Since its opening in 2008, the shopping mall „Limbecker Platz“ is with its sales area of 70,000 square meters a crowd puller in the middle of downtown Essen. A nine-member team assures the proper functioning of the complex technical services of this huge building with more than 200 shops.
But the modern architecture not only offers an exceptional shopping experience but has also some pitfalls. Under a total of 30 escalators in the different building parts only accessible for machines via staircases, there are a lot of lamps which could up to now only be reached by means of scaffoldings. Complete parts of the shopping mall would have to be shut off for many days only to put up such scaffoldings. A very complicated solution carried out every 1 to 2 years.
When the company Ruthmann was contacting the “Limbecker Platz” in search of a location for product videos, the director of the technical services Jörg Breitkreuz became aware of the new working platform RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P. This completely new platform type is not only light and very compact; it can also reach operation sites situated one meter underfloor. A possible solution to the access problems in shopping malls?
The contact to the manufacturer was formed quickly and a few days later, the new spider platform RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P arrived for a testing in the scope of the video shoot at the “Limbecker Platz”.
Uncomplicated journey and positioning
With the beginning of the early shift, exactly at 6 o’clock, the machine was delivered on a trailer by Ruthmann. The compact aerial platform with its working height of 11 meters can now demonstrate what qualities it has to offer.
Whereas a lot of citizens still sleep in Essen, the 1,200-kilogram-light machine with battery drive runs almost noiselessly to the main entrance of the shopping mall. Thanks to its height of 1.97 meters, its passes easily through the double folding door where it is already expected by the in-house technician Andre Zawadzki.
In the company of the in-house technicians, the machine gets into the building on its abrasion-resistant rubber tracks. A few pedestrians on the way to the subway located in the building complex are warned by an acoustic signal.
After approximately 200 meters, the target staircase is reached. But the RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P has to be moved to the 2nd floor of the shopping mall - a first challenge as the large freight lifts only go up to the first floor. The floors above can only be reached by means of passenger elevators with a depth of 2.43 m.
Compact and easy to handle in 2 minutes
The basket of the machine is disassembled just with one simple manual action so that the machine is only 3.12 meters long. But in order to fit in the elevator, the jib must also be disassembled. For this, the machine will be tipped by means of two stabilizers so that the jib clicks into the trolley. It can thus easily be disassembled. One minute later, the safety bolts and hydraulic quick couplings are detached - the RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P is reduced to a width of 0.84 meter and a length of 2.36 meters and therefore ready for the transport in the passenger elevator.
Ride in the elevator without any obstacles
The Ruthmann employee skilfully guides the platform inside the elevator where it comes precisely to a stop just a few centimetres in front of the rear wall. With a last careful look to be sure that the measured 7 centimetres of space between machine and elevator sides are sufficient. Then he closes the door. The weight is also unproblematic: The elevator supports 2,600 kg and offers therefore a reserve of 1,300 kg as the machine weight amounts to 1,295 kg.
There are no more obstacles on the way up and the RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P takes the lift to reach the 2nd floor of the staircase. After having driven the machine out of the elevator without problems, the basket and the jib follow the same way with a 2nd elevator ride.
Emission-free with lithium-ion power
After a few meters, the operation site in the staircase is quickly reached through the battery drive. The RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P can be operated without enerving cables and also independently.
The jib and basket are mounted once again in a few simple steps and the spider platform is completely operational. It will now be seen whether it can reached the defect lamps.
The Ruthmann employee leads himself the platform to the first operation site under the prying eyes of the in-house technicians as the space conditions are very confined. The basket must first be guided over a railing and be then lowered two meters downwards in order to pass underneath the escalator.
What was gone through in the theory and what was measured beforehand works also fluently in practice: The RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P reaches the planned operation site situated at a 6.2 meters distance and the lamp at the bottom side of the escalator covering can be replaced.
Jörg Breitkreuz is relieved and delighted: „This is the solution to many problems”.
Simple operation to be learned quickly
What follows is the instruction of the in-house technicians who shall work with the machine in the next days. The Ruthmann specialist goes step by step through the functions of the RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P and explains especially the jib – the unique selling point of the machine – enabling to work one meter below the machine level.
Also all other functions are explained and demonstrated. After 15 minutes, the two employees of the technical services are instructed and ready for an extensive testing on building parts which were up to now worked only difficultly by means of scaffoldings.
All these requirements have been mastered with brio
In the next two days, the machine will be used at many locations in the building and will resolve the tricky access problem arising from the construction of the technical services by the architect. The RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P is impressive from start to finish whether for replacing lamps at the bottom side of the escalator or for cleaning the inner sides of the staircases as well as for changing light bulbs of the ball-shaped lamps over the stairs.
After the successful operation in Essen, the machine starts its way back to Ruthmann in Gescher. Thanks to its low own weight, the machine can easily be transported on a trailer with towing vehicle.
One thing is sure: It was not the last time that a RUTHMANN BLUELIFT SA 11 P was used at the “Limbecker Platz”.