Posts Tagged ‘PLASA’

Leading Role

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Having trodden the boards at Hoist UK since 2008, it’s time for the company’s new general manager, Louise Dickson, to step into the spotlight. By Richard Howes

Louise Dickson followed her father, Tony, into the lifting business. He was general manager at Tomcat UK, a division of an American-headquartered company largely known for its truss systems, before he and Paul Jordan founded Hoist UK in 2006, where she now holds the same position.

She knew what a hoist was at a younger age than most of the industry’s leading engineers, even if her father’s involvement in the entertainment business made it an easier sell than if he were providing equipment for the industrial sector.

“I was aware of what he did,” Dickson says. “And I had a keen interest in some of the projects he worked on. He would come home and tell us about the equipment Tomcat had supplied for all the major tours and big artists at the time. We would watch TV and I would point out all the clever stuff my dad had been involved in making to all my friends.”

Image 1 - Louise Dickson

Dickson can even chart her memories of pointing proudly at the lifting and rigging equipment when the UK music awards, the BRITs, were televised in 2002. She was 16 years old at the time. For the record, it was the year Shaggy took home the International Male Solo Artist award, while comedian Ali G, who “performed” with Shaggy on the night, made a cameo appearance.

“At that point my dad was the divisional manager for PCM [a division of Pfaff-silberblau] and he was at the show, which was televised live and my dad was operating some of the equipment being used to fly video screens and Ali G onto the stage. From then on, whenever we went to the theatre, he would point out the kit above the stage and explain to me how it all worked and went together.”

A man’s world

Dickson’s future appeared written in the stars but she saw a fundamental barrier to entry. “Actually,” she says, “I had never thought about a career in the lifting industry, I guess because I used to see it as a male-oriented profession.”

It was actually her father’s business partner and Hoist UK co-founder Paul Jordan who changed her perspective. The company had gone through its first growth period and had moved to a larger office with a workshop.

“They were really busy,” Dickson recalls, “and they needed some help on the office side. I was in a position where I couldn’t progress my career any further in my job and, as I had said since that BRITs show, I was really interested in the business, so when Paul approached me to see if I would like to join their team I jumped at the chance.

“I actually really just wanted the opportunity to be involved in some way and never thought I would get to this position, but I decided to give it a go—and I’ve not looked back since.”

She adds: “I have a great relationship with my dad both at home and at work but in the daily running of the business it is Paul that I work with. He says he saw the potential in me right from the start and looking back I can see that now; he spent a lot of time training me on product at first, then when we took on more office staff he would take me on site visits and have me help out in the workshop.”

Jordan says: “I recognised her potential almost immediately and we have guided her progress, letting her gain a thorough knowledge through various roles leading up to this present position. Louise’s ability to not only head the sales team, but also her leadership skills, industry and product knowledge, make her the perfect candidate to take on the role.”

Dickson returns the compliment: “Tony and Paul are great to work for, and I’m not just saying that because one is my dad. Their work ethic is admirable, and they are so enthusiastic about the products and the industry. They really are outstanding role models for anyone with ambition; I could not have asked for better mentors.”

As the planets continued to align in those early days at Hoist UK, Dickson met another huge influence on her career—and her life—in Siobhan Hitchen, who is managing director of Rope Assemblies and was recently named the first female director of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), where Hoist UK is a member company.

“Siobhan is one of the first females I met when I started working for Hoist UK,” says Dickson. She goes further: “She’s probably the reason that I am in the position I am in today.

“When I went to the first PLASA [entertainment show] a shy and uncertain sales administrator, we shared a stand with Rope Assemblies and Siobhan kind of took me under her wing as she had been in the same position some years earlier. Her advice and continued support has, and is, a great help to me. She is a very strong, ambitious lady, who is greatly respected in our industry. She is an inspiration to any young person—especially females.”

To read more, and to view the original article, please click here

ULC TT Nominated for Innovation Awards at PLASA 2011

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Hoist UK Limited have reached the final of this year’s Innovation Awards at PLASA 2011 for their unique ULC TT Universal Load Corner, offered through their sister company Truss UK Ltd

The PLASA Awards for Innovation recognises products which advance the industry by demonstrating a new style of thinking, improving technical practice, or taking a key step forward in terms of safety.

The load corner unit eliminates the need to try and support the truss either side of a conventional corner block or worse still suspend from it. The ULC TT Universal Load Corner which is an integral part of the TT series of truss is a structurally rated and certified six (6) way corner complete with a suspension and load point for up to 2,500kgs.

