Our customer was in search for a new method of placing telecommunication equipment for small cellular antenna sites on the ground level in residential areas instead of placing the equipment on congested utility poles. Most residential areas want to have access to cell coverage but do not want cluttered utility poles in their front yards and neighborhoods. Additionally, the aesthetic element slows down the ability for telecommunication companies to get approval for projects in residential areas. META Design & Manufacturing Inc was presented with the challenge of addressing three primary concerns: 1) the concerns of our client to implement a durable and eye-pleasing pedestal, 2) the local jurisdiction of the county in which Richmond resides, and 3) installers to co-create a solution for an aesthetically pleasing utility box design that is placed on the ground-level versus on the pole. Meta provided a solution which was:
Telecommunication companies desire to extend their networks to help communities experience better cellular service. This requires new equipment to be placed into service on existing electric and telecommunication utility poles and streetlight poles. In some locations, this necessary upgrade can lead to an aesthetically displeasing installation due to the amount of equipment and number of connections on the pole. The alternative is to place some of the pole mounted equipment within a ground mounted cabinet to improve concealment. A review of existing cabinet enclosures did not meet our client’s objective of presenting an improved aesthetic for the communities. Further, the cabinets were not designed to simplify installation and improve serviceability.
Our client’s goal was to find a design and manufacturing company that would bring a fresh perspective and improved visual response on a ground mount enclosure for their equipment. The new cabinet would also need to be easy to install, large enough to fit a variety of different carrier radios and small enough to fit next to the pole on the ground between the street and sidewalk. Most importantly it needed to be safe enough around small children since it will be installed on the ground level in residential areas.
Meta responded to this challenge using our co-creation process. Our professional Industrial Designer surveyed architectural and cultural styles in Richmond, and generated three options of contemporary and beautiful cabinet designs. The client felt drawn to one particular style and the details of the equipment mounting requirements and the human interface were developed with that design. Implementation of this box is so functional that it only requires one worker to install it and one tool to service it. A solar panel was integrated into the lid which powers a fan for the removal of heat generated by the equipment.
Our fabrication and machining department were closely integrated in the design and we were able to quickly produce a working prototype. The time for the production of the prototyped was compressed as the waterjet cutting machine, metal press brake, CNC machines are co-located with the design group. Trained technicians welded together component brackets that only require one tool to use when servicing.
Our client loved the design and working prototype. We did a mock installation of the actual cabinet prototype in a Richmond neighborhood for our client and the local jurisdiction. The design won approval at that meeting.
Meta’s co-creation process resulted in a rapid solution to our client’s challenge to improve the aesthetics, safety, and functionality of a ground mounted telecommunication equipment cabinet. Our client is evaluating more locations within Richmond and other localities nationwide to implement this unique solution.
At the core, this organization is about helping people and overcoming problems. We would be honored to help you design, manufacture, or fabricate a product and have you become part of our journey.