Pfaff-silberblau performs in “The Miracle of Bern”

Columbus McKinnon supplied stage technology of the brand Pfaff-silberblau for new Musical venue of Stage Entertainment in Hamburg

Entertainment | Power & Motion Technology | by Christie Lagowski | 21 May 2015

Kissing/Germany, 23 March 2015 – A German legend, produced with stage technology from Germany. For the building of Hamburg’s new Stage “Theater an der Elbe” for the production “The Miracle of Bern”, Stage Entertainment commissioned the Kissing-based (near Augsburg) company Columbus McKinnon Engineered Products GmbH with the design, project planning and construction of the stage upper machinery and the ‘iron curtain’. Above all, this involves using the powerful DELTA wire rope winches of the brand Pfaff-silberblau. They move the stage scenery and props quickly and precisely, whilst ensuring a maximum level of safety for the performers on the stage in accordance with the requirements of the safety regulations for public performance venues BGV C1 and DIN 56950.


For the emotional production of the “The Miracle of Bern”, Stage Entertainment has constructed an ultra-modern performance venue capable of holding some 1,800 plus spectators immediately adjacent to the “Stage Theater im Hafen” – home to Disney’s “The Lion King”. For the technical fire protection equipment and the stage upper- machinery, the company invested (as in the past for a number of other theatres) in the tried-and-trusted stage technology from Pfaff-silberblau.

By way of example, some 28 electromechanical wire rope winches of the type DELTA from Pfaff-silberblau are used in the daily performances of the Musical. Designed for loads of between 650 kg and 1,500 kg, they move stage scenery and props with a speed of 1.2 m/sec. The winches are anchored with their approx. 8 km wire rope in a fly-loft, which Pfaff-silberblau has designed, produced and installed in accordance with the stringent safety regulations for stage technology and specifically as per the client's instructions. The customer-specific requirements included for example a minimum space of less than 200 mm between the individual backdrops. The DELTA winch is equipped with double brakes, rope clamping roller, load measurement plus an absolute and incremental encoder. In this respect, the encoders permit an analysis in SIL 3. A further special feature is the plug-in terminal box, which ensures rapid changeover on the installation and a high degree of versatility. Altogether, the Pfaff-silberblau engineers installed a total of 15 tons of structural steelwork for the theatre’s fly-loft.

Also for the fire safety curtain, otherwise known as the ‘iron curtain’, Pfaff-silberblau was responsible for the production, delivery and installation of the door along with the control system. In the event of a fire, the safety regulations prescribe that the stage area can be sealed off to the front of house within a matter of seconds. This is done by lowering a large, heavy door leaf (measuring 20.3 times 10 m and weighing around 8,000 kg) via lateral guide rails and sand chutes for the upper smoke control barrier in case of fire. For the safety curtain’s emergency rope, a double-fall winch from Pfaff-silberblau is used with a capacity of 4,250 kg including a hydraulic curtain-lowering braking facility. A special feature of this fire protection structure is that the door leaf does not use any counterweights whatsoever, but still closes reliably within the 30 seconds prescribed by Hamburg’s stringent regulations for public performance venues.