Construction project Charles de Gaulle train station

The glass ceiling of the Charles de Gaulle train station will be replaced by concrete pavement panels. This because of the expansion with an extra crossing which will go over the upper level of the train station. At the beginning of 2020 Aerolift was awarded with the project to come up with a lifting solution to position the precast concrete panels into the ceiling.

Positioning solution

As always, we designed a custom-made solution perfectly matching the situation. However, technically we cannot speak of a lifting solution, but more of a positioning solutionđŸ˜‰. In this particular case the precast concrete panels are placed on top of the vacuum suction pads by another device. Afterwards the Aerolift unit will position the concrete panels into the ceiling by using vacuum options such as bringing the panels under an angle for passing columns.

At the location is no electric power available and because of the amount of people at the station, diesel driven was also not an option. For this reason, the vacuum unit is battery driven. And in order to function for as many hours as possible, the unit is designed to use a minimal amount of energy.

No damage to the concrete element

Our Aerolift vacuum lifting solutions are known for not causing any damage to the load. In this specific situation we also needed to consider the power of the Manitou. The concrete element will break if the concrete element is pushed too hard against the ceiling. To deal with this issue we added a spring to our vacuum unit.

The Aerolift unit is attached to the forks of a Manitou. To enable positioning the vacuum unit is designed to always stay above the main beam construction of the Manitou. The positioning possibilities of this vacuum unit are practically endless:

  • The unit is able to rotate 185 degrades clockwise and counterclockwise to meet any required position. This is done hydraulically.
  • The suction pad frame can be moved 70 mm over the XY axis, since the manitou cannot easily make this kind of adjustments.
  • The suction pads can be turned independently from each other, to not only handle flat elements, but also elements with a radius.
  • The position of the four suction pads can be adjusted lengthwise and wide wise compared to the gravity point of the pavement element and to consider cut outs in the elements.
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  • France
  • 2020
  • 1,000


  • Precast concrete pavement panels
  • Flat elements and elements with a radius
  • Length: 1,500 – 2,500 mm
  • Width: 2,500 – 4,500 mm

More about the lifting solution

  • Number of suction pads: 4
  • Propulsion: Battery driven
  • Length unit: 4,000 mm
  • Width unit: 1,500 mm
  • Height unit: 3,200 mm
  • Dead weight unit: 400 kg