Scaffolding innovation: Bilfinger Uses First Magnetic Scaffolding Anchoring

Editor: Dominik Stephan

An innovation for scaffolding: Bilfinger Industrial Services enters new territory with magnetic anchors. The engineering and industry service specialists used this new technology for a project in the Netherlands...

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The use of magnetic anchoring lowers the cost of scaffolding for tanks and other structures to which anchors cannot be welded or affixed by means of drilling
The use of magnetic anchoring lowers the cost of scaffolding for tanks and other structures to which anchors cannot be welded or affixed by means of drilling
(Picture: Bilfinger Industrial Services)

Munich/Germany – Tall industrial scaffolding is normally affixed to the side of the building for which it is required. If this is not possible, free-standing, non-anchored scaffolding must be assembled. Working for one of its customers, Bilfinger Industrial Services Nederland has now assembled scaffolding affixed to a tank using magnetic anchoring. 35 metres tall and five metres wide, it is more compact than the free-standing scaffolding normally required for the tank. In this way it was possible to lower costs by some 30 percent.

Indeed, it was the search for savings that prompted the development of the new scaffolding system. The Bilfinger company wanted to offer its customer an alternative to the free-standing scaffolding that was previously used for the most part. Until now, this was the only type of scaffolding which it was possible to use with structures such as tanks for which no anchoring is possible and any attempt to weld fittings to the side would damage the structure. The Bilfinger experts suggested a new approach involving the use of a magnet system.


“Mounting Pressure to Work Safely and Cost–Efficiently”

The magnetic scaffolding anchoring entails a permanent lifting magnet which can be switched on and off as required and produces a constant magnetic force. The necessary capacity is calculated for each anchor by measuring the holding power and shear force. The results are reconciled with the static calculations and only when the measurements match the static calculations is the anchor approved for use. A specially developed testing device is utilised at the site to measure the capacity of the magnetic scaffolding anchoring to ensure the reliability of each individual anchor. Magnets which have proven themselves in a number of different industrial applications are used for this purpose. Thus, for example, the same types of magnets are utilised in rope and lifting systems for heavy loads.

Ruud van Doorn, Chief Executive Officer at Bilfinger Industrial Services Belgium/Netherlands, explains: “We are observing mounting pressure on the part of our customers to have maintenance work performed safely and cost-efficiently. The use of magnetic anchoring in scaffolding is an excellent example which demonstrates the contribution which Bilfinger is making.”

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