Machine Design

Sign of the times

Electronic actuator replaces hydraulics in mobile billboard

adScope Media LLC

Nook Industries Inc.

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. The CC Actuator from Nook Industries Inc., Cleveland, positions the sign and can be programmed with a computer.

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

adScope also researched mechanical systems that relied on chains, pulleys, and belts. It rejected those methods for similar reasons.

The CC linear Actuator resolved the hydraulic weight and motion-control issues found with the other approaches. “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.”

The CC Actuator controls the 400-lb LED screen — raising, lowering, and turning the screen from side to side. “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.”

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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