OIPEEC – International Organization for the Study of Ropes

2009 OIPEEC Conference Report

Largest Ever OIPEEC Conference
Stuttgart, Germany

Note: A PDF version of this report is available: Click Here

In celebration of 175 years of wire rope between March 19th and 20th our OIPEEC Organization held the largest ever conference on rope science and technology with over 200 attendees. This year’s meeting had been organized in conjunction with the University of Stuttgart’s Department of Logistics and Material Handling’ 3rd. International Ropedays.

OIPEEC is an international association dedicated to the study of the endurance of ropes. Established in 1963, OIPEEC currently has over 130 members from 30 countries.

OIPEEC organizes meetings every second year to present scientific papers and research around the technology-, endurance-, inspection-, and safety of ropes. “Ropes” as defined as made from steel as well as ropes made from synthetic fibers.


This year’s conference was held in the historic equestrian training facility in Stuttgart’s city center. Over 2 days a total of 22 presentation on rope science, technology, safety, and inspection were presented. The topics ranged from the history of rope (Weiss and Ridge), high performance roundslings (St. Germain), synthetic ropes under traction fatigue (Ashkenazi), swaged fitting under tension and fatigue (Raupp), over discard investigation of wire rope used in a gold mine (Rebel) to a finite element approach for rope modeling (Usabiaga/Durville).

Among the these scientific presentations, Dr. Ulrich Briem of The University of Applied Sciences -FH Regensburg, presented an interesting paper on possible further development of the Feyrer formulae which is used to calculate wire rope endurance. Dr. Briem proposed a model to evaluate the service life of running wire rope when loaded by various dynamic stresses. Such a model could drastically change the way we more precisely could predict service life of wire ropes in the future.

Proposed model by Prof. Briem

Another captivating presentation came during the conference dinner when Donald Sayenga (USA), Historian of the AWRF, Associated Wire Rope Fabricators, gave a presentation on Innovative Ropes and Rope Applications, the theme of the meeting. Sayenga, a long-time member of the wire rope community discussed among other issues, the linkage of the two concepts and urged that by having a better understanding of the past, more can be achieved in the future.

During the conference all participants had the opportunity to attend an open house hosted by Prof. Wehking, head of the IFT of the University of Stuttgart. The rope testing and science laboratory is second to none worldwide and should stand as a testament that a seemingly ‘old’ machinery element, the rope, still bears enormous research and development potential.

Reception at the rope testing laboratory of the IFT

The OIPEEC 2009 conference also marked a changing of the guards, as outgoing president Roland Verreet announced that Knut Buschmann (Unirope Ltd, Canada) was unanimously elected the new president of OIPEEC. Dr. Isabel Ridge (Tension Technology International, GB) was elected Vice President and Editor, Jeffrey Gilbert (AWRF, USA) was elected to secretary and treasurer, and Jean-Marc Teissier (DEP Engineering, France) named Chairman of the Science Committee. Also announced was that the next meeting will be held in Las Vegas, NV USA in March 2011.

New OIPEEC President Knut Buschmann

On the entertainment side the conference Banquet included a ‘high wire act’ from Berlin as well as a educational harbor cruise followed by a visit to the Mercedes Benz Museum.

All presented papers are available for purchase at our web site www.oipeec.org

The ‘high wire act’ during the dinner banquet

Buschmann and Prof. Wehking in conversation about the ‘wire’ in ‘the’ act.

Outgoing OIPEEC President Roland Verreet

Thanks to the Conference organizers Jens Weiss and Prof. Wehking
Cruise on the Neckar river

Jean-Marc Teissier already worried about the Science Committee?