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ACE Stoßdämpfer GmbH

ACE Stoßdämpfer GmbH

  • RoHS
  • Reach
  • DIN ISI 9001:2015

ACE Stoßdämpfer GmbH

  • RoHS
  • Reach
  • DIN ISI 9001:2015

15.05.2024 01:05

Action, TUBUS! Structural dampers from ACE on film sets

What stuntmen are to movie stars, TUBUS structural dampers are to expensive film camera systems: they take everything in their stride during action scenes and also provide preventative accident protection. Unlike stuntmen, these solid-state dampers from ACE can withstand more than a million hard knocks and vibrations unscathed. Reason enough for the film technology engineers at IDEA VISION GmbH to give these dampers an important role.

"Nothing is so good that it can't be improved," says Mark Fellinger from IDEA VISION GmbH. The company from Kolbermoor in Bavaria develops, designs and sells mechanical and electronic systems for the film industry, among other things. IDEA VISION also specializes in stabilized camera platforms. "We rely on a mixture of German quality standards, maximum flexibility in application, easy handling and quick attachment to a wide variety of carriers," says Fellinger, describing the business. These characteristics can also be applied to the work of ACE Stoßdämpfer GmbH from Langenfeld, so the cooperation between the two companies in the case of the Hybris Shock Absorber from IDEA VISION comes as no surprise.


Problem: Making camera movements smoother and less jerky
Hybris Shock Absorbers are designed for the under- or overhanging use of professional film cameras, motorized gimbals or stabilized camera heads. With this 14 kg stabilization system, professional camera teams compensate for vibrations and shocks that occur when filming while driving cars, motorcycles or boats. An adjustable linear induction brake and a spring system form a stable platform for filming with the Hybris Shock Absorbers. Thanks to operation that can be configured and controlled via an app, the system can be operated without contact, can work with high precision and is also wear-free and weather-independent. The braking and damping performance is extremely precise thanks to the magnetic eddy current principle and avoids direct mechanical loads on all parts of the system and the associated components such as gimbals or cameras. These can weigh between 1 kg and 40 kg and are damped by the Hybris Shock Absorber over a spring travel of 46 cm. Because the system is often used in harsh environments, such as uneven terrain, at sea and on race tracks, the designers were looking for additional damping. This was to provide a soft stop at the end of the spring travel and thus also maintain the stable image of the camera. The damping element was also intended to limit the maximum suspension travel when camera teams wanted to film on bumpy terrain just above the ground. In this case, the aim was to avoid the unwanted impact of the entire system.


Solution: Advice and tests lead to suitable structural dampers

ACE normally works with customers to determine the right damping solution based on design data. Many standard solutions can also be designed using the calculation and configuration tools on the ACE website: www.ace-ace.de/de/berechnungen.html. However, because filming involves equipment of different weights and no two camera movements are the same, it quickly became clear in this special case that not only a high-quality damping solution was needed, but also a flexible supplier. It soon became clear that ACE could provide both. Mark Fellinger in Kolbermoor did not have a technical expert from the Langenfeld-based company's German sales network to contact. Instead, Hans-Jürgen Greindl, the ACE sales engineer responsible for Austria, came to him because his journey from the ACE site in Linz was the shortest. When a test with small shock absorbers did not completely satisfy him, Hans-Jürgen Greindl had the right idea: "After I saw the lightweight aluminum-titanium frames of the Hybris Shock Absorbers, it was clear that our TUBUS structural dampers could also be bolted to them quickly and easily for every turn, virtually made to measure." The structural dampers, known as TUBUS because of their tube-like shape, are an ideal alternative to hydraulic small and industrial shock absorbers when deceleration does not have to be absolutely linear and precise. Available as shock absorbers in over 140 different versions from ACE, TUBUS are used to decelerate masses, particularly under extreme operating conditions. "With a service life of over one million load cycles, they are also suitable for the large number of shocks to be expected, as individual shots and sequences on film sets often have to be repeated," emphasizes Hans-Jürgen Greindl.

Of the many different dampers made of co-polyester elastomer, the partners opted for the radial versions. These have the advantage that they decelerate particularly softly and thus ensure the desired smooth images. Available with strokes from 17 mm to 60 mm, they can also be easily integrated into existing constructions thanks to their compact design. The small components can absorb energies from 1.2 Nm/stroke to 146 Nm/stroke. In order to achieve not just a good result, but the ideal result, the team worked closely together to find the TR83-50 that was ultimately used. Like all representatives of this family, they are maintenance-free and ready to install, they hardly heat up at all and therefore ensure consistent damping performance. With a stroke of 50 mm, they now provide dampers for all camera movements that can withstand individual loads with energy absorption of up to 45 Nm/stroke. The satisfied Mark Fellinger thus sees the motto of IDEA VISION GmbH confirmed: "Nothing is so good that it can't be improved." And we can look forward to action scenes from films shot with the help of the Hybris Shock Absorbers.

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