonstration of the gearbox solution with belt drive in the video below: