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West Lancashire Company Celebrate Giant Canine Conveyor Contract

West Lancashire Company Celebrate Giant Canine Conveyor Contract

12th Jan, 19


A West Lancashire conveyor solutions company has just completed its most unusual contract ever - helping to animate a nine-foot-high dog, the canine star of a giant puppet spectacular that attracted more than one million people onto the streets of Liverpool.

Engineers from Burscough-based Cobalt Conveyors helped the dog Xolo to run along a city centre street as part of the finale of Liverpool’s Dream, a four-day extravaganza presented by French marionette street theatre company, Royal de Luxe.

This was the third and final visit to Liverpool by the Nantes-based giants, and was designed to mark the tenth anniversary of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year in 2008.

The company’s first visit was in 2012 when Sea Odyssey, marking the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, attracted 800,000 spectators.

Two years later, this figure rose to more than a million people when the company staged Memories of August 2014 as part of World War One centenary celebrations.

This time round Royal de Luxe Artistic Director Jean Luc Courcoult presented an all-new show staged in Liverpool and Wirral featuring for the first time the adventures of a little boy giant as well as a number of favourites from previous visits like the ever-popular Xolo.

Cobalt was asked to manufacture and supply a bespoke belt conveyor to enable the canine star to run along the Strand on the touching last day of the visit, when the giants bade a fond farewell to their many Merseyside friends for the final time.

Cobalt Managing Director, Simon Turner, commented: “Although we have been asked to supply conveyors for the TV and film industry on many previous occasions, this was certainly the most unusual - and exciting - request we’ve ever handled.

“We were delighted to work with Event Design and Royal de Luxe on the project, and to be part of this superb event.

“It was a privilege to see how this talented company bring their massive puppets to life, and how they create personalities that have brought a huge amount of pleasure to hundreds of thousands of Merseysiders on three separate occasions,” added Mr Turner.

Cobalt Conveyors was established in Southport in 2007 before moving to Burscough in 2012.

The company can provide turnkey systems for manufacturers across many sectors including packaging, warehousing, clothing, food processing, cosmetics, automotive and engineering.

In addition, Cobalt offers its expertise and support to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), project management companies and engineering firms.


Key facts about Xolo the dog’s conveyor:

  • Bespoke made to the specifications requested by Royal De Luxe.
  • Speed of conveyor - min 50m/min to max 125m/min, using a new synchronous drive drum with a variable speed inverter housed within a weather-proof panel.
  • Speed adjustable via an external hand-held panel with start, stop and emergency push buttons, and a ten-turn potentiometer for speed variation.
  • 3m long x 980mm wide belt.
  • Green three-ply PVC belt due to the dog’s nails being made of hardened steel and potentially sharp enough to cause the belt to tear.
  • Conveyor has reinforced bedplates to take the weight of the puppet.

Accompanying Photo: “Xolo bids farewell to Liverpool”

Copyright: P Caldwell

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