Salfa Corp is one of the largest businesses in Chile. A global business, Salfa Corp operates across engineering, construction and property, and is a leader in the Industrial Assembly and Civil Engineering markets. The company was awarded the contract for the Costanera Centre project in Santiago. This complex, comprising of four buildings at the intersection of the Avenida Andrés Bello and Nueva Tajamar, is situated a few meters from the Tobalaba metro station.

The tallest skyscraper in Chile

Its main building, the Torre Gran Costanera, would have a total area of 128,000 m² and would be 300 meters high including a spiral on top (265 m up to the highest of its 70 floors) and would be fitted with 48 high-speed elevators which would move at a rate of 6.6 meters per second.

These features meant the Costanera Center would be the tallest skyscraper in Chile and Latin America, and the second in the Southern Hemisphere.

It needs to be rapid, efficient, reliable...

Rapid, efficient, reliable communication between the cranes and their load operators was very important for the whole construction. Hytera's agent, Acmetel, initially offered an analogue system with Hytera conventional UHF radio TC-700 for the load operators and TM-610 for the crane operators.

However, given the rate of construction and changes this building was generating in the area of communications due to its height and structure, the decision was made to migrate to a digital solution, ensuring no lapse in communications.

No barriers to transmission

The equipment used during construction includes cranes mounted on these very buildings to transport heavy loads. Each crane worked with operators on the ground (riggers) who provided load transportation instructions, as the crane driver was virtually unable to see the load and had to trust his operators on the ground.

Given the height and structure of the towers, communication was difficult as the walls create daunting barriers to signal transmission.

Communication has to be 100% reliable as there is a risk of material damage and even death if the crane driver fails to receive instructions from one of the riggers.

The analogue solution worked well until the buildings grew taller and took shape. That evolution created more silent zones and greater interference at the top of the towers.

Hytera's DMR radios were chosen as the solution together with the use of repeaters which increased the riggers' coverage, eliminating the possibility of interference.

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5 January 2017