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Totally Active in Motor City 
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Totally Active in Motor City

Totally Active in Motor City

Totally Active in Motor City
Once again Total Structures will be helping the nation's largest motor manufacturer's promote their products at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) being held in Detroit in January. Hot on the heels of last year's massive Ford corporate structure (a total of 1.5 Miles of truss was supplied) we have just finished the production of additional equipment for both the Ford and General Motors booths.

For NAIAS 2007 the Ford Motor Company made only some minor changes from the previous years enormous 110,000sq. ft. ceiling structure... or so it might seem. The truth is that the entire ceiling needed to move approximately 15ft. upstage to allow the lighting troughs to be repositioned to cover the new floor layout. What could be simpler?

Well... the main problem was that one of the cross stage trusses now fell under an air-wall and the top of the truss at trim sat above the low position of the air-wall track by some 32" (Last year the air wall fell between cross stage trusses). In fact we had just 3 ½" from low truss trim to the air wall. We had to make a 240 ft. dummy truss 2" thick (essentially a ladder lying flat) and lift it with the rest of the grid and then secure it using custom made hangers to the air-wall track. The dummy truss maintained the symmetry of the ceiling and provided an edge connection for the fabric used to create the ceiling of the booth.

In addition, the 8 x 30ft. traffic openings in the wall had to remain in position on the ground so some clever manipulation of the components (a vertical ladder and node grid) allowed this to happen with minimal fuss - Versatile and modular is always the best way to go!

Finally we added some additional lighting truss and the whole thing was complete and installed safely in Detroit having spent the prior year globe trotting to Chicago, New York, London and Paris.

The General Motors booth posed a similar if not grander challenge. The ceiling structure needed to be reconfigured to match the booths new radial pattern (which each GM brand having its own space centred around a large opening, dubbed the "amoeba") yet for obvious financial reasons using as much of the prior year's truss as possible

The solution required Total to manufacture a 200 x 70ft custom radiused triangular truss to form the central "amoeba" which has six different radiuses throughout its circumference. From this structure twenty-seven truss spokes radiate out at various angles to create a main booth footprint of over 350 x 240ft. The structure is then contained within a truss ladder perimeter, which helps maintain the position of the truss spokes when being lifted as well as provide structure for the exterior dressing of the stand. In order to connect the radiused spokes to both the "amoeba" and the ladder perimeter Total manufactured over fifty different angled corners to accommodate the various radiuses being created.

Finally just like with the Ford project it was necessary to produce custom components to allow trusses that clashed with the air-walls, building columns and the Detroit People Mover (its tracks go directly over the top of both the Ford and GM booths) to remain structural and in place throughout the lifting operation and subsequent exhibition.

NAIAS opens its doors to industry press on January 7th, to the general public on the 13th and closes on the 21st.
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