Swann Engineering Group Ltd has successfully completed the fabrication and installation of a new 50-metre high radar tower for the London Port Authority.
The location of the tower is in Northfleet, which overlooks Gravesend Reach – one of the busiest stretches of the River Thames for large ships.
The new tower was required to support a radar array that had previously been situated on a nearby tower block which, due to redevelopment of the area, was being decommissioned. This created the requirement for a purpose-built, standalone structure.
Our structure was fabricated at our manufacturing headquarters in Braintree, Essex, and once each section had been constructed, a trial assembly took place to confirm the structure met the customers specification. This was to ensure that once our team and the components were on-site, the build programme could be carried out as efficiently as possible.
With the structure signed off by the customer, each component of the tower was dispatched for galvanisation. This is a technique that involves applying a protective zinc coating to the steel, which prevents rusting. This process is applied to all Swann structures and is critical due to the weather conditions and exposure our towers regularly experience.
With the components transported and delivered to site, our engineering team assembled each section of the tower on the ground. Once each section had been constructed, it was then lifted by a 50-tonne crane and lowered into position.
With the first lower sections of the tower in place, a bespoke steel spiral staircase had to be threaded through the middle of the structure. The staircase is a crucial element to the operation of the tower as it provides access to the electronic systems that operate the radar array. With careful planning and precision engineering, both the staircase and tower interfaced correctly.
Once the staircase had been successfully braced to the tower, the remaining sections of the structure could then be placed by utilising a larger 150-tonne crane.
Throughout the project, our teams encountered challenges due to the exposed nature of the site and the imminent winter weather. However, these were overcome by an efficient build programme, with Swann being able to deliver the project on time and to specification.
Ian Coxall, Senior Project Engineer, stated: “This was an exciting project to be a part of which, although it came with challenges, our team was able to deliver a good quality project, on time and to the customers specifications. Well done to everyone involved”.
For more information on our range of structural solutions, please contact our Customer Support Team on 0800 090 2375 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org