Techspan Motorway Information Signage | PDD

Quick development puts signage company on road to success

Techspan, which develops and installs the graphical Variable Message Signs (VMS) on motorways, needed PDD’s expertise to design the next generation of colour LED displays.

Not only do such displays have to comply with stringent Highways Agency specifications for viewing angles, illumination contrast and non-reflectivity, they also have to survive life in the hard shoulder, withstanding storms and snow, bright sunlight and high-speed impacts from flying debris. Moreover, they have to be kept cool in the summer and demisted in winter.

To create the optimal design, we used optical ray tracing, Finite Element Analysis and 3D CAD, made models for optical tests and machined prototype display modules for tests and external approvals.

The novel design comprises an economic, louvered chassis contained within a single moulding that provides the optical paths, mechanical structure and the required heat-flow. The final product withstands pressure cleaning (IP66), impacts up to 20J, 1.5g vibration and shock to 10g. Following external approvals, over 5,000 display modules have been produced and installed.

"The depth of skills offered within PDD, and their wealth of experience, meant that our concept ideas turned into reality faster than anticipated. Coupled with excellent communication between PDD and ourselves, this enabled us to meet demanding deadlines and finish the project to budget."