Cape Town-based aluminium-frame-structure manufacturer Speed Structures is manufacturing a 120-m-long, 40-m-wide marquee with an apex height of 10 m for hire or sale, says company chairperson Richard Downing.
The marquee – the largest that Speed Structures has ever produced – will be clear span, which means it has no support in the middle of the marquee.
While Speed Structures can only manufacture clear-span marquees that are up to 40 m wide, they can be manufactured globally to a width of up to 60 m, says Downing, adding that Speed Structures has every intention of reaching this international benchmark, which the company has been aiming for since it began manufacturing 12-m-wide clear-span marquees in 2001, he explains.
The 40-m-wide marquee, which will require about 30 t of aluminium to build, will take between two and three months to manufacture, after which it will be available for hire or sale, says Downing, adding that the structure could also be sold second-hand at a later stage.
Meanwhile, Speed Structures is also manufacturing a 30 m × 75 m × 7 m marquee for the launch of an international beauty product in mid-2016 at a wine estate in Somerset West, in the Western Cape.
The double-volume unit will be the size of a double-storey marquee, but without a second floor, thereby providing volume for the structure, states Downing.
He notes that Speed Structures is considering venturing into the development of dual-storey structures, adding that, last year, the company provided a quote for a double-storey marquee for a horse derby held in Johannesburg.
Downing explains that, while double-storey marquees are clear span at the top, they do feature legs, 5 m apart, at the bottom, which prop up the wooden upper-deck that is supported by aluminium or wooden beams.
Meanwhile, Downing states that Speed Structures is considering using computer numerically controlled technology to optimise its manufacturing process.
The system will enable an operator to feed the extruded aluminium profiles into the machine and enter the parameters such as the length, the cutting angle and number of holes required on the beam.
He says Speed Structures uses between 10 t/m and 20 t/m of aluminium, adding that the company relies totally on aluminium, especially for the extrusion components, which support the polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, covering.
Speed Structures sources its aluminium from local aluminium extruders and local agents.
Downing notes that business has been flourishing recently and that there has been particular growth in demand for marquees that are hired for business functions and temporary warehousing.