Requested by: Widd Signs
Customer: Primark Stores
Brief: Solve a structural and maintenance issue Primark Stores were having with the traditional LED lighting rings being used within their retail environment.
Challenge: Conventional lighting ring solutions required several store operatives to support whilst be positioned and hung from store ceilings – and again when lights needed routine or emergency maintenance.
Traditional solutions also required more maintenance because of LED ‘s failing due to weld fatigue or to rectify the collapse of the LED lighting tape. Typically, LEDs are stuck to the inside surface of a lights’ steel trim, resulting in them being visible on the lower surface of the light.
Approach: Ink Monkey experts reviewed the effect constant expansion and contraction was having on the materials being used and the impact on adhesives. Over time most adhesives failed. In addition, it was noticed the design of the original product relied entirely on glued surfaces to hold itself together. This would cause the product to collapse under its weight (if not fully supported) and cause the product to buckle and twist during the hot and cold cycles.
Solution: First, the stability issue was addressed by adding a clear outer PVC strip set within a precisely machined radial groove to allow for expansion. When locked in by mechanical means through screws on the return lip on the outer steel rim, it prevented radial twisting and made the product 100% ridged.
Second the issue of the lights collapsing into the lighting ring was solved by reversing the orientation of the light strip and fixing it to the outside edge of the clear PVC strip thus making it impossible for it to collapse inwards.
Impact: Successful installation, reduced installation and handling costs over previous design, less requirement for operatives with installed lighting rings currently maintenance free after two and a half years use.
“This was a project all about tolerance” said Lucas Austin-Meek, managing director. “This was a particularly challenging project because, at the time we did not have the necessary in-house equipment to ensure that the parts we required were manufactured to the right tolerances. This turned out to be a critical factor in the success of the project.”
The initial installation led to over £2.4m worth of lighting rings to be installed across Primark Stores in UK, Europe and the USA.
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