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Drive belts light up the night

June 30, 2008
For entertainers, exceptional stage lighting is critical.

For entertainers, exceptional stage lighting is critical. That's because dramatic lighting is an important part of the audience's visual experience, and stunning light shows are often the backbone of large-scale entertainment events. The magic of lighting can transform a sports arena or stadium into a completely different environment. Working behind the scenes, drive belts from ContiTech Power Transmission Group, Montvale, N.J., provide one mechanism to create an optimal lighting experience at entertainment venues.

ROBE lighting, a Czech Republic company, is a leader in the field of entertainment illumination. Famous for high-quality monochrome and multi-chrome stage spotlighting technology, the company's motor-driven lights provide multidimensional agility, and with modern chip technology, they can be programmed and steered through highly complex choreography. This is where belts from ContiTech aid the systems. The company has been one of ROBE’s main suppliers since 2005.

One of the newest innovations from ROBE is the REDWash 2•36. With its 12 red, 12 green, and 12 blue K2 semiconductor LEDs, as well as standard white light, it can produce up to 167 million different colors using just one screen. All LEDs are capable of firing as many as 25 flashes a second, which offers flexibility for theatre and lighting technicians.

Mounted on a universally tiltable positioning arm attached to a horizontally rotating disk, the moving head allows for complete panning of 530 degrees and a tilt range of 280 degrees. Synchroforce timing belts from ContiTech power the positioning arm and rotary disk. One belt operates vertically in the pivot-mounted arm, another horizontally in the rotary disk. In many ROBE lighting systems, there's even a third ContiTech belt in use.

“The main challenge the drive is up against is that of seeing to exact positioning,” says Rostislav Haba, director of engineering for ROBE. “That’s why we opted for a slip-proof positive belt drive from ContiTech. The positioning accuracy of our systems is guaranteed not only by the timing belt drive itself, but also by a chip-assisted position measurement system. These chips make it possible for a central computer to exactly control the belt-powered pivot arm movement.”

Visit ContiTech Power Transmission Group for more information.

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