Sometimes, a demand is so specific that you have to look far outside your usual boundaries to find a solution. The South African Cape Access Equipment was tasked with just such a challenge by one of its customers. One of the biggest property companies in the country was seeking a solution for carrying out maintenance safely on a façade. Of course, a great height. It was all about customisation, that was clear right away.
Cape Access Equipment, as a user of suspended platforms and building maintenance systems, had many years of experience with the Altrex range of products. This was why they chose to come to us with this particular challenge.
The issue was clear: help us find a solution for bridging the deep, vulnerable roofing edge of a high building without it having to take any weight. The edge between the roof and the façade could not bear weight and could not therefore be walked on Window-cleaners and maintenance engineers had to be able to access these areas, however, in order to do their job. And that was one of the principal challenges.
Six suspension points were designed and developed. Sturdy aluminium davit arms that could bridge the roofing edge due to their exceptionally long reach. The suspension points were calculated for rope access (professional height-workers who work on cables secured along the façade). However, the all-in solution is also suitable for bearing suspended platforms of up to 26 metres which move up and down. This enables the façade to be maintained and cleaned in the safest way possible.
The suspension points also had to be sturdy and provide grip. That is precisely why Altrex also provided the securing points in the roof and the materials to give the davit arms the necessary power. The solution can therefore bear a weight of up to 600kg and is backed up by the strength and stability calculations carried out by the Altrex specialists.
For Bipin Prag, Altrex was the obvious choice. "Our customer's requirements encompassed several challenges. The system had to be suitable for both rope access and suspended platforms. Two very different functions. It also had to be lightweight, in relation to the load-bearing capacity of the roof, and the budget was also tight. The solution that Altrex came up with, fulfilled every requirement."
“For us, Altrex is the only supplier who could combine all of the complex factors in this demand and come up with one, safe solution.”Bipin PragGeneral manager Cape Access Equipment
According to Prag, there are a few points that make the hanging points unique. "The total system is very cost-effective. The six suspension points can be disassembled and used on different buildings. The lightweight aluminium also makes the system quick to move and easy to transport. A versatile all-in solution which provided our customer with exactly what they needed."
Our role: manufacturer, help-desk and centre of expertise. We know what can be done when it comes to aluminium suspended platforms and safety. Altrex thus forms the link between Cape Access Equipment, the requirements of its customer and the ultimate solution. The production also took in our own production facility in Zwolle. This is the same for all of our 'specials' and custom-made solutions.
When dealing with extreme requirements, a thorough strength and stability calculation is vital. Both a technical specialist and a calculation engineer work on the issue. The load capacities of the materials and the ultimate total solution were thoroughly investigate and checked.
Maximum safety and certainty requires seamless cooperation. Certainly when it comes to a unique weight-bearing solution such as these suspension points. Throughout the process, there was ongoing contact between the Altrex engineers in the Netherlands and the specialists in South Africa. A collaboration without borders.