Palfinger customises in Paris

04 November 2014

Palfinger has three platforms at the Louis Vuitton Malletier museum in Paris, France

Palfinger has three platforms at the Louis Vuitton Malletier museum in Paris, France

Historic French fashion house Louis Vuitton Malletier has built a visually stunning museum in the heart of Paris.

With a futuristic and ultra-modern design, the building catches your eye with a unique façade of glass and steel elements. Cleaning and maintenance is a challenge due to the height and design of the construction.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation chose three Palfinger paltforms for the work: a 35 m working height Jumbo class WT 350, a 37 m Premium-class WT 370 and a 90 m Top-class P 900.

Louis Vuitton required a number of customisations to the machines to tackle the 3,000 glass panels, which are part of the façade. Each element was manufactured separately, features a unique shape and size and is intended to refract sunlight in different ways. In combination with the inward-curving struts forming the shape of sails, the building is designed to look like a giant palace made from ice.

In close collaboration with the project managers at Louis Vuitton and architect TAW Weisse, which was responsible for drawing up the cleaning concept, Palfinger adapted the platforms to the highly specialised conditions.

Apart from comfort and efficiency, the focus was also on protecting the façade from damage and cracks. All three machines were equipped with special sensors in the baskets that alert operators whenever they are in close proximity to the façade, thereby minimising the risk of a collision.

Permanently set up on a concrete base in the upper part of the complex and out of sight of visitors, the WT 350 cleans and maintain the building’s roof, while the WT 370 and P 900 are used for the glass areas on the sides and can navigate around the entire structure as required. Here, the WT 370 is primarily responsible for the lower part of the façade whereas the Top class P 900 works on the higher parts of the exterior in particular.

The combination of a GPS system and the sensor-based monitoring on the stabilisers means the machines can be paced in the optimum position close to buildings without colliding with them. In addition, the P 900 has two cameras on the telescopic boom sections to prevent collision when extending and adjusting the platform. A monitor located in the basket allows the operator to keep an eye on everything.

Cleaning operations are primarily conducted during the night, so low-noise emission is required. Together with Palfinger engineers, a special electricity, water and air system has been developed throughout the building. An additional electric drive is powered by external electricity supply, without the use of a power take-off or battery and operates almost noise-free. There are also connections for air and water directly in the basket, which can be used if necessary.

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