Category Archives: Press Releases

Grasping – in more than one way

Grasping – in more than one way

Employee product training with the DoRa

Grasp, try out, experience with all senses – that was the motto of our internal employee product training. All coworkers should be able to experience the interaction of the new telescopic ratchet load binder DoRa with the DoNova® textile chain.

Our employees at the product training with the DoRa telescopic ratchet load binder
Our employees at the product training with the DoRa telescopic ratchet load binder

For this purpose, a training trailer was prepared on our company premises. First, a steel chain was tensioned with a standard binder, then our textile chain with the DoRa binder. In teams of two (Covid-tested and with masks) we were able to understand and – literally – experience for ourselves how much easier and more efficient load securing can be when the right products are used.

We learned:

  • Working with steel chains and standard binders is exhausting and energy-sapping (even for fit and athletic colleagues)
  • The textile chain DoNova®, on the other hand, is almost as light as a feather!
  • The DoRa saves strength and time: The DoNova® lashing chain does not have to be pulled so tightly when hooking in. Due to the long tensioning distance, there are often tensioning- „reserves“ so that the binder must not be removed in order to retension.
  • DoRa and DoNova® together are an impressive and noticeable reduction in difficulty!

The peculiarity of a Flemish eye

The peculiarity of a Flemish Eye

Our content-editor visits the ropery

Whenever I come to the ropery, I feel as if I have entered a very special world. A distinctive smell hangs in the air, it is a mixture of steel and grease. The roar of the machines and the sound of a hammer can be heard. The main role here is played by steel cables – meters long, thin, and thick, shiny or matt.

They lie coiled on large wooden reels on the shelf, waiting to be processed. In contrast to the fine ropes workshop next door, in which delicate work is required on ropes from 0.8 to 6 mm in diameter, steel ropes from 6 mm in diameter are processed in the rope shop. In addition to a lot of know-how, real strength is also required.

Making ropes is craftsmanship in the literal sense of the word. 12 colleagues are currently employed here, and young talent is hard to find. Most of the colleagues in the rope factory have been with the company for a long time, some of them for almost 50 years!

Waldemar Ptok

Waldemar Ptok is the master of the ropes. He has been working in the Dolezych rope factory for 31 years, starting as an apprentice. In no time at all he shows me how to make a Flemish eye, a particularly safe and long-lasting wire rope connection for sling ropes.  It is a relatively thin rope of 20 mm with which he demonstrates this to me – upwards of 24 mm rope diameter teams of two must work on the rope. This rope termination is possible for ropes between 8 mm and 32 mm.

The Flemish Eye

Flemish eyes are particularly safe. This is due the special way in which they are made, but also attributable to the fact that in Germany, steel ropes with a steel core (instead of a fiber core) and a steel ferrule are usually used for Flemish eyes. The steel core makes Flemish eyes particularly suitable for use in hot areas up to 400° Celsius. A fiber core would burn at these temperatures – undetectable to the user. Consequentially, the rope would become hollow inside. The fiber composite would collapse and would therefore no longer be able to support the load. The specified load capacity of the rope could then be negatively affected. However, this danger may not be noticed during a visual examination!

Due to the eyelet formation by splicing and crimping, the Flemish Eye offers 100% safety for the minimum breaking load for all 6-stranded constructions. The special design of the of the Flemish Eye guarantees a symmetrical distribution of the force. A steel pressure clamp ensures that Flemish eyes are more wear-resistant than ropes with aluminum pressure clamps.

The slim, conical shape of the steel ferrule, which tapers towards the bottom, prevents the rope from snagging when pulled under loads or when bundling. The Flemish eye is 100 percent manual work! Splicing the rope, reconnecting the strands in opposite directions as an eye and then to evenly wrap the strand ends around the load-bearing rope so that the steel clamp can be slid over it – yes, this is where pure rope craftsmanship is required!

A lot of training is needed to perfect the craft of a ropemaker

Practice makes perfect

Waldemar Ptok estimates that it takes two to three months before the individual steps are really internalized. „You have to repeat the process over and over again, it takes practice.“ With 31 years of experience, it looks foolproof, but I, for whom these steps are still new, get lost in the individual strands. „Simply bending“ doesn’t work, steel needs muscle power and a Flemish eye requires a particularly structured approach.

No wonder a lot of training is needed for this. But this work and the responsibility that goes with it satisfies Waldemar Ptok. The ropes with the Flemish eyes are tested in our test laboratory, as are all our products so that safety is guaranteed.

