Wimbledon's New Retractable Roof is an Engineering Masterpiece

Moog Industrial Group, a part of Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B), has put in place a high performance electric actuation solution that operates the newly installed retractable roof above Wimbledon's Centre Court. Wimbledon's staff closed the 1,100-metric-ton (1,212.50 tons) roof for the first time in competition on Monday, June 29 after a light rain stopped play during the second set of a match at Centre Court.

The Wimbledon Retractable Roof consists of two sections (southern and northern sections), which together support 5,200 square meters (17,060 square feet) of fabric when deployed above Centre Court. Moog's technology moves the two sections of roof along two sets of parallel rails over a span of 77 meters - within a tolerance of 2-3 millimetres (0.09 inches) - in under 10 minutes. The retractable roof's 10 trusses each weigh 110 metric tons (121.25 tons).

To generate the force to precisely and efficiently open and close the Wimbledon roof, Moog designed a solution that includes 148 axes of control, comprising 108 electric actuators (35 tonne and 14 tonne force capability) and 40 servomotors, which power wheeled carriages running on the rails. Each axis requires a corresponding servodrive as well as 20 real-time Moog Servo Controllers (MSC) and 20 programmable logic controllers (PLCs) with software, all of which are housed in 40 control cabinets. Moog equipment and software provides closed-loop control for the roof movement, which includes operating the trusses' end arms, restraint arms and carriages, while the PLCs provide the supervisory and data acquisition element.

"This was a unique challenge that brought together engineers from our facilities in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland and the United States to design a motion control solution that is highly efficient and reliable," said Steve Huckvale, president of Moog Industrial Group. "By drawing on our 25 years of experience designing electric actuation solutions for motion control, we put in place the 'above-the-scene' engineering that creates an all-weather field of play for the Wimbledon Championships."

Moog's electric actuators incorporate the company's innovative designs along with carefully selected materials and manufacturing processes, which result in higher efficiency and load capacity than competing solutions.

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