Rexroth’s Italian Earthquake Testing


Where were you on December 23, 2014? Some Rexroth engineers were in Italy, where the earthquake testing equipment they had been working on for six months was being lifted into its building before the roof was put into place. 37 tons of steel had been brought in my truck and a giant crane had come from Palermo, but the trucks had experienced two flat tires on their way, so it was dark by the time everything was ready.

It had been a balmy day, 62 degrees, but it was cloudy and a wind sprang up, so there was little starlight and the crew had to rely on the trucks’ headlights to lift the giant mechanism and fit it into the building. We can imagine the tension as the crew, which had been waiting for hours to complete their task and return to homes where Christmas preparations were taking place, watched the process.

Success! There must have been shouts and perhaps hugs as well, and then the workers, shivering but happy, went off into the night.

After Christmas, the roof was put in place just before snow fell for the first time in many years. The software had been in progress for months, and Rexroth engineers started the new year by installing and configuring all the machinery for the earthquake simulators. The building was completed within one year of its beginning, and the engineers were trained in September of 2015.

The region had famous earthquakes in 1693 and 1908, and the earthquake simulator is an important step toward ensuring that the loss of life that made those earthquakes famous will not happen again.

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