Magnet System for Rope Access

Abfad's Patented Magnetic Positioning Aid

Abfad’s Unique Magnet System

We’ve been in the rope access industry for over 20 years and we’ve encountered many difficult jobs, in many difficult locations. So much so that we have developed a Magnet System to give us the perfect solution for these types of jobs.

We wanted it to be robust enough to be used over and over again; we believe this Magnet System will pay for itself with multiple savings across multiple jobs. This is why we have chosen high spec materials for its construction. We could have gone with lower grade construction materials, but we didn’t want to put out a low-quality item. Abfad has a reputation for high standards and quality and we didn’t want to compromise on this and release an inferior product.

Where did the idea come from?

A shipyard asked us to coat the hull of a large ship using rope access. The overhang and angle of the bow and the stern looked to be a major problem.

We considered different methods of how this could be done, all of which would be expensive. In the end, we decided the best way would be on the ropes with the aid of some kind of magnet system for positioning.

Luckily, we already had a system in development.

The idea is to hold the rope access technician in place close to the hull, allowing them to perform the coating work. They would still be attached to the ropes in the usual manner and independently anchored to the deck above. This would provide a very important lifeline for our personnel.

The operation was a big success; we were even featured in publications such as the Times newspaper and other world-wide journals.

In the years following this initial trial, we made significant improvements to the Magnet System. Both in the way it looks and its operation. Making them better than ever.

Magnetic Positioning Aid

The Abfad Magnet System

Our best Magnet System yet

Today, our Magnetic Positioning Aid is constructed from 316L stainless steel, meaning it’s robust enough for the harsh environments regularly encountered in this industry. It can be used in both offshore and onshore environments.

We also get them manufactured here in the UK to the highest specifications.

The Magnet System pulling force is over 355kgs. This keeps you secure in position and allows you to carry out the required operation with confidence.

Each device is tested when manufactured to ensure pulling force meets this standard; the test is carried out on 50mm thick steel plate. The Magnet System pull off strength was initially tested by the TWI (The Welding Institute) to ensure the design was effective.

Why do we use the best grade materials and manufacturing? Well, we want this to be a quality item that will last you for a long time, and they will do if taken care of properly, allowing you to use them for multiple jobs.

Our rope access Magnet System can become a useful part of your standard kit. They will pay for themselves many times over, whilst saving you money over alternative positioning methods.

The device does not even need to be calibrated. The magnet unit is permanently magnetised, so you can be confident it will not lose power (unless it is dropped or mistreated of course).

The Abfad Magnet System in use on the hull of a ship

Coating the hull of a ship by rope access and Abfad’s Magnet System


Whilst the Magnet System has incredible holding power, it’s not designed to be a method of life support for people. It’s designed to be a positioning aid only, thereby enabling rope access technicians to maintain a stable position during work activities.

Life support equipment and methods must always be used during any work at height activities as set out by IRATA or equivalent procedures.

Conquering Newton’s third law of motion

Newton’s third law of motion states “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.

I’m sure you’ll know how much this law comes into play when you are trying to perform certain activities by rope.

When you’re trying to blast, spray, drill, grind, or perform some other mechanical activity whilst suspended by a rope, it can get particularly tricky at times. The force being applied to the working surface also pushes you off in the opposite direction; this is Newton’s third law of motion in action.

You don’t need to waste valuable time tying into the surrounding structure, which is sometimes impossible, the Magnet System holds you in place. If you need a new work position, simply release the lever and move the device to a new position. The system is designed to be as simple to use as possible.

Removing the Magnet System from the substarte

Application and removal is designed to be as simple as possible

What other uses can this Magnet System have?

The Magnet system was designed by rope access technicians for rope access technicians.

Designed to be a magnetic anchor to position rope access specialists and provide an advantage to productivity and speed. This also allows the user to have greater precision when working.

But, we’ve found that our humble positioning aid has many more uses than this, and in many more industries.

Particularly, the shipping and marine industry where they can be used all around the vessel. They’re perfectly designed for use in this harsh environment. They can be used to attach to other ships, for attaching lines to around the vessel, for use in salvage operations, and even underwater activities around the ship.

There are many activities and industries that could benefit from the use of this Magnet System.

Don’t take our word for it

We want you to be 100% sure that our Magnet System is as good as we say it is. Here are a few words from some of the people and companies who have purchased from us already:

“Good, light and easy compared to other solutions on the market”

“The magnets looked like a good solution for positioning of personnel / holding back personnel during grit blasting.”

“Strong and light magnets

“Very good”

“Researched such magnets suitable for rope access and came across Abfad magnets”

“Abfad’s Magnet Positioning Aid is fully engineered and manufactured in the UK, to the highest quality and standards”

How Can I Purchase Abfad’s Magnet System?

You can purchase directly from us; send an email to with your enquiry or quote request.

If the Magnet System is taken care of properly, we believe, it will last the user a lifetime.

Make your next job easier