Home > NORD geared motors and frequency inverters assist with reliable cleaning of New York’s iconic Beekman Tower

NORD geared motors and frequency inverters assist with reliable cleaning of New York’s iconic Beekman Tower

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article image A helical bevel geared motor of the NORD type SK 9042.1 drives the winch of the GinD gondola

Geared motors and frequency inverters from NORD Drivesystems were used by Spanish company GinD to develop a gondola for maintaining the facade of Manhattan’s Beekman Tower.

GinD (Góndolas in Design) specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of custom systems for maintaining building façades.

The 265m Beekman Tower, designed by the prestigious architect Frank Gehry is the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere. Featuring a completely asymmetric design with no two sections the same, it is undoubtedly one of the most complex façades ever constructed. The many curves and folds make it very difficult to access the windows by gondola.

The Madrid-based GinD designed the gondola for the Beekman Tower with the specific purpose of enabling access to all parts of the building's façade. As GinD’s regular supplier of geared motors and frequency inverters, NORD provided optimally adapted drive systems.

Hugo Donoso, Managing Director of GinD explains that they have great confidence in NORD at a technical level, as well as in their quality standards, post-sales service and competitive price.

Custom-tailored gondola system

Every aspect of the project was custom-made in terms of design and calculations. The GinD equipment consists of a telescopic arm, a special system of façade guides, and a multi-telescopic pod for accessing the inward-curving surfaces of the building. The machinery supplied by NORD performs various functions including lifting, rotating, and counterbalancing the pod. It also drives the winch and the telescopic unit.

For lifting, NORD supplied a helical bevel gearbox with a brake motor that turns the gondola's cable drum. An SK 500E frequency inverter smoothens out the gondola's stops and starts, and also maintains the gondola's position with respect to the building's façade when the telescopic arm is in use.

The counterbalance mechanism consists of the counterweight being moved forwards and backwards by a helical bevel geared motor as the telescopic arm is extended and retracted. This geared motor also maintains the machine's centre of gravity in the centre of rotation of the whole apparatus. Another SK 500E frequency inverter is responsible for moving the mass of the counterweight, with acceleration and deceleration ramps.

For rotation, two helical inline geared motors engage a gear ring in order to turn the whole machine, so that the gondola can be used on any face of the building. An SK 500E frequency inverter softens the starts and stops, and also provides different speeds of rotation, depending on how far the telescopic arm is extended.

The Beekman Tower project also required a winch for raising loads such as new panes of glass to repair the building's façade, or air conditioning equipment, which would have to be raised up to the building's flat roof. The gondola cannot be used for this purpose, since it is only rated to carry the cleaning staff and their relatively light cleaning materials. NORD supplied a helical bevel geared motor for the winch application.

The high-end performance of NORD products matches the demanding specifications of this application. NORD’s geared motors have a permissible radial stress level, which is ca. 24% higher than their competitors’ geared motors, while their frequency inverters can tolerate typical overloads 25% higher than other manufacturers' machines. GinD uses NORD products in all its current projects.

According to Hugo Donoso, the system has been working perfectly since the installation and is used every day to clean the building.

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