Winch System Benefits

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Simplify maintenance

Mechanical access equipment dramatically cuts maintenance downtime.

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Control options

Winch systems come with a range of control options including hand cranked, wall-mounted push button, or remote-control.

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Safer operations

Remove risks associated with working at height. Winch systems lower objects for maintenance at ground level.

High Risk
Protect Assets

Prevent damage when accessing objects suspended at height during cleaning and maintenance.

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Compact design

Roof space above a suspend asset can be limited. Winches are compact, with the option to hide the operating mechanism.

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Reliable access system

Robust and reliable systems with ingress protection up to IP65 for dusty or moisture-rich environments.

Why choose a Penny Engineering Winch System?

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UK winch manufacturers

Winch systems are installed, and load tested by dedicated engineers, with bespoke or off-the-shelf winches available.

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Servicing and maintenance

UK-wide network of maintenance engineers deliver on-demand support with the annual servicing to remain LOLER compliant.

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Bespoke winch systems

The perfect-fit winch system can be custom configured to the specific weight, drop and location of the item to be suspended.

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Committed to sustainability

Penny Engineering continue to invest in reducing its carbon footprint. Sustainable investments include solar panels, low-energy use equipment, insulation and landfill-free waste streams.

Lighting Hoist Installed for Northside Roofing Project at Windsor Castle

A key element of the castle’s décor, chandelier maintenance has been transformed with specialist raising and lowering systems for fast and safe access, without the need to work at height.

Winch Systems | Hoisting Equipment | Penny Engineering

Leeds Town Hall

Chandelier raising and lowering systems keep maintenance disruption to a minimum while ensuring winch mechanisms are hidden from view when in the raised position.

Winch Systems News & Advice

Sectors we work with

Great for maintaining lighting and ceiling fixtures, as well as CCTV and climate control systems, our Raising and Lowering winch systems are exceptional for bars, hotels and restaurants.

pexels andrea piacquadio 3796810

Excellent for commercial applications; shopping centres, department stores and warehouses can all benefit from our discreet and bespoke Raising and Lowering winches for their displays, CCTV and lighting systems.

pexels pixabay 54581

Our Raising and Lowering winches are wonderful for entertainment and leisure industries, and can be utilized in Theatres, stadiums, galleries and more.

pexels keenan constance 5691279

Winch System Accreditations

Made in Britain - Penny Engineering

Made in Britain

LEEA Development Member - Penny Engineering

LEEA Development Member

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management - Penny Engineering Ltd

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management

Safe Contractor - Penny Engineering Ltd

Safe Contractor

CSCS - Penny Engineering Ltd


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Ford Pro Convertor

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ISO 14001:2015

ISO 45001 - Penny Engineering Ltd

ISO 45001

Winch System Clients

Winch System Clients


What information do you require from me in order to specify a system?


Weight is the main criterion when selecting the appropriate system. The weight of the luminaire plus the weight of any accessories must be taken into account. Never exceed the lifting capacity of the system.

Lowering Distance is the second most important point to consider. What is the distance from the ceiling to ground level?

Shape and design – Is the luminaire directional? Or particularly long, with multiple hanging points? The shape and design of the luminaire determines whether single or multiple suspension wires are required.

Luminaire Requirements – Additional contacts for DALI/dimming circuits or similar would require a multi-contact system. In addition to the main lighting circuit, additional auxiliary contacts can be provided via a contact suspension unit, spring operated cable reel or self-contained multi-contact hoist.

Control and operation of the electric winch systems can be carried out via a plug-in hand held Remote Control Unit, wireless radio remote control or hard-wired buttons on a control panel.

Lead time – How quickly do you need your lighting lift? We have a range of ‘off the shelf’ self- contained electric lighting hoists that are easy to install and on short lead times.

What type of winches are available?


Small, self-contained electric winches controlled using a wireless remote control unit are ideal for smaller loads and when multiple units are required eg highbay warehouse lighting. We design larger, bespoke winch systems powered by hand or using electric motors, which are ideal when the load is heavier and/or more delicate. These systems are fully customisable and our design team will work with you to arrive at the best possible solution for your given circumstances.

How do you control the raise and lower systems?


Electric systems – we offer the option of controlling via either a wireless remote-control handset, a removable handset that plugs into a wall socket, hard-wired controls mounted to a faceplate on the wall, or control via a building management system (BMS) eg Crestron or Lutron.

Manual systems – are operated by manually rotating a hand crank/winch handle. We offer the options of having the handle permanently attached to the body of the hoist, or removable should the hoist need to be tamper proof (eg located in a public area).

What is used to suspend the lighting?


We always use wire rope installed on our bespoke and ‘off the shelf’ self-contained winches to suspend the light fitting. The weight of the fitting influences the diameter of the rope used. All rope used is tested and certified. Stainless rope will be specified when the winch is in a corrosive environment (outside/swimming pools etc).

