Plant & Works Engineering
Electric winch catapults trebuchet into the spotlight
Published:  15 May, 2024

When Britain’s largest working siege machine returned to Warwick Castle recently to form the centrepiece of a new show - The Legend of the Trebuchet - the castle needed a way to provide the correct tensioning for this ancient and medieval warfare. Hearing the call to arms, Hoist & Winch duly supplied a class-leading Hadef electric winch offering 1500 Kg pulling force (safe working load) with supporting frame and foundations.

To showcase the power of the mighty trebuchet and bring a highly entertaining and educational spectacle to the banks of the river Avon next to Warwick Castle, a new show - The Legend of the Trebuchet - opened in March. In the lead-up, Warwick Castle required the services of a high-performance electric winch to ensure reliable and repeatable tensioning of the trebuchet prior to launching its projectiles. The choice was a Hadef electric-powered wire-rope winch, delivered and installed by Hoist & Winch Ltd as part of a turnkey project.

After an initial site survey to discuss the requirements of this highly unusual application and specify the winch design features, Hoist & Winch returned to oversee a test fire of the trebuchet and measure its pulling force with a load cell and site tractor. Once complete, Hoist & Winch was in position to make a formal offer, comprising fully specified winch, mounting frame and foundation base.

At the centre of the solution is a Hadef 400 V, three-phase, 50 Hz electric winch that delivers 1500 kg pulling force from its 25 m rope length. Control is via a low-voltage radio remote with back-up plug-in pendant. Features of note include: a pressure roller for the wire rope drum; four-position top/bottom geared limit switches; a galvanised steel mounting frame for the winch; and electrical enclosures with IP66 protection rating.

Following order receipt and drawing approval, Hoist & Winch commenced on-site installation and commissioning, a process that included individual hydraulic pull tests of the resin anchor bolts for the winch frame.

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