The roof, which was installed for this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships and used for the first time this week, is made up of 10 trusses. Covering 5,200 sq m, the overall construction, including fixed and moving elements, weighs more than 3,000t. Each truss weighs 100t and is greater in span than the width of a football pitch. The roof is designed to close in 10 minutes or less, against wind speeds of up to 43 miles per hour.

SCX, formerly Street CraneXpress, designed and engineered the complete structure. SCX previously provided maintenance services for Street Crane equipment installed in UK factories and in recent years has made a speciality of the design and delivery of architectural movement, for which they frequently call on the manufacturing capability of sister company Street Crane.

SCX’s electro mechanical design included the development of an extremely sophisticated system to regulate the 100 drives which control the movement of the roof components to a tolerance less than plus or minus one millimetre. Prototypes were extensively tested in a three-truss mock-up to prove the reliability and precision of the movement before final manufacture.

“This was a highly unusual brief,” explained Street Crane designer Andy Robinson. “There are 20 four-wheel bogeys supporting and driving the roof trusses. These are manufactured to exceptional tolerances, including precisely located brackets for the power and control signal pick up. High specification welding had to be 100% tested and certified. Superior finishes to the bogeys ensured they were in keeping with such a prestige location.”

Street Crane managing director Andrew Pimblett said: “The engineering of factory cranes has become vastly more sophisticated over the last 10 years. It is interesting to see how this technology can be so successfully adapted for use in a totally different environment.”