Shakespeare in a new Light with flat, brushless Motors.

Since 2011 audiences can see plays in a whole new light after a literally revolutionary development in theatre lighting with flat, brushless motors playing a leading role.

The RSC Lightlock was developed by Vince Herbert, head of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Lighting Department, to address a problem that has plagued lighting designers for years – the momentum of heavy, remote-controlled spotlights. Until now using flexible, lightweight support structures for these lights was out of the question, since attempting to stop would set the whole gantry swinging after each motorised movement, sending spotlights all over the stage and ruining the performance. The only way to use large moving lights was to hang them from heavy-duty mounting infrastructures – which made accessing the lights a lengthy, dangerous and costly process, severely restricting directors’ choices when deciding how to stage a production.

The RSC Lightlock prevents unwanted oscillation on lightweight structures by invoking Newton’s third law of motion – the law of reciprocal actions. When the light needs to stop moving, a counterweight on an internal disc swings in the opposite direction to its movement, nullifying the momentum.

The heart of stage lighting
Incredibly, the heavy counterweight necessary is rotated by a flat, brushless maxon motor just 90mm in diameter. It is irreplaceable in the role, as maxon senior sales engineer Paul Williams explains: “The EC 90 Flat was selected because the Light lock requires something small, high performance – an above all – precise. If the disc is rotated even slightly too little or too much, the whole principle that makes the Light lock so successful goes the window”. The small motor operates with such speed and exactitude that even with sudden, dramatic movements, the Lightlock can cancel out all unwanted motion in under two seconds.

Mervyn Thomas, director of Lightlock Ltd, the company engaged to produce the RSC Lighlock, says: “The RSC Lightlock allows greater freedom of stage lighting creativity, which could mean we see entirely new slants on old plays. It allows simpler and safer rigging opportunities because the moving light fixture can be now rigged from simple cable suspensions, meaning the crew can maintain and rig the fixture at floor level and simply raise it the desired working position. “The principle behind it is blindingly simple; the design involved is extremely clever. With over a thousand theatre enthusiasts in the house, the technology powering the RSC Lighlock has to work perfectly, every time. That’s why we chose maxon.” Mr. Williams adds.

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About maxon motor Australia

maxon motor is the world’s leading supplier of high-precision drive systems. More than 40 years’ experience, constant innovation, top-quality products and competent customer service make maxon motor a reliable partner in the drive technology sector. We are driven by your specific requirements. The product range incorporated in the modular system is comprehensive: Brushed and Brushless DC motors with the unique ironless maxon winding Flat motors with iron cores Planetary gears, spur gears and special gears Sensors (encoders, DC tachos, resolvers) Servo amplifiers, position controllers and control electronics High-tech CIM and MIM components Customer specific drive solutions. maxon motor is a Swiss company headquartered in Sachseln (Central Switzerland) that employs more than 2000 staff worldwide. With 14 sales companies based in over 30 countries, sales partners in another 10 countries and with six production sites, maxon motor are able to provide locally-based and competent customer service. maxon motor helps provide innovative solutions at competitive prices for numerous applications in various markets, such as Medical technology, Industrial automation and robotics, Aerospace industry, Automotive industry, Communication, Consumer applications, Inspection and Instrumentation and Safety engineering. maxon motor Australia is based in Mt Kuring-Gai NSW and our staff will be happy to help you with all your DC motor and technical enquiries. www.maxonmotor.com.au

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