A personal summary

The visit to the rope factory has (once again) impressively shown me the responsibility that the colleagues in production bear every day. As in our other production departments, it became clear to me that the human hand is irreplaceable for some processes and that this is what makes the products unique.

We have captured the operations in the ropery photographically.

Seilerei 1 Seilerei 2 Seilerei 3 Seilerei 4
Seilerei 5 Seilerei 6

The lashing straps of the Arc de Triomphe

The lashing straps of the Arc de Triomphe

Our lashing straps are part of the most spectacular current art installation: The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris 2021!

The wrapped Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle
The wrapped Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle

More than 2.600 lashing straps in the special colors silver-grey and orange were supplied to the Christo project-team. Silvia Bauer from our sales team made sure that everything ran smoothly and was organized perfectly. Our lashing straps held 25,000 square meters or 15 tons of silver-grey fabric to the scaffolding construction and were responsible for the fact that people from all over the world could admire the covered French national monument.

Plans to cover the monument as early as the 1960s

The Parisian landmark, which was erected between 1806 and 1836, could be discovered in a new way for 16 whole days from September 18th to October 3rd, 2021. The posthumous installation – Christo died in May 2020 – is a tribute to Christo and Jeanne-Claude and at the same time the realization of Christo’s last wish, which he even mentioned in his will. If the Corona pandemic had not intervened, the project would have been realized as early as spring 2020. Already in 1961, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the idea of covering the Arc de Triomphe. The couple were living in Paris at the time.

60 years later, the vision became reality: A substructure protected the historic building, and the shimmering silver-grey fabric covered the monument. Invisible for the most part, but indispensable: our lashing straps! These made sure that the heavy fabrics were properly secured in place. They were ordered in special colors, a fact that Christo had planned in detail before his death.

A lashing strap was needed every 50 cm. Silver-grey lashing straps held the fabric tarpaulins to poles, secured the scaffolding and connected the fabric with the scaffolding. Orange lashing straps, 100 mm wide, were responsible for securing the Arc de Triomphe.

Sven Wasik and Vladimir Yavachev on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe
Sven Wasik and Vladimir Yavachev on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe

Our head of business development, Sven Wasik, was on site on the weekend of the actual wrapping. The magic word „Vladimir Yavachev“ opened the well-guarded site for him. Yavachev is Christo’s nephew, one of his closest confidants for years, and the project director for the veiled Arc de Triomphe. He finally brought Sven Wasik to the to the very top of the roof of the Arc de Triomphe.

Wasik’s impression: Gigantic! Our lashing straps dominated the picture on the day before the final wrapping. The entire project family is happy. About the project itself, of course but also happy that our lashing straps on site held everything together. „Your straps saved my ass!“. With this, Vladimir Yavachev thanked Sven Wasik impressively, after the work was done and when the first small roof was completely covered.

Of course, Udo and Tim Dolezych also wanted to experience this outstanding project in person. Together with our Deputy Managing Director Karl-Heinz Keisewitt the Dolezych crew set off for Paris on the last weekend of September. On site they were impressed by the overwhelming project. The Arc de Triomphe shimmered in all its facets from reddish in the morning to silver-grey blue in the sunshine to dark gray in the evening. Also, the view of Paris from the roof of the veiled work of art was also breathtaking.

The knowledge of the inside of the art installation, of the fact that Dolezych lashing straps made all this possible in the first place, fills all three of them with pride. Proud, of having been part of an extremely impressive art installation with products from Dortmund.

Tim Dolezych, Udo Dolezych and Karl-Heinz Keisewitt in front of the Arc de Triomphe
The Dolezych crew in Paris

„We are very happy that our family business could be part of this spectacular wrapping. Similarly to the Berlin Reichstag, (editor’s note: 1995 „Wrapped Reichstag“: Wrapping of the German Parliament in Berlin by Christo and Jeanne-Claude) we experienced the Arc de Triomphe in a completely new way. Another fascinating experience, that makes you want to do more art projects!“

For those who want to know exactly

  • The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, inaugurated in 1836 by the French king Louis-Phillipe and dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire: The Arc de Triomphe is France’s national monument.
  • Architect Jean-François Chalgrin was inspired by antique models (Titus-arch in Rome) but planned with truly gigantic dimensions.
  • The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide! Under the arch lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame (Flamme du Souvenir) that is maintained daily.

Platinum wedding in the harbor

Platinum wedding in the harbor

For 70 years Dolezych has been at home at Dortmund port

More than 20 kilometers of track were laid, the cost to the state was 6.43 million Reichsmarks and the German Emperor Wilhelm II was present at the inauguration ceremony on August 11, 1899: The port has always been a project with supraregional appeal.

