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News

Transvision Displays Use Bayer Plastics' Makrolon

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 02 August, 2001  (Company News)
Polycarbonate from Bayer Plastics is contributing to the design, functionality and durability of a new Web- enabled large screen display from Transvision, Inc., a local start-up company specializing in next generation point-of- purchase technology for supermarket and 'Big Box' retail outlets.
At the heart of this technology is a unique patent pending Passive Image Transmitter (PIT) display surface made of Bayer's Makrolon« polycarbonate resin. The polycarbonate surface is designed into several injection-molded tiles that seamlessly form together. This design, unlike that of plasma or LED screens, contains no electronic components on the display's image surface. This makes the screen more durable and impact resistant in environments where vibration and daily human contact could cause damage to more fragile display surfaces.

'From shopping carts to food, you would be amazed at what causes damage to point-of- purchase displays. That's why durability and impact strength took a high priority in our design.' said Evan Wimer, President of Transvision. 'We examined several different materials before settling on polycarbonate. In the end, though, polycarbonate had the highest durability, rigidity, impact strength and optical characteristics.'

Transvision's 4'x 6' (aspect ratio for size customization) screens are capable of full motion video as well as static images, and are viewable at close proximity as well as distances beyond 300 feet, without sacrificing the image's clarity.

The display's dynamic image quality and broad viewing angle give it a clear advantage over traditional televisions, LEDs or plasma screens. For example, an LED screen, comparably priced to Transvision's technology, would require the viewer to be 100 feet away before the pixels converge to make a viewable image.

Along with superior display imaging, the Transvision displays also include an integrated dynamic advertising software system that is designed to help stores target specific shopper demographics, with particular product messages, at certain times of the day.

'Research confirms that 74% of all brand purchase decisions are actually made at the point-of-sale. It has never been more important to brand advertisers to influence and reach consumers while they are making purchasing decisions in the store,' said Wimer.

Transvision's ad placement/scheduling software is a hybrid of an off-the-shelf, proprietary programmable interface. By integrating a third-party software -hardware solution with a custom designed Web front end, Transvision can offer a turnkey multi- tiered client/server ad distribution system on a 24/7/365 basis.

The screens are controlled remotely at each location. Advertisers are given access to a secure Internet site where they can schedule and download digital ads to be displayed on a specific screen at one store location or across multiple screens at several store locations. In order to complete the loop, advertisers can also view date stamped play lists from each site or remotely view their advertising running on any screen site in real-time.

Along with the material, Transvision was also looking for injection molding and flow analysis expertise to help bring their idea to life.

Brian Lowry, Transvision's Executive Vice President of Information Technology, and one of the lead developers of the Transvision display screen, worked with a Bayer Plastics team to determine processing parameters, and part and mold design requirements. 'The final design was based on the results of several flow analysis trials,' said Lowery. 'Bayer's engineering team helped us understand the material's capabilities and how our design concept could be realized through advanced injection molding processes.'

'Since this was a new design concept, we worked closely with Transvision throughout the product development cycle,' said Mark Yeager, Principle Design Engineer at Bayer Plastics. 'To design the modular tile concept, we examined many factors. We looked at ways to maximize part function and appearance, and we evaluated process options, selected the appropriate material, discussed areas to reduce manufacturing costs, and performed mold filling analysis to correct potential filling problems,' added Yeager.

To help during the prototype-testing phase, Transvision also relied on the expertise of its molder, MCS Group in New York. Along with Bayer Plastics, they worked closely on the part and mold design of Transvision's PIT design concept.

Transvision's 'controlled' commercial launch will begin in September 2001. At that time, a series of tests will occur with a leading grocery store chain in a diverse top 20 market. The tests will concentrate on how Transvision's technology impacts brand awareness, product sales, and consumer behavior.

Transvision is planning to have automated production capabilities by the middle of 2002. This will provide sufficient production capabilities to penetrate -- by 2004 -- 1000 of the 30,000 supermarkets. In addition to the grocery industry, Transvision has identified 20,000 other Big Box retailer facilities as market channels for its large screen display technology. They will also explore opportunities in the trade show industry and within indoor community areas.
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