Towerco Maintenance and Cold Galvanising

As part of our global services, Delmec serves as chief structural advisor to several towercos. This means that we provide vital advice and recommendations on the structural management of portfolios. Our engineering team is constantly striving to find improved methods and state-of-the-art systems that will better serve our clients, wherever they are in the world. One of the latest improvements we’re trialling is film galvanising.

Towerco Maintenance

A key aspect of tower portfolio management is maintenance. It is generally recommended that a typical lattice telecom tower has a maintenance inspection carried out every five years, while sites located in corrosive coastal regions should arrange for inspections every two years.

Carrying out these routine inspections and subsequent corrective works may prevent catastrophic failures or expensive replacements when the corrosive problems become advanced. The standard towerco solution for rust prevention is topcoat painting; however, by ‘recharging’ the existing galvanising by means of film galvanising (sometimes known as cold-galving), the steel members’ lifespan is greatly increased.

Film Galvanising

Film galvanising is essentially powdered zinc with an added solvent. Unlike hot-dip galvanizing, film galvanising can be simply painted or sprayed on surfaces. ZINGA is a Belgian company that supplies a one-component film galvanising system containing 96% zinc (dust) in its dry film. It’s a metallic coating, not a paint. What differentiates film galvanising from other anti-corrosion methods is that it combines both passive and active protection in an easily-applied film galvanising system that not only delivers active cathodic protection but also provides a passive physical shield.

In Delmec’s experience, tower painting can sometimes be treated as a visual service by towercos, rather than a structurally functional service. Instead of replacing members, which is costly, structures can simply have their existing zinc protection ‘re-charged’ by applying ZINGA’s film galvanising to the rough surface after appropriate decontamination and salt removal.
As the majority of towerco structures are hot-dipped galvanized and topcoat painted, this new method could be particularly useful in the following areas: applied to freshly-fabricated steel during maintenance and strengthening works; used as re-charge coating for guy wires; and of course, applied to structures where the existing galve coating has deteriorated, leading to rust.

Structural corrosion is an ongoing challenge for many towercos, particularly those with locations on the West African coast, where very high salt concentrates pose a serious problem. At Delmec, synergy shapes success, and that means collaborating with other leading companies such as ZINGA to offer the latest technology and most cost-effective solutions to our towerco clients. Corrosion will always be a formidable opponent in the field of telecommunications, but our engineers are working hard to stay one step ahead, keeping our clients’ towers – and their customers’ connections – working well.


Delmec to Take to the Stage at TowerXchange Meetup Africa 2021

This October sees the launch of one of the most anticipated events in our industry’s calendar: the TowerXchange Meetup Africa 2021.

Founded in 2012, TowerXchange is an independent community for operators, towercos, investors and suppliers interested in EMEA, CALA and Asian towers. Their events are valuable opportunities for the world’s leading industry practitioners to consult and collaborate on key towerco concerns, including the promotion and acceleration of infrastructure sharing.

The organisers have taken a fresh approach this year, as TowerXchange Meetup Africa 2021 is to be a blended event, taking place online and in Dubai from the 5th to the 13th October. Billed as “the world’s only digital and physical meeting place to interact with key decision makers and leaders from Africa telecom infrastructure industry,” it promises to be an exciting opportunity to connect the global passive telecom infrastructure community.

As usual, Delmec will be strongly represented among the speakers. Damien Kelly, our Head of Engineering and Innovation is slated to appear in a joint interview with Allan Fairbairn, Director of Operations and Technology at Helios. Their conversation will focus on the two companies’ long history of collaboration: over the last decade Delmec has supported Helios with many services, including undertaking a data integration project and providing governance structure for their portfolio.

Damien has a busy schedule ahead, as he’ll also be moderating a panel discussion on technology upgrades, antenna evolution and the impact on tower loading and power draw. Together with Allan Fairbairn of Helios, he’ll be posing key questions about managing and adapting aging infrastructure for a 5G-dominated future.

Francois Pretorius, Delmec’s Regional Business Manager – Africa will also lead a panel discussion on ‘the new South African towerco landscape’. Based on his extensive experience in the region, he’ll be asking vital questions about the long-run impact of MTN’s tower sale, the options facing Vodacom and the Gyro Group, and how the industry can take advantage of South Africa’s fibre boom. Of particular interest is the planned conversation around potential solutions to South Africa’s declining operational situation.

TowerXchange meetups have traditionally been a place to highlight the newest technological advances and industry solutions, and we’re proud to contribute our own findings from our work in Europe, Africa and Asia. We’ll be sharing multimedia resources too, with a video montage of one of our successful streetworks operations in Ireland and drone footage of a mast-dismantling project in Ghana.

TowerXchange Meetup Africa 2021 represents an excellent opportunity to keep our collective fingers on the industry’s pulse; staying abreast of developments, planning for the future and connecting with other key operators are major priorities for all the Delmec team. We’re looking forward to playing our part in one of this year’s most exciting industry events – and sharing our insights with you, our customers and clients all around the world.