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continued from page 12             known for,” Verreet says without com-
         difference in modulus doesn’t matter.”  plaint. “I was looking for a cartoonist   Roland Verreet will speak at the
                                                                                    AWRF meeting this April
           He also sends rope designs to a metal   30 years ago to illustrate my papers.”
         printer, which uses steel powder, and   He found Rolf Bunse, who Verreet said   Verreet will speak to the Associ-
         makes wire rope. “I actually own and   was not only a good artist, but also   ated  Wire Rope Fabricators orga-
         patented the first wire rope not made   technically precise. Through the years   nization at their spring meeting,
         out of wire.”                      they developed a close friendship. De-  April 22-25, near Scottsdale, AZ.
                                                                                The title of his talk will be, Ropes:
           He says if he wanted to design a rope,   spite his serious demeanor, “Rolf is the   From Fiber to Steel and Now Back
         he  could  produce  it  in  five  different   most humorous person I’ve ever met.  to Fiber?
         variations using the 3D printer within   “The figure with the cigarette hang-
         hours, saving time and money. And he   ing out of his mouth is Rolf’s self-por-  “When Kevlar was introduced in
         could make a rope with terminations at   trait. Rolf smoked constantly,” says   1975, many predicted the demise of
         either end, all in one continuous piece.  Verreet, who  lost his  friend to lung   wire rope,” says Verreet. “Today a
                                            cancer last year. He’s sure he’ll never   myriad of fibers are available, and
         That funny cartoon with the guy    find a worthy replacement.          wire rope is often still the choice.”
         that has a cigarette hanging from                                      Why?
         his mouth                          Investigator, speaker, expert witness  Verreet  will  discuss  the  chal-
           Despite his  hard work  and awards,   Verreet seems to have no intentions   lenges of creating discard criteria
         Verreet claims that he has frequently   of slowing down.               for fibers. And he’ll delve into ideas
         been upstaged by a funny guy with a   He says the manager of a distributor   for  creating  standards that would
         cigarette hanging from his mouth. He   once introduced him as “the person who   reduce confusion and ensure safety.
         is featured in cartoons that illustrate   makes wire rope sexy.” But, he says, “I   For  more  information, go to:
         Verreet’s papers.                  think that rope has always been sexy.
           “It is the cartoons that I seem to be   “I am a long-term member of AWRF
                                                                               and OIPEEC.” For the latter, Verreet
         “I was involved with the design of the highest vertical-lift bridge in Europe,” says Verreet. The
         Pont Gustave-Flaubert is 670m long, with a span of 116m. Spanning the Seine River in Rouen, it   has served as secretary for 8 years, and
         allows ships up to 55m tall to pass beneath it. Photo © Christine Bird |  as vice  president and president.  Now
                                                                               he is an Honorary Member.
                                                                                 “I’m probably the best known person
                                                                               in the field of ropes and reeving sys-
                                                                               tems in Germany because of the fact
                                                                               that  I  give  two-day  courses  at  Haus
                                                                               der Technik (House of Technology) in
                                                                               Essen two or three times a year. Al-
                                                                               most  everybody  in  the  German  rope
                                                                               and lifting industry has attended my
                                                                               lectures at least once.
                                                                                 “I work as an expert witness in court
                                                                               worldwide. I have dealt with cases
                                                                               where my fee was larger than a dam-
                                                                               age caused by the rope failure,  and I
                                                                               have dealt with others where the dam-
                                                                               age caused by the rope failure cost hun-
                                                                               dreds of millions and even more than a
                                                                               billion dollars. (In these cases, my fee
                                                                               was lower than the damage.)
                                                                                 Of  course,  Verreet  asserts,  wire  rope
                                                                               experts are not known or distinguished
                                                                               outside their field. “They don’t collect No-
                                                                               bel prizes,” he jokes. But he has received
                                                                               “some nice awards,” he says. “I am very
                                                                               proud of the custom-made award I re-
                                                                               ceived from Bob Cabana, the director of
                                                                               the Kennedy Space Center, for the work
                                                                               I have done for NASA. I helped with a
                                                                               problem related to the space station as-
                                                                               sembly crane, and did crane and safety
                                                                               training for the NASA lifting engineers.
                                                                               This is better than a Nobel prize, because
                                                                               there is not a second one like it.”
                                                                                 It is an apt award for Roland Verreet,
                                                                               whose work in the wire rope field is of-
                                                                               ten inventive and unique.
                                                                                 For instance, he  was  involved in  the
                                                                               design of the highest vertical-lift bridge
                                                                                                continued on page 74

         14     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   February 2018
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