A good 35 years after the inauguration of the port, Franz Dolezych founds the nucleus of our present Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, the „Westdeutsche Drahtseilverkaufsgesellschaft mbH“ at Braunschweiger Straße 127 in Dortmund Asseln. The company grows in the following to 12 employees and a turnover of over 350,000 Reichsmark. With the further development, despite the difficult post-war years it becomes too cramped at the original company headquarters.

Franz Dolezych believes in the economic power of the port and relocated his headquarters in 1951 to today’s to what is now Hartmannstrasse (then still Sunderweg). The perfect location to be able to ship goods, whether by water or by land, to destinations all over the world.

Dream team in Dortmund

Both the port and Dolezych continue to grow. Today, the original „water station of the coal and steel industry“ is Europe’s largest canal port, an urban logistics center and industrial area. Dolezych provides secure jobs for around 230 employees in Dortmund. Our headquarter is continuously modernized and expanded.

In short, Dortmunder Hafen AG and Dolezych are a dream team. Managing Director Karl-Heinz Keisewitt is also active in the Dortmunder Hafenanlieger e.V. association, since 2016 as chairman. He sees the perfect location as one of the secrets of success: „The port of Dortmund is the largest contiguous commercial area on Dortmund’s surface. We like being here because the port is the perfect logistical hub in the heart of Europe. From here we can reach all relevant European destinations in 24 to 48 hours at the most.“

On the occasion of the official congratulations of the anniversary, Uwe Büscher, member of the Executive Board of Dortmunder Hafen AG, confirmed the close connection: „The bond that connects the port of Dortmund and Dolezych is equivalent to a tear-proof tiedown strap from your company. We look forward to the next decades of prosperous cooperation!“

Hardly anyone does that!

Hardly anyone does that!

Visit to the BlackSeries production facility

To lift large weights, you need huge lifting equipment? Wrong! You can also save space and at the same time lift extremely powerfully with various manual hoists, for example with lever chain hoists or block and tackle hoists. Our products from the BlackSeries range for „hand-operated cranes“ (also called manual hoists) are manufactured according to DIN EN 13157 and your individual specifications. According to your requirements we can, for example, adjust the stroke length. For pulley blocks (from 500 kg and lever hoists from 750 kg), the slipping clutch is set between 140 and 180% of the rated capacity. We then test the hoists with at least 25% overload and issue a corresponding 3.1 acceptance test certificate. We are proud to say that hardly any other manufacturer in Germany does this!

So much for product quality. But who at Dolezych manufactures the products? Who are the people behind the product?

They describe themselves as „best buddies“ – when asked what makes their work so special, both faces brighten up and they reflexively point at each other. The teamwork hand in hand is what they look forward to every day: „Above all, we are both a team – that makes every day a joy!

Always in the team

In this case, it’s Ahmet Avcioglu and Martin Labisch. The two have been working in BlackSeries production since 2017 and are perfectly matched. Mainly assembling Martin  Labisch, a trained specialist in warehouse logistics, and Ahmet Avcioglu, a trained lathe operator, assemble the BlackSeries manual hoists. In addition, the team repairs everything related to the hand hoists, of course also third-party products. Many spare parts for the most popular brands are immediately available from stock and can be installed at short notice.

Family and football

The common ground does not end at work. Both have sons almost the same age, and both love soccer. As a „Dortmund boy,“ Martin is naturally a BVB fan; Ahmet keeps his fingers crossed for his hometown club Beşiktaş Istanbul. But he is also interested in the Bundesliga and BVB.

Dream team with responsibility

Both do their responsible work inconspicuously in the background. It’s impressive how they work together to prepare the sometimes enormously large lifting equipment for the customer. In doing so, they always have the user’s safety in mind – the checks are taken very seriously and are carried out according to the dual control principle. Martin Labisch and Ahmet Avcioglu are noticeably proud of their work.  It fascinates them every day anew that such weighty loads can be lifted with so little effort. Making heavy things look light – that works best as a team!

For those who want to know exactly

  • With the BlackSeries lever hoists you can lift loads between 250 kg and 9 t.
  • The BlackSeries block and tackle is available for loads between 500 kg and 15 t (up to 50 t on request).
  • You determine and order the hoist length according to your needs – this is one of the advantages of our assembly service for you in Dortmund.
  • According to DGUV regulation 54, lever and pulley blocks must be subjected to a visual and functional test at least once a year. The Dolezych testing service will be happy to test at your site or also in our own testing laboratory.

DoLast lifts!

DoLast lifts!

