Southeast Florida Roundup
Sending a signal: Aluma's mobile towers and antennas travel the world
Decades ago, an antenna salesman asked Vero Beach-based Aluma Tower, which made towers for ham radio operators and TV antennas, to mount a tower on his van so that he could show customers what the antenna atop it would do for their TV reception. That marked Aluma’s entry into the mobile tower business.
In the ensuing years, Aluma has branched out as its towers have gone up. It makes telescoping towers and support trailers that can be deployed rapidly by the cell phone industry (“cell on wheels”), along with military, emergency management, natural resource companies, scientific researchers, event and entertainment groups and others.
Its products have been put to use in more than 45 countries, including some in the Middle East where the Defense Department wanted armored trailers supporting towers that could be transported on C-130s and erected in less than 15 minutes. Last year, Aluma towers did duty in areas stricken by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The 35-employee company has a foot in all the definitional camps for clean manufacturing. It works with sustainable, recyclable materials — aluminum, stainless steel and steel — runs a clean shop, recycles scraps left after manufacturing, sources a green recycled packaging material and has solar and wind options for meeting the power generation needs of tower buyers.
Aluma President and General Manager Angela Ledford says customers are showing more concern about sustainably designed products, but the industry could do a better job highlighting clean manufacturing’s pluses.
“It’s an important topic,” she says.