New Flashing Beacons from North America Traffic Win Innovation Award

Port Colborne, ON – Extended runtimes, improved weather-resistance and novel, cost-saving production methods were enough to earn an industry innovation award for the new Flashing Beacon signaling devices launched this year by North America Traffic Inc.

North America Traffic’s new rotomolded beacon housing integrates battery hold downs, circuit board mounts, wire management inlets and outlets into one molded part.

North America Traffic’s new rotomolded beacon housing integrates battery hold downs, circuit board mounts, wire management inlets and outlets into one molded part.

The Association of Rotational Molders recently named the Flashing Beacon as “Product of the Year” at its annual conference, and awarded this prize to Rescraft Plastic Products Inc., the firm retained by North America Traffic to design and produce the new polyethylene housing of the beacons.

Todd Stone, CEO of Rescraft, explained that the North America Traffic beacons represent a significant step forward, not only for this type of signaling device in the industry, but for the rotational molding process.

“Rotational molding has inherent advantages over other processes, especially for saving costs in lower volume production runs. With these housings, we have shown that creative design can make rotational molding a viable option for smaller and more complex products.”

Creative solution for back-up battery power
At North America Traffic, the goal was simply to improve on the capabilities and durability of other Flashing Beacon products in the market. Jordan Sherlock, Vice President of Corporate Services at North America Traffic, said that Rescraft was given the assignment as a result of their success with previous projects. “We wanted some original thinking to help us create a polyethylene housing that would represent a new state-of-the-art process. We recognized the problem-solving capability at Rescraft, and they proved they were the right partner.”

The new housing contains all the electronic controls and the battery pack for North America Traffic’s solar-powered beacons. A key feature of the housing is its battery compartment, which minimizes contact to the battery itself, insulating it against the effects of the weather. “Cold is the enemy of battery power,” says Sherlock. “This housing gives us a significant improvement in the flashers’ run time through sunless periods, especially in winter climates. The plastic material also outlasts steel, providing more durable resistance to wet weather and other environmental factors.”

Design for efficient production
The housing’s development was a highly collaborative process, progressively adapting to new ideas and goals. “It was originally going to be a series of housings, in various sizes,” Todd Stone recalls. “We were able to get it down to a “one size fits all” design. The final step was finding a way to produce it with the box and lid integrated into one piece.” With that goal accomplished, tooling costs for the housing were reduced by as much as 50% from previous designs.

The new solar-powered flashing beacons achieve North America Traffic’s target of 30 days of continuous operation without sunlight.

The new solar-powered flashing beacons achieve North America Traffic’s target of 30 days of continuous operation without sunlight.

North America Traffic’s 4-Season Beacons are utilized in a wide range of settings, typically in tandem with traffic signs such as school zone crossings, crosswalks, and stop signs. The Flashing Beacons will operate in environments with up to 90% humidity and in temperatures ranging from -40 to +85 C. Furthermore, a stop sign warning beacon, flashing 24/7 can operate continuously for up to 30 days without sunlight. The controller includes sensors that conserve power by adjusting the LED light intensity with changing lighting conditions. Programmable circuits also allow operators to adjust settings for the flasher’s hours and days of operation. Wireless features allow remote control of the beacons as well as programmed synchronization of multiple beacons.

Future prospects for solar technology
With its ability to safely house sensitive electronics in any climate, North America Traffic and Rescraft are now exploring additional applications using solar-powered technology to drive a wide array of sensors and communications.

“This housing will not just help North America Traffic to reinforce its name in the market,” says Sherlock, “it will keep our name visible out in the field. The final tooling embosses our logo right into the plastic – we expect this design to greatly outlast traditional metal housings! So we’re very pleased to see the Rescraft name get some well-deserved recognition with this award.”

About North America Traffic Inc.
North America Traffic was launched as R.C. Flagman in 1993 when Peter Vieveen built the world’s first Remote Controlled Flagman™ out of his garage. At the time, Mr. Vieveen was a Senior Estimator in the construction industry with over 25 years of construction experience. He understood the importance of reducing costs while increasing safety. North America Traffic now operates a full production facility, and its products have been used on thousands of projects across North America. Today, the company is the world leader in traffic control systems, with several different models of portable traffic signals, flashing beacons and flagging systems to meet all traffic control needs.

For more information about North America Traffic products and services, contact:

North America Traffic
7 Petersburg Circle
Port Colborne, ON L3K 5V5
1-877-352-4626
www.northamericatraffic.com
info@northamericatraffic.com