Blog | Chicago Flyhouse

United Center Motorized Grids

Written by Flyhouse | Feb 2, 2018 4:42:39 PM

Walking into the recently opened United Center atrium reminds you of the history that has happened within the walls of the famous arena. A bronze statue of Bull’s legend Michael Jordan resides as the central focus point while Blackhawk memorabilia fills the background.

The atrium is a congregation area for game and concert attendees and also serves as a private event space. These private events may require specific lighting or sound equipment along with elaborate decorations and more. To make these events efficient and uniquely functional, the United Center requested four motorized grid systems, each with an 8,000 -12,000 lb. capacity to allow for hassle-free changeovers. With a recommendation by our friends at Upstaging, Flyhouse was ready with a solution.

The lifting mechanism normally used for this type of project would be a simple chain hoist. This would lift the grid structure until it reached a peak point – lifting until it hits the top. Simultaneously running four motors can create an unbalanced load when each lifting point moves at a different speed. This scenario causes a risk of the grid failing.

To avoid this issue, Flyhouse designed, built, and installed high-capacity motorized hoists that exceed all the requirements of overhead suspension. What sets this design apart is how it ensures a balanced load during its travel distance of approximately 50 feet. The Flyhouse system lifts all points at the exact same rate, up to 32 fpm, and is easily controlled using a handheld touchscreen pendant; a complex system made simple to use. The motors are built into the truss which has been custom painted white to match the aesthetic of the room.

The motorized grids are a permanent installation for the United Center providing them the benefit of a system that can be operated regularly by staff trained by Flyhouse. The United Center can run the grids in and fly them back out using the custom control system operated by one person.

Whether it’s a game, concert, or a special event, the next time you walk through the atrium, scan the ceiling and tell us what you think.