Spice Girls use ABB drives

The Spice Girls’ stage set, used during their recently completed world tour, featured five low power AC drives from ABB Industrial Systems to raise the curtain just before the Girls came on stage. The 1.1kW drives raised a 45m long curtain a height of 10m at varying speeds, depending on the show and the opening sequence.

The drives were synchronised to control the speed of five winches and simultaneously lift different sections of the curtain. A master potentiometer controlled the speed of all five drives, with trim potentiometers linked to each unit’s built-in analogue input to match the drives’ speeds. The stage managers varied the speed of the curtain-raise and set the curtain at different heights, via a small PLC and control panel designed and built by Spectral Drives.

A five second ramp-up to full speed is programmed into the low power drives to give a smooth curtain-raise. Limit switches dictate the change to full speed or five second deceleration ramp down.