Heavydrive develops innovative assembly solution for prefabricated façade elements


New counterweight beam with oversized fork

In a construction project in HafenCity in Hamburg, prefabricated façade elements weighing 1,000 kg had to be installed on seven floors. Because the façade elements, measuring 6 by 2.8 metres, consisted of timber with windows and frames already installed, The glass panes in the lift-slide system were positioned differently for each element.



Heavydrive counterweight beam with fork mount
Image rights: Heavydrive.com
Installation with Heavydrive VSG 2000 counter with fork in Hamburg's Hafencity Image rights: Heavydrive.com

That is why installation with just a vacuum suction system was out of the question. Although easily adjustable, the suction cups were unable to lock onto the frame profiles. “Installation with just a suction system would have meant a considerable amount of adjustment work for us on site. So we developed a Konter counterweight beam with a fork mount which keeps the load vertically aligned at all times”, explains Günter Übelacker, Managing Director of Heavydrive.


Heavydrive was therefore commissioned by Anton Ambros GmbH, timber construction specialist, to develop a custom assembly solution. An oversized fork with a tine depth of just 400 millimetres was attached to the VSG 2000 Konter counterweight beam. It was possible to introduce the tines into the prepared opening in the façade element from above or below. The Konter counterweight beam attached to the fork balanced the lift-slide elements vertically. The counterweight beam, which extends to three metres beneath projections and even behind columns, was suspended from a construction crane via a 4-strand hanger. Precision control was achieved by remote control. This meant that the elements could be lined up vertically and precisely inserted into the assembly opening through the portico, just 1.5 metres wide, without a problem. There was little room to manoeuvre – 200 millimetres above and only 30 below.


“Whether glass, wood or stone, we aim to find the best possible solution for any job site scenario, no matter how complex. Especially with prefabricated façade elements, it is important to adapt our assembly systems so they are able to handle the dissimilar materials”, explains Heavydrive Managing Director Günter Übelacker.


The special Konter counterweight beam allows façade pieces to be retracted beneath projections up to three metres deep. The fork has a tine length of 1,200 millimetres and is adjustable in width. Entire pallets of materials or glass frames can be safely lifted onto higher floors, for example. The system's battery can run for three to four days before it has to be recharged. The Konter counterweight beam is available for hire or to buy from the main warehouse in Tapfheim.

Heavydrive counterweight beam with fork mount
Image rights: Heavydrive.com

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