Friday, May 24, 2024

The RocketLever™ has lift off!

The RocketLever™️ is a groundbreaking offset lifting technology designed to enhance precision and load control in high-rise construction. Developed through collaboration between Thorp Precast, Bomecon, and Vita Inclinata, this innovative product addresses the challenge of installing large precast panels in tight construction sites with obstructive perimeter screens. By integrating Vita's Load Navigator with Bomecon's Maxi-Steker, the RocketLever™️ offers unparalleled accuracy and stability during lifting operations. The result is improved safety, reduced risk of accidents, and enhanced productivity on construction sites. This collaborative effort exemplifies creative problem-solving in the construction industry, leading to the development of a product poised to revolutionize high-rise construction practices worldwide.
Written By
First M. Last

The RocketLever™ has lift off!

Unparalleled Precision & Load Control In High-Rise Construction

A first for the industry, the RocketLever™️ is an advanced off-set lifting system that memorizes the insertion angle of a panel, improving overall installation process efficiency and safety. This cutting-edge technology ensures maximum control and stability during lifting operations, reducing the risk of accidents and improving site productivity.

This technology was created in a collaborative effort between Thorp Precast, Bomecon, and Vita Industrial.


Every successful product begins by identifying a challenge, and often the more complex the challenge, the more creative and effective the solution. For Thorp, Bomecon, and Vita Industrial this challenge came from the precast cladding industry, where panels are installed with sizes up to and exceeding 4x9 meters.

“As in most industries, time is money; and the construction industry is one of the most hypersensitive to program delays. Precast Cladding offers a fast installation program, but even we are hampered by the practicalities of operating on tight sites and amongst other interfacing trades.” -Mark Willis, Operations Director Thorp Precast Ltd

Precast concrete cladding is a popular choice for building projects, offering numerous off-site construction benefits, not least in its speed of installation. Typically, it is installed using a primary tower crane and is done during the construction of the primary structural frame to ensure a fast overall project construction program.

To construct tall structural frames, a casting deck (sometimes called the wet deck) is equipped with protective screens around its perimeter to ensure the safety of site workers and pedestrians from falling materials. These screens usually protrude anywhere up to 1500mm from the finished face of the slab edge and can be up to four stories in height.

During precast lifting operations, these screens obstruct the direct line of lifting from the tower crane hook to the load and final positioning of the façade panels. Moreover, tagline operators are required to hold loads in position to prevent panels from rotating whenever they catch wind – on tall structures with wet decks this operation becomes difficult to manage safely.

While cantilevered installation equipment can be employed to work around the screens, these are often large, cumbersome, and difficult to handle – and do not mitigate any of the risks (indeed often increase them) of keeping panels under control during installation operations.


To try and resolve this challenge, Thorp initially looked to use Bomecon’s Maxi-Steker, a lifting device capable of reaching under obstructions, which would allow ground operators to manually guide the cladding into the final position on the building’s façade.

While Thorp and Bomecon were discussing the details of the Maxi-Steker, WOLFFKRAN - a leader in tower crane innovation, safety, and reliability - showcased Vita Industrial's Vita Load Navigator on one of their construction sites as a great solution for this project.

“We then became aware of Vita Technologies’ product that was designed to sit under the block of a crane at the center of a lift and provide control over the rotation of the suspended load below, it was clear from the start that this was a great piece of technology.” -Mark Willis, Operations Director Thorp Precast Ltd

Seeing it in use, Thorp immediately realized how the Vita Load Navigator could add extreme accuracy and precision to load control. The next logical step was to get both Vita and Bomecon on a call to discuss a collaboration and find out two fundamental things:

1. Could the offset lifting beam be optimized for weight by reducing its mass and integrating the Vita device instead of conventional weights?

2. How will the Vita Load Navigator function if it operates away from the load's center point and is offset to the point of rotation?

To answer these queries both Bomecon and Vita started working on their innovative solution. The Vita Engineering team, led by Co-Founder and CTO Derek Sikora, joined forces with Bomecon, led by Project Engineer Nathan Van Ramshorst.

“The possibility to replace the manual process of controlling the load with GPS input sounded like an interesting next step in load control.”-Nathan Van Ramshorst, Project Engineer Bomecon
“Knowing that our technology can be tailored to different lifting needs and lifting equipment we knew working with Thorp and Bomecon would result in a better solution for this common industry challenge.”-Casey Savlov, Vita Industrial Executive VP


“Bomecon and Vita worked collaboratively on integration concepts before converging on the final solution. There were three decent options. The final was the winner to balance the attributes required by the client.” -Derek Sikora, CTO Vita Inclinata

Vita and Bomecon devised a way of integrating their two systems to best balance costs, complexity, weight, and performance, in order to meet Thorp’s requirements. They decided to place the Vita Load Navigator’s thrusters and control box at the rear end of the Maxi-Steker as an integrated package, optimizing weight distribution and total weight, while still safeguarding the fans inside the Maxi-Steker.

“Prior to testing the final integration at Bomecon, Vita conducted an array of model-based simulation analysis activities and baseline testing of a similar configuration at Vita HQ. We knew going into the final integration that so long as “the pieces fit” – which there is always a risk in first articles, the final integrated product would work. Final integration testing at Bomecon’s site ensured the integrated product performed as intended.” -Derek Sikora, CTO Vita Inclinata

As a result, the RocketLever™️ was born. The entire process was quick - from the beginning of September until mid-November - before the full integrated design was finalized and ready to be delivered to the client.

“Thanks to the RocketLever™️ now we have all the load fixed without any rotation within it, and we can hold a fixed position to GPS in the wind! An absolute game changer for lifting and cladding tall buildings with any large façade item that can’t be loaded in the hoist and launched from the slab.” -Mark Willis, Operations Director Thorp Precast Ltd

Thanks to a complex problem requiring a creative solution, an innovative product is launched. One poised to revolutionize high-rise construction.

“This new piece of lifting equipment puts us at the forefront of lifting and safety innovation in the UK and the rest of the world and we are happy to be on this journey with our partners at Bomecon and Vita.” -Mark Willis, Operations Director Thorp Precast Ltd

Forward thinkers and innovators break barriers. The RocketLever™ represents a new era in construction where safety, precision, and efficiency converge. A joint venture, where creative problem-solving propels us to new heights.

May 24, 2024
Article Tags
see all
No items found.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the most important stories sent directly to your inbox.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
By clicking submit below, you consent to allow Vita Inclinata to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.