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JD Neuhaus hoists help build world's largest observation wheel

28 March 2014

Three J D Neuhaus air operated hoists, each providing a 50 tonne lifting capacity have been utilised in the construction of the world’s largest observation wheel located at The Linq, Caesars Entertainment’s $550 million  outdoor retail, dining and entertainment district located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. 

The wheel, which tops out at a height of 550 feet, provides an impressive view for both daytime and nightime skylines of this unique resort destination. The structure, known as the Las Vegas High Roller, comprises 28 viewing cabins with a total 1,120 passenger capacity. The impressive height exceeds other Great Wheels of the world such as the Singapore Flyer at 541 feet (28 cabins with 784 passenger capacity) and the UK’s London Eye at 443 feet (32 cabins with 800 passenger capacity).

The air operated hoists were located at a temporary chain fall platform suspended below the wheel central hub, and utilised their 280ft of cable fall to lift equipment from the ground level. These lifts included 18 temporary radial struts, each being 40 tons in weight, together with transfer trusses of similar weights and all the individual outer rim segments of the completed wheel, together with a total of 112 cable locking assemblies initially assembled at 50 percent tension loads. The temporary radial struts were installed to provide the accurate spacing of the individual wheel rim segments from the central hub unit during initial build assembly. These were then sequentially replaced by the cable locking assemblies, which when fully tensioned provided the radial spokes of the completed wheel assembly.
 
The JDN hoists were selected from their rugged and compact Profi TI range which have a long established reputation for reliability, performance and durability. They operate from a six (6) bar compressed air supply, with a total of 19 separate models in the range offering lift capacities from 0.25 metric tonnes up to an impressive 100 tonnes. They incorporate a patented vane motor-brake system for low-maintenance operation with little wear. One hundred percent duty ratings with unlimited duty cycles are provided, with insensitivity to outdoor operations involving dust, humidity and temperatures ranging from -20°C to +70°C. Although a normal lift height of 10ft is available with standard models, special lift requirements such as the 280 feet specified for the Las Vegas Observation Wheel was no problem. The impressive lifting and lowering speeds of these hoists, even under full load capacities, are coupled to sensitive, infinitely variable speed controls for the precise positioning of loads.

The wheel structure incorporates 3.5 million pounds of steel, with the 112 cables forming the tensioned spokes of the structure having a combined total length of 25,256 feet, with each cable having a breaking force of 550 tons. The individual viewing cabins incorporate dynamic video and music while their 300 ft2 of glass will provide exciting, unparalleled views of the Las Vegas Strip, with an approximate 30 minutes undertaken for each revolution of the wheel structure, travelling at one foot per second.


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