Clary and Southern Manufacturing launch new UPS for remote control of ITS cabinets


One of the USA’s leading manufacturers of uninterruptible power systems (UPS) for intelligent traffic systems (ITS) and traffic signal applications, Clary Corporation, has formed a partnership with Southern Manufacturing, which specializes in enclosures and signage for the ITS and transportation industries.

The two companies have jointly announced the introduction of a new product merging the features of Southern Manufacturing’s successful ITS Commander remote power management and monitoring system for traffic cabinets, with Clary’s on-line double conversion UPS technology.

The new product, named the Clary SP Commander 560, is a slim 1U (1.75in/44.5mm) rack unit-sized