TOMCAT was recently chosen by rigging contractor Production & Rigging Resources of Dallas, Texas, to fabricate a new custom scoreboard support truss system for Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Baylor's University Ferrell Center is a geodesic dome structure and presented some unique challenges regarding point loading on the dome. As a working team, TOMCAT, Production & Rigging Resources, and Geiger Engineers of Suffern, NY, resolved these design challenges which resulted in an efficient circular truss design manufactured by TOMCAT.
The truss was constructed to be supported equally on (42) separate cables attached to (21) nodes in the building dome. Additionally, the truss system incorporated support positions for the scoreboard winch system, and had to be made robust enough to withstand the dynamic loads caused by the winch system including a potential E-Stop event.
"One of the challenges of this structure involved keeping the self-weight of the grid low enough to still have adequate payload for the scoreboard. Each node in the dome has a limited capacity so any weight added into the support grid either meant that the scoreboard couldn't be as heavy (which was not an option), or the design had to be changed to effectively attach to more nodes" declared Keith Bohn, TOMCAT's Custom Projects Director. Bohn added: "Along those same lines, the pattern of nodes in the building is asymmetrical. So, while there is a similar distance between nodes and support points, the truss support system was made to accommodate this asymmetrical layout. TOMCAT built the circle truss in a seven (7) section configuration to more logically match the pattern of the (42) cables attaching to the (21) nodes, ensuring that each section of truss equaled an arc of approximately 51.5 degrees."
In this unique layout the intersections to the center cruciform truss spans that support the scoreboard winch lines were not located in logical locations on the truss. On top of that, each connection was made to stand-off from the inside face of the truss as it was an attachment of a flat face, being the end of the cruciform truss, to a curved face being the inside circumference of the circle truss frame.
One of the keys elements to TOMCAT's success with custom projects is a fully staffed in-house design department that works closely with customers, designers and consulting engineering firms to maintain the highest standards of quality and safety. Since its inception in 1987, TOMCAT designs and fabricates each project to perform with \"Strength under Pressure;\" and the new custom scoreboard support truss system for Baylor University is no exception to that philosophy.