Heavydrive Konter counterweight beams with special tilt and turn mechanism


The Heavydrive systems with swivel adapter were used for the international large scale Alberni Tower project in Vancouver (Canada). The tower, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has sweeping curves and balconies offset to the rear.

Heavydrive approached this construction project in Vancouver by developing a suction system with a special swivel mechanism. The installation involved setting large and heavy glass panes behind columns below a projection. A standard solution using a construction crane and vacuum suction system was no match for this complex task. This is because the glass panes always have to be suctioned on centrally to ensure they remain in balance and are able to be turned and swivelled. In the case of the façade elements in Vancouver, weighing up to 1,500 kilos, the centre of the panes lay directly behind the columns beneath a two-metre deep projection. This meant that the glass elements had to be inserted sideways behind the columns.

Innovative Heavydrive installation solution

To resolve the situation, Heavydrive modified its suction system by providing it with a special swivel adapter. This mechanism allows the VSG 2000 KMHL to be swivelled to the left and to the right by 40 degrees. As a result, the 90 centimetre wide and 6.5 metre high, fragile front glass panes were suctioned on centrally. They were guided behind the columns and inserted into the opening below the projection, turned through 90 degrees.


Heavydrive suction system with swivel adapter being tested at the
company’s main plant in Tapfheim
Image rights: Heavydrive.com

"We have customers around the world who appreciate being offered an efficient installation solution in no time at all – our solutions are individually developed to suit the conditions on the construction site,” explains Guenter Uebelacker. The Heavydrive systems are available for hire or buy at the main warehouse in Tapfheim, as well as at the international subsidiaries in the USA, Russia, Dubai and Switzerland.

Installation under projection behind columns using Heavydrive technology
Image rights: Heavydrive.com

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