Paul Jordan, Designer of the Universal Load Corner says “The ULC TT shows that thinking outside the box on a new development actually works. Up to now truss manufacturers have produced corner units that only work as corners as generally they are not rated for load and subsequently don’t have load tables available for them. The ULC TT is load rated and hangs the truss from the most efficient position with its independently rotating eyes, eliminating any cantilever loads from the structure.”

“We are very proud to have reached the final of PLASA’s Innovations Awards 2011. Bringing new ideas to the entertainment industry form a vital part of development, and we believe that our TT series is the new concept in trussing…One Truss with Numerous Configurations”, adds Hoist UK’s Tony Dickson.

Truss UK will promote British engineering at its best with innovative product development for the entertainment industry offering “Quality at Every Stage”.

REMEMBER: “Safety Above All”

Hoist UK announces the global launch of the Concerto hoist

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Hoist UK is pleased to announce the formal international launch of the Concerto series of Variable Speed Concert Hoists from Niscon Inc.

The Concerto has been designed and engineered using a Stagemaker® hoist body and with the support and assistance of R&M Materials Handling of Springfield, Ohio, and Verlinde SA, France.

The Concerto is conceivably the most concise and safety conscious variable speed chain hoist on the market, meeting and exceeding some of the worlds strictest legislation for chain hoists both in Europe and the Americas.

In addition to the usual heightened design factor of safety and double brakes required in this type of hoist there are two sets of safety limits each with independent functionality and different activation methods (one rotary and the other direct struck) to prevent accidental over-travel of the hoist.  The rotary switch is monitored for rotation using an encoder which also functions as the backup to the main encoder.

A third encoder is attached to the load wheel to ensure the chain has travelled to its exact position.  The values from each encoder are constantly compared against the others for errors with encoder data stored and saved even when the power is turned off to the hoist.

Niscon Inc.’s president, Joseph Jeremy says, “This hoist is simply the best I have seen on the market.  In comparison to other chain products, the Stagemaker® body was the only choice that could deliver the performance we were looking for along with consistency and accuracy throughout the manufacturing process. Our goal was to develop a variable speed chain hoist that was safe, practical and would complement the Raynok line of motion control solutions.  In order to achieve this we added additional features to enhance safety and performance of the overall product, including a rotary limit switch, load cell and not one, but three encoders.”

The first public showing took place at the PLASA 2010 trade show in London, on the Hoist UK stand forming part of the central display which also showcased the Raynok motion control system. “I have been working with chain hoists and control in the entertainment industry for the last 18 years and have been involved with several motion control systems in the development stage, touring and in fixed installation applications.

The combination of Raynok motion control system and the Concerto hoist is by far the most precise, intuitive and safest system I have ever used” comments Hoist UK’s director Tony Dickson. “The Concerto is smooth, quiet and infinitely versatile and a great addition to our repertoire, it will be loved by riggers and LD’s alike” adds Hoist UK’s fellow director Paul Jordan.

An early version of the hoist can be seen in performance at Haze Nightclub at Aria in Las Vegas where Niscon Inc. installed 20 units for John Lyons Systems of Los Angeles, California.  The Haze system uses 20 hoists to manoeuvre 5 lighting trusses over the dance floor to enhance the effects of the light show for the club’s guests and patrons.

Niscon Inc.’s VP, Peter Sinkner says of the Haze installation, “John Lyons wanted smooth fluid motion on the Haze dance floor.  He wanted to give the patrons something different and really WOW them.  On his first visit to the club, John asked me to show him what the system could do.  I took control of one of the trusses with the Raynok MK2 Console joystick and rolled the truss on pitch and yaw while also flying it up and down.  When I stopped and looked at John, the smile on his face said it all.  Niscon Inc. had delivered what he was looking for and then some.”


Flying High with Hoist UK at PLASA 2010

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Hoist UK have been flying high this year at PLASA 2010 demonstrating their capabilities in the production services sector of the entertainment industry. 

One area of their production services capabilities is in the performer flying sector and this was showcased at Hoist UK‘s own PLASA 2010 stand at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London.  At hourly intervals throughout the day exhibitors, visitors and industry professional’s packed the aisles around the “HUK” stand to watch aerial artiste Isabel Woywode perform a stunning, graceful and heart racing silks performance to various pieces of music, her polished act complimented and showcased the products available from Hoist UK and the services currently available on hire from their production services division.  


