European Soccer, Thanks to Rexroth

photo by Friedrich Peterdorff

photo by Friedrich Peterdorff

The Caja Magica in Madrid. The Amsterdam ArenA. The GelreDome in Arnhem. The Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. What do all these stadiums have in common? Besides soccer, that is.

Rexroth motion control moves their roofs and stands.

Gigantic retractable roofs keep fans dry — and adjustable stands open the space up for bigger games and more fans. The Veltins-Arena can welcome 72,000 fans. At this arena, an entire section of seats can rise up under the upper section and lock into place. Then the whole section can be moved outside of the building to provide a concert stage on the inside. The power required to do this safely is matched only by the degree of accuracy required.

The Amsterdam ArenA has one of the first retractable roofs ever used in a stadium. 16 servo motors allow the two halves of the glass and steel roof to be operated separately. Their cabinets are located outside of the arena, and the local fire department was consulted in their configuration to make sure that all functions could be controlled independently in case of an emergency. Ordinarily, the entire structure is controlled remotely with a few operating panels.

Rexroth created a retractable football (soccer) pitch for the GelreDome. The entire field can be moved outside of the building with the flip of a switch. That means great conditions for the grass on the field, and greater versatility for the building itself. Thanks to a custom electromechanical drive system, the GelreDome can go from a soccer stadium to a pop music ampitheater in five hours. The GelreDome is visited by more than a million fans every year, for everything from tennis matches to trade shows. The retractable roof was designed to ensure great acoustics for musical performances, and the space is fully heated.

In short, the GelreDome makes it possible to bring the outdoors in — and then send it back outdoors again.

The amazing things that servo motors can do in nearly all areas of our lives boggle the mind.

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