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ISA Sign Expo, Day One

Steve Aust’s show-floor observations



Well, the first day of the 2010 ISA Sign Expo in Orlando is now in the books. One of the most encouraging signs of the day was the return of several longtime exhibitors who were conspicuous by their absence last year. Show traffic was brisk from the day’s outset.

On the heels of last year’s highly successful wrap competition, American WrapStar pits 48 vehicle-wrap professionals against one another in a test of wrapping efficiency and prowess. Co-sponsored by ST and a consortium of other industry vendors, the competitors vie for $240,000 worth of prizes, most notably an HP latex-ink printer.

As expected, the show floor featured abundangt purveyors of LEDs, electronic displays and digital printers and related components abounded. However, there were several unique products. For instance, the Heico Lighting booth featured Hera, an interactive lighting product that changes colors with a touch. The system comprises Phillips LumiLeds internal illumination, that’s diffused by an acrylic layer and encased within an aluminum housing. Cypress Semiconductors created the touchscreen-sensor program. According to Magnitude Lighting’s Charles Melancon Gaudet, who developed the concept, the Hera system required two years of beta testing. When operated at full power, he said the system consumes 100W. But, he noted, that, for interior environments, 25% of power capacity normally suffices.

In response to the recent, ravaging effects of Katrina and other hurricanes, StormBlok presented an encasement system that repoprtedly reduces wind load by 60 to 90% (the higher the winds, the higher percentage of wind abatement, StormBlok president J. Parr Weigel said). Once the bracket system has been installed, the frame and protective fabric sheath (which can be printed with the customer’s logo) may be deployed within 15 minutes. Weigel said the system has been tested in winds up to 250 mph, and, has earned certification from Miami/Dade County for window protection. He anticipates certification for sign usage soon.



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