McCain launches new range of variable speed limit signs powered by Swarco LEDs


California-based developer and manufacturer of advanced traffic control equipment McCain Inc, which has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Austrian Swarco Group since last year, has introduced a new range of LED variable speed limit signs (VSLS).

Powered by Swarco’s world-renowned LED technology, the new VSLS units are the latest in McCain’s line of full-color dynamic message signs to feature the digital technology that improves viewing and maintenance of the signage.

The new VSLS help improve road safety by allowing agencies to adjust the speed limit on roadways in response to current road and traffic conditions, such as heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions.

By decreasing the risk associated with driving at speeds higher than appropriate in these types of conditions, VSLS can improve traffic flow and safety, and reduce crash potential by 8-30%. VSLS are commonly used to lower speed limits in urban areas and school or construction zones.

McCain’s new VSLS measure 60 x 48 x 10in (152.5 x 122 x 25.5cm) and feature 18in or 22in (46cm or 56cm) tall characters displaying two-digit speed limits that are easily legible by the motoring public.

Built to industry standards, such as NEMA TS 4, and featuring high-quality aluminum construction, the signs are ideal for permanent or temporary installation in almost any environment. The VSLS will withstand wide temperature and humidity ranges, as well as winds and other harsh weather conditions.

The signs can be controlled by any NTCIP-compliant software or by Swarco’s Hermes software platform to control up to eight signs from a central computer. Up to 14 schedules can be accommodated, with up to 16 events per schedule, and 32 customizable events.

The new VSLS units feature:

• NTCIP and NEMA TS 4 standards compliance;

• 256 sign brightness levels under software or photocell control;

• Message that is clearly visible when on, and concealed when off;

• Internally-housed controller;

• Electronic assemblies that are conformal coated for operation in harsh environmental conditions;

• Compatible with flashing beacon systems;

• Front and rear photocells;

• Door contact switch;

• 2 x 120VAC utility outlets inside sign housing;

• Optional RGB graphics support; and

• An operating temperature of -37°C to +74°C and humidity from 0% to 95% (non-condensing).

“As a manufacturing powerhouse for the last 30 years, creating high-quality products for ITS (intelligent transportation systems) is what we do best. But what truly differentiates the variable speed limit sign is the use of Swarco ‘s precision-optics technology,” said Matt Eichenfield, sign product manager for McCain.

“The technology enables us to deliver unparalleled sign clarity, visibility and contrast ratios, while reducing energy consumption by nearly 50% when compared to other leading brands. This truly represents the future of sign technology.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).