University of Michigan initially contacted Chicago Flyhouse in late 2010 to conduct a rigging inspection and report on the 16-year old Video Studio in their Ann Arbor campus’ Duderstadt Collaboration Center.

Utilizing our new Safer Venue inspection software, Flyhouse technicians were able to conduct the inspection on handheld PDA devices – quickly compiling a detailed report of issues, observations, and maintenance suggestions utilizing photos, notes, and other data.

Although the Studio had been well-maintained in general, the inspection revealed a short list of instances where the rigging failed Flyhouse’s rigorous safety standards. Some were issues dating back to the installation of the original rigging system, others were due to ad-hoc repairs over the years, and some were simply due to the age of the studio.

Within two months of filing our Safer Venue-supported Rigging Inspection Report, the University invited Flyhouse to return to perform the general maintenance and repairs needed to bring their Studio into safety compliance.

Working closely with University of Michigan facility electricians, IT department, and Duderstadt studio staff, Flyhouse replaced 600′ of worn wire rope, re-terminated 68 wire rope ends to correct improper swagging, added locking hardware to all bolt connections, ensured that all hardware was appropriately rated, added three emergency stop buttons throughout the studio, re-calibrated all rotary limit switches, added oil sight glass to all motors, and performed other various general maintenance tasks to return the studio to 100% safe operation

In addition, Flyhouse was also chartered with returning the studio to automation. Although originally computer controlled, the 1994-era system had become defunct and was eventually disabled. Flyhouse technicians carefully reverse-engineered the existing electrical components, re-establishing computer communication with all motors, and bringing the system completely up to date.

During the repair efforts, Flyhouse again leveraged our Safer Venue software to create a comprehensive Rigging Log containing before and after photos and written explanations, giving U of M staff a detailed account of every maintenance and repair task that was performed in their studio.

The Safer Venue Rigging Log also provides blank forms to allow and encourage University technicians and students to track any future maintenance performed on the system.