Hoist UK are looking to work on future projects with the vast production experience on offer from their production services division to compliment the design and manufacturing capabilities of Hoist UK, which will prove to be a formidable force within the entertainment industry.  

Although based in the UK, the HUK production team have worldwide experience in solutions ranging from engineering design, technical hardware and crew to custom circus products, artistes and event coordination.  

For further details on the Production Services, please contact:  


Click on the following link: 






Remember: Safety Above All 

Stage lifting firms set for PLASA

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Entertainment riggers JR Clancy and Hoist UK will showcase a new partnership at next month’s PLASA show, which takes place at London’s Earls Court from 12-15 September.

The distribution and partnership agreement is designed to offer clients a complete project solution. Hoist UK aims to integrate products from each partner’s field and equipment range through a single dealer source, thus reducing the time and money spent by organisations on managing multiple suppliers.

Tony Dickson, co-founder of Hoist UK, which is a distributor for the complete range of Verlinde industrial and entertainment lifting equipment, said: “The Best of All Worlds partnership offered by Hoist UK gives customers the opportunity to find products from industry brand leaders that are seamlessly designed, conceived, manufactured and delivered with one call.”

Hoists and lifting equipment firm Verlinde SA and motion control systems supplier Niscon Inc. complete the “Best of All Worlds” partnership.

PLASA visitors will get to see JR Clancy’s popular PowerLift automated hoist that has been installed in theatres and concert halls across Europe and America.

For original article click here

HUK introduces: The only Motion Control System you will ever need !

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Entertainment lifting specialists Hoist UK Ltd have recently signed an exclusive European distribution agreement for the Raynok Motion Control System, manufactured by Niscon Inc based in Canada.

The Raynok Motion Control System is a state of the art control solution specifically engineered for the entertainment industry and boasts the ability to control all your stage machinery from one PC based control interface. The system uses a complete range of Raynok control modules to link to your existing or new stage machinery and provides safe and secure communications with the Raynok control software.

Joseph Jeremy, President of Niscon Inc comments: “We initially became aware of Hoist UK at PLASA’08. It was my first time attending and I was impressed with the presentation and professionalism that was displayed on their stand.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to meet with Tony or Paul at the show, which added to my surprise when Tony contacted us shortly after my return to Toronto. He and Paul were planning to attend LDI’09 in Las Vegas and asked if Peter and I would make some time to meet with them. We welcomed them to our booth and after a short meeting it was clear that the offerings of our respective firms would be a great match. To that end, Niscon Inc. is extremely pleased to have the Raynok Motion Control System exclusively distributed throughout Europe by Hoist UK.

The combination of Niscon Inc.’s commitment to The Art of Movement and Hoist UK’s Safety Above All will provide our customers with exceptional equipment and outstanding service.”

Tony Dickson, director of Hoist UK added “We are very excited and privileged to distribute this unique product throughout Europe. The Raynok motion control system can be configured to control an unlimited number of items from a variety of manufacturers equipment, such as chain hoists, travel drives, trolleys, winches, turntables and pilewind (yo yo) drums. The ability to do this in a safe manner with all different elements being controlled simultaneously (if required) by one person is a different proposition to the other motion control systems out there, as it is the only motion control system you will ever need due to its ability to control all your equipment and the system can grow with your equipment requirements”.

Paul Jordan, fellow director of Hoist UK comments “One of the greatest strengths of Raynok is the ability to simplify the collaborative efforts of the creative and technical teams to create fluid scenic imagery. Whether the staging of simple production calls or complex cueing, the Windows™ operating system, common mouse, keyboard and menu commands make executing tasks within Raynok simple and intuitive. Hoist UK will be present at the ABTT and PLASA shows introducing the full capabilities of the system, using it to control whole a host of different equipment and allowing visitors to get hands on with this unique control solution”.

Tony Dickson also comments: “Drop down menus, right mouse button menus, toolbars and a customisable multi-monitor graphic display aid the operator in configuring a comfortable desktop workspace and make multi axis positional control of all manner of stage machinery easy and simple to programme and control. It is clear to us that there is nothing on the market like this system, which is why we have tied up an exclusive deal for distribution”

Peter Sinkner, fellow President of Niscon Inc comments: “Raynok is so easy to program and achieve the results the creative team want that you’ll be in the bar long before your mates on the LX crew”.

Remember: Safety Above All