What are the power requirements for the systems?


Our electric lighting winch systems for sale in the UK require a domestic single phase 230v 50Hz power supply. We usually require this in the form of a fused spur next to the winch control box. For international customers, our systems can be built to run on your local domestic or commercial power supply. Be sure to specify this to our sales team if making an enquiry.

What are the main component parts of a winch system?


Our bespoke winch systems use several component parts to function, depending on their configuration:

The hoist assembly – The hoist assembly consists of a drum for the wire rope to feed onto and an electric motor/gearbox which rotates the drum. If access is difficult, we can often locate the hoist assembly remotely and direct the hoist rope to the main lowering point using pulleys.

Pulleys – Pulleys are used to direct the rope between the hoist assembly and the Contact Suspension Unit. The pulley bodies come is different configurations depending on how the pulley are to be used and where they are to be installed. Also, the size of the wire rope used will determine the size of pulley wheel used.

Contact Suspension Units – When the light is in its raised and operating position the Contact Suspension Unit automatically makes the electrical circuits and engages a “mechanical lock”, consequently relieving the winch, pulleys and wire rope from tension. Unlocking the unit to lower the light for maintenance automatically breaks the electrical circuits therefore no live cables are lowered with the fitting.

Cable Reels – The cable reel pays out the electrical flex to the light fitting as it is lowered to ground level and then automatically retracts the flex when raising the fitting back up to high level. This means that the fitting can remain energised throughout the raising and lowering process.

Hoist control enclosure – The hoist motor uses 3 phase power to run so we use an inverter to convert the domestic 230v power supply feeding the system to 3 phase power that the hoist motor can utilise. The inverter is housed in the Hoist controller enclosure. All the system control circuits feed back to this enclosure. Although it is usually housed close to the winch assembly, this is not essential and can be up to 30m away from the hoist assembly.

Does the winch have to be installed directly above the light fitting?


No, not at all. With our bespoke systems, the winch can be located remotely to the main lowering point (directly above the light fitting). In fact, it could be located in a completely different part of the building! We would then use a series or pulleys to direct the hoist rope (used to suspend the light fitting) from the hoist location back to the main lowering point directly above the light fitting.

How is power fed to the lights when they are being raised and lowered?


Depending on the system we specify, there are two options:

Using a Contact Suspension Unit (CSU) or off the shelf self-contained lighting hoist – both these systems break the electrical feed to the light fitting when lowering to ground level (isolating the light fitting) and automatically make the electrical contacts when raised back up in the fully raised position.

Spring operated cable reel – there are some applications when it is necessary to have the light fitting energised throughout the raising and lowering process. When this is necessary, we would specify a spring-operated cable reel. The cable reel pays out the electrical flex to the light fitting as it is lowered to ground level and then automatically retracts the flex when raising the fitting back up to high level.

What safety features do you fit as standard with your hoist systems?


Secondary support – All our systems utilise a secondary support anchor when the light fitting is at the upper raised position. This comes in the form of either a ‘mechanical lock’ or a secondary support rope (able to support the full weight of the fitting). The mechanical locking device ensures the weight of the fitting is only acting on the hoist system components during the raising and lowering process.

Worm drive gearboxes – We use self-sustaining worm drive gearboxes on all our electric bespoke systems. This prevents the gearbox running back if the motor were to fail.

Electromagnetic brakes – The motors we use contain an electromagnetic brake which is always engaged when there is no power to the motor.

Torque limiters – All bespoke single rope hoist assemblies have a torque limiting device fitted as standard. This ensures that, should a winch rope snag or become entangled, the hoist will deactivate to prevent over-torqueing the rope and putting it under unnecessary strain.

Slack rope switches – All bespoke single rope hoists have ‘slack rope limit switches’ fitted as standard. These constantly monitor the tension of the hoist rope and deactivate the hoist should they slacken off to prevent the hoist paying out rope. This ensures the hoist maintains even rope lays on the hoist drum.

Limit switches – We always use mechanical limit switches to ensure the ultimate range of travel can be set to avoid a light fitting impacting the floor or ceiling.

Winch inverter – The winch controller has ‘soft start’ functionality, ensuring there is a gradual, smooth acceleration up to full speed to avoid potentially dangerous ‘jolting’ of delicate light fittings.

What lead time can I expect when ordering one of your lighting systems?


A fully bespoke system would usually be ready to install approximately 6 weeks from design approval. Our self-contained ‘off the shelf’ lifts can be ready to ship in less than a week.

Leeds Town Hall – Chandelier Winch Systems Speed Up Efficiency and Improve Safety

“The aftercare services that Penny Engineering offer is excellent, they’re only a phone call away to give you peace of mind. I am very satisfied with the service Penny supplied with these winches; I have no hesitation recommending them to anyone else thinking of using them.”
Leeds Town Hall – Chandelier Winch Systems Speed Up Efficiency and Improve Safety - Penny Engineering Ltd

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