The Allfasteners Raptor Radome: Conceal Without the Ordeal

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

With roots in the land down under dating back to 1994, Allfasteners hopped overseas, tapping into the U.S. tower market in 2012. The family-owned company initially entered the sector with structural blind bolting but has expanded exponentially, and organically, now offering everything from small cell solutions to safety climb systems.

Concealment products, aside from protecting high-cost infrastructure, are also favorable from an aesthetics perspective, easing municipality concerns around blending necessary technology into everyday surroundings. However, even solution-oriented concealment products can present their own set of issues.

Installing and removing loose bolts, straps, and buckles, as well as handling panels at heights can be a cumbersome process, according to Bruce Carmichael, Allfasteners Sales Manager. The hardware is easily damaged and can go missing, and that’s where the real problem starts.

“Traditionally, the panels have nylon bolts on the vertical seam,” Carmichael explains. Whoever is accessing the system is responsible for returning each element to its proper position. “Invariably, these nylon bolts are left out, or are broken or lost.” The panel becomes a windsock, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.

A major towerco was struggling with concealment panels blowing off of its monopoles, putting equipment and most significantly, contractors, at risk. The Allfasteners team hosted a brainstorming session with the towerco to engineer a product that could specifically address the issue at hand. The Raptor Radome was born.

Fast forward to a successful protoype, a patent pending and seven completed site executions from its “soft launch.” The Raptor Radome, fabricated in the United States, provides a unique set of features and benefits.

Typically, adjusting or moving concealment panels requires a manlift and a crane. Allfasteners’ Raptor Radome takes the crane out of the equation, saving time and eliminating that expense. “Ease-of access is our number one differentiator,” says Carmichael. The innovative design allows for 360-degree access to all equipment.

Even on a three-day project, certain carriers require all panels to be put back in place overnight, so daily rigging and unrigging is required. “There hasn’t been a product that allows the contractor to simply open the panel, complete the access work and close it,” says Carmichael.

The latch system and six-inch skirt around the base exposes the latch, making it, “nearly impossible” for contractors to forget to close the panel. “If you leave that skirt off, you have full visual that you didn’t close the latch,” explains Carmichael. Allfasteners has also completed dynamic wind testing with a third-party lab on the doors in open position up to 30 mph, and in closed position up to 150 mph, with no issue.

Tower Engineering Professionals (TEP) completed an installation of the Raptor Radome at a site in Dallas, Texas. They have also provided input regarding the engineering and design of the product. “The Raptor Radome is a real game changer,” says Ryan Tindell, Sr. Project Manager on TEP’s Design Build team. “The design and function solve a big problem with the concealment towers. The door design makes routine maintenance and service a simple process. Installation was no more complex than similar, but less functionable designs.”

The Raptor Radome is a newer, customizable product, but it can also be installed on older structures. “You can purchase the product with the steel, or we can retrofit to an existing tower,” says Carmichael. In the latter instance, Allfasteners supplies a radiused piece for each door section with a pivot point, so you can position the top and bottom connection to the existing bulkhead.

Aside from decreasing remobilization and rigging costs, the Raptor Radome also presents “a longevity angle,” according to Carmichael. He says most original concealment products were made out of fiberglass, without the long-term in mind. Allfasteners uses durable material that isn’t as prone to expanding, contracting, and becoming brittle. “In the elements, that’s a huge factor.”

Similarly, “There have been straps and hurricane tape applied to a lot of existing sites around the whole canister, as a repair kit,” explains Carmichael. All of the Raptor Radome’s testing was completed without these materials, removing the need to purchase similar kits, which for materials alone, cost $150 per section. Plus, you get back the time spent cutting, unwinding and re-wrapping the canister.

The Raptor Radome is officially ready for roll out. Each has a locking system for security and is provided a custom shipping crate to ensure safe delivery. For more information, about the product, or other Allfasteners concealment products, visit https://info.allfasteners.com/concealment-solutions.

 

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.