300 Tons on a crossbeam

A huge coke-processing machine – a so-called filling car – is to be shipped as a whole via Brussels to Marseille. The task for us in Dortmund: to construct a lifting beam that can lift the filling car, which is approximately the size of a small house and weighs about 300 tons.

Our designers were happy to accept this challenge. The crossbeam is just as impressive in size as the machine being lifted. We were on site for the test lift: Within one morning, the spreader beam was attached, the gigantic load was lifted and it performed its service: Smoothly and reliably – test lift successful! We accompanied the exciting scene photographically:

Perfect connection between textile DoNova® chain and DoRa tensioner

Perfect connection between textile DoNova® chain and DoRa tensioner

For proper load securing you must secure with ratchet load tensioners and lashing chains, among other things. The faster and easier this can be done, the better for employees and nerves.

As is so often the case, the devil is in the details. This detail to the popular textile lashing chain DoNova® and the innovative ratchet load tensioner DoRa was developed by our engineers in Dortmund: The specially adapted DoRa hook now securely connects the DoRa telescopic tensioner to the DoNova® lashing chain. This allows you to enjoy all the advantages of the super-light textile chain and the DoRa tensioner in its minimal design with maximum tensioning travel at the same time – efficient and flexible working is then guaranteed!

Who wants to know exactly

Available is the combination of DoRa tensioner and DoNova® chain

  • for 25/8, DoNova® lashing chains with LC 10,000 daN (part no. 0385 0162)
  • for 30/8s with LC 16,000 daN
  • for 30/10s with LC 20,000 daN

Is that safe? – From practice to the test laboratory

Is that safe? – From practice to the test laboratory

We have tested makeshift applications of lashing hook connections for their safety

If you want to bundle loads safely one-piece belts are usually used. However, if the length of the available one-piece tiedown straps is not sufficient for this purpose or if none are available at all two-piece tiedown straps are often used. For bundling their profile hooks are then hooked into each other. Tiedown straps extended or connected in this way are not uncommon in European road traffic. But does this still conform to standards?

Standards and directives do not clearly define whether and which hook connections are permissible. They merely stipulate that hooks may be loaded with tensile stress but not with bending stress. At first glance this is probably not guaranteed for many of the improvised hook connections. So far, however, there are no published tests on the subject. So are such connections safe or not? Our technical team was curious and investigated this question together with Konrad Rainer from the Austrian expert office Cargo Safetytec in the Dolezych Germany test laboratory. The answers that emerged are impressive

Best possible test conditions

The test specimens were profile hooks (often referred to as pointed hooks), which are commonly used as connections of tiedown straps to lashing points or on outer frame hole profiles on the vehicle. On our certified testing machines of accuracy class 1, we tested test arrangements according to Figures 1 – 4.

For the tests we selected exclusively new unused and welded quality hooks of the same type from Dolezych. „We deliberately refrained from combining different hook types from different manufacturers because otherwise we would have had to consider additional influences that we wanted to exclude in our tests“ explains Uwe Schöbel, Head of the Technology Department.

Tests expose weak connections

The result of the tests is clear: Most of the tested lashing hook connection methods are not safe! „The majority of the hook combinations did not even survive the load test prescribed in the DIN EN 12195-2 standard. This states that a lashing hook must withstand a load of more than 25% of its WLL without deformation or malfunction“ says our test engineer Winfried Röhn. „In the subsequent tensile test, which is also required by the standard almost all the hook connections also failed. In this case the hooks should actually be able to be loaded with twice their WLL and survive this without breaking.“ In some Tests the hooks broke (Figs. 2 and 4). Other hook connections such as the one in Fig. 1, were already unacceptably bent up after the test loads. The only combination that survived all tests was the method of hooks symmetrically hooked into each other in the hook head (Fig. 3).

Impressive conclusion

Our tests thus show impressively: as soon as hooks are improperly connected and loaded for bending in the process they are no longer safe. The marked WLL is no longer achieved. This can have devastating consequences. Such improvised hook connections can fail in practical use and must therefore never be used! Only the variant symmetrically hooked into each other in the hook head (Fig.3) achieved the required strength in our tests. „If the lashing hooks are identical types that meet all normative requirements, this connection is perfectly possible in practical use,“ Uwe Schöbel sums up. Therefore, our urgent advice: Avoid risky improvisation! It is best to ensure the correct load securing in each case by using a suitable selection of lashing equipment. This includes, for example, strapping lashings in sufficient lengths or two-part systems with special lashing hooks.

The DoNova® PowerLash textile chain could also help. It is the flexible all-rounder“ (more information on its many possible applications can be found for example at www.donova.info).

Do you still have questions? Please contact us.