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Machine Design

LED display easily moves in many directions, thanks to elegant actuator

adScope Media LLC in Tempe, Ariz., uses a special actuator to control the movement of a large LED screen located on what it calls its adRover, an all-electric promotional vehicle that carries customer advertising. A device on the vehicle lifts, turns, and directs the screen, which rises from the vehicle deck. After investigating many alternative forms of motion control, adScope Media chose the CC Actuator from Nook Industries Inc., Cleveland, Ohio, based on the fact it is self-contained and it can be programmed with a computer.

The early model of the adRover used hydraulics to control the display’s motion, but hydraulics were not the way to go for many reasons. The hydraulics system were too heavy and had many ongoing maintenance issues, such as leaking hydraulic fluid. Hydraulics also did not perform well in temperature extremes.

The company also researched mechanical systems that relied on chains, pulleys, and belts. It rejected those methods for reasons similar to those for hydraulics. The company, therefore, decided to use a mechanical actuator driven by an electric motor.

The CC Actuator resolved the hydraulic weight and motion-control issues found with the other approaches. Using the actuator also helped adScope Media meet goals of producing an environmentally friendly, efficient, and cost-effective mobile advertising vehicle. “As a 21st century media platform, there are certain requirements we had to meet,” says owner Donal Moore. “The vehicle must be the right size, agile, and environmentally friendly. “In addition, we had to cost-effectively deliver messages not only to large events but to small and medium-sized crowds as well.”

Using the CC Actuator to control the 400-lb LED screen — raising, lowering, and turning the screen from side-to-side — was an effective approach. “Using a mechanical actuator driven by an electric motor was more costly than belt and chain-driven devices, but it was the most elegant solution,” says Moore. “The actuator is compact, well-tested, and more in keeping with the modern look of the adRover. Quite simply, it provided the best technical way to control the LED screen’s motion.”


Nook Industries Inc.,
adScope Media LLC,


TAGS: Technologies
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