The Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT needed to provide a comfortable venue for their minor league hockey team as well as attract a greater number of smaller touring productions to their venue.
A conventional masking system usually consists of black curtain panels hanging from either dead-hung pipe or motorized track. The curtains have to be taken down and stored after every use and then painstakingly hung again when needed. This can take a lot of crew time, a luxury you simply may not have when converting from one arena configuration to another.
We designed a fully automated masking banner system for two sides of the arena that is aesthetically pleasing and can be operated with a minimum amount of time and manpower.
The system consists of two 165' long fixed-box trusses mounted directly to the structural steel of the arena. Each truss houses line shaft winches with variable frequency drive motors operating a flat continuous I-truss with masking banners. Variable frequency drive was used for greater control especially with a soft start and stop eliminating any potential shock to the load.
The motors are wired to a master control box connected to a PC. Its software constantly monitors all the shafts to ensure completely synchronized operation.
When not in use the banners are simply bagged in a pocket that covers the truss and is closed with velcro straps every few feet. To set-up the system one person operates the trusses from the central control station. Four people (or less if necessary) open the banner pocket. The banners unravel to the ground and the truss is retracted to its display position. The banners are stretched with bungees to eye-hooks installed in the cement under specific seats. This step requires no tools, takes only a few minutes, and ensures a crisp and wrinkle-free look.
It's that simple.
Hartford Civic Center can now reduce its seating capacity from 16,000 to 11,000 seats with only 4 men in 30 minutes.