May 5, 2015 mountainproductions

3 Topics to Consider when Planning/Upgrading a Rigging Installation

Planning a full rigging installation is not your everyday project. Period. Whether in an arena, theater, house of worship, or any other venue, there are always challenges to overcome and hours of due diligence to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your budget.

An installation is comprised of many parts, and also requires the skilled technicians to maintain it and the proper safety equipment integrated into the system. The foundation of any install lies in quality equipment, which is why we rely on CM and Motion Laboratories’ products.

While Mountain Productions is well known for it’s staging, we also have installed rigging grids into a variety of venues, from a simple design to a complex, “smart” grid. We have the expertise in analyzing each venue for the exact type of equipment needed. We’ve narrowed down the laundry list of installation checkpoints into 3 key topics. Here are a few things to consider when preparing for your venue upgrade:

D8 vs. D8+

In an installation scenario, it’s important to understand which type of hoist to use in order to avoid any type of accident or injury. A Lodestar D8 with secondary safety and the Lodestar D8+ are 2 hoists that hold loads that are safe to stand or move underneath (hoist must be de-energized). Check out this quick graphic that shows certain situations where standing underneath an overhead load is prohibited. (click to enlarge)

Safe Practices for D8 and D8+ CM chain hoists


Modern venues often integrate computer-controlled systems to mark positions where rigging components are often repeated. This is helpful in a variety of applications, including scoreboards, speaker clusters, scenic and more. Motion Laboratories’ Soft Limit System is the brain behind this capability. With the ability to pre-program positions (soft limits), this system can control hoists individually or in groups, and deliver precise locations for the hoists in your grid.

Installation power and control cabinets, installed at Sight & Sound Theatre / Lancaster, PA

Installation power and control cabinets, installed at Sight & Sound Theatre / Lancaster, PA

Safety in Load Monitoring

Maintaining and operating an installed grid is a big responsibility. With all of the equipment involved, proper inspection is necessary to make sure all pieces of the puzzle are in working order. While in-use, load monitoring systems are crucial to the safety of the workers and performers underneath your grid. Motion Labs’ Cell Mate V3 system is the latest load monitoring technology, featuring universal hubs and displays, compatibility with 2, 5, and 6 ton Load*Cells, touch screen display and more. The Cell Mate V3 provides real time weight measurement for up to 8 channels of Load*Cell data. This information could save lies.

Hailing as the largest faith-based live theatre in the country, Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster, PA, worked with Mountain Productions to revamp their grid and transform it utilizing CM motors and Motion Labs’ motor control and power distribution systems. Check out the project summary here. 

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