Automation provides perfect playing conditions

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

The concertina roof on Wimbledon's Centre Court relies on advanced automation technologies from a number of suppliers.

There are electromechanical actuators to lift the tops of the folds, more actuators to control their shape and others to lock things in place while geared motors move the bases of the folds.

In order to manage these, there are two PLCs per section and one PLC to provide overall management, safety, and initiate tiny periodic movements to ensure that nothing seizes up during the long periods when the roof sections are not moved.

Deployment from "Parked" to "Championship", "Sunshade" and "Deployed" modes are initiated by single button presses. Positioning is controlled to within 2mm when moving and 0.1mm when stopped. The whole roof can be opened or closed in 8 minutes, which is 2 minutes less than the original target. Full details about how it all works will be revealed in the July 2009 edition of "Eureka".

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