Stadium construction by vacuum

We designed a solution for the complete lifting process of the precast concrete sections of a grandstand. From production to construction. The solution consists of two different vacuum lifters. One for the production area to demould, lift and turn. And another which is used at the stadium construction area.

Why lifting by vacuum instead of hooks?

By origin, all handling during both production and construction was done by hooks. The hooks were installed during production and removed after construction. By vacuum lifting no hooks are required, saving manpower, time, and investment. Moreover, no damage comes to the concrete element and stays smooth and untouched.

According to the Operation Manager at the time, Tom McGregor of Hanson: “These units have been very exciting for us, and have proven to be simple to use, fast, and we have made with more than 8,000 picks with the plant unit with no problems. The ability to handle and rotate the elements quickly and safely with the elimination of inserts are some of the major factors for us in utilizing the Aerolift technology. We are looking forward to using these devices for handling other elements in the plant once these stadium projects are over.” (CPI Worldwide 2008) Read the complete article.

Vacuum lifter at the production plant

At the production area the vacuum lifter is used to demould, lift, and turn the sections. After demoulding the elements are a little bit curved, but this is no problem for a vacuum lifter. If you demould by hooks the hardening time before demoulding is at least 24 hours. Due to the divided surface pressure of a suction pad demoulding is possible after 8 to 10 hours. Increasing production speed tremendously. The vacuum lifter is used to place the elements on a truck to be transported to the construction area.

Vacuum lifter during stadium construction

At the stadium, a vacuum lifter operates in combination with a heavy load wire crane. The crane is positioned at the centre of the stadium and able to reach every corner. In the design of the vacuum lifter we needed to consider several aspects of the geometry of the elements. The stadia risers are a single riser design with a T-shape. The centre gravity is offset and varies. Through the design of the vacuum lifter, the riser sections are always perfectly balanced.


CPI Worldwide (2008) A useful corporation to introduce vacuum handling in the USA (Issue 4 2008 ed.). Retrieved from

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  • USA
  • 2014
  • 11 tons
  • 180 degrees (2 out of 3 vacuum lifters)


  • Precast concrete sections of a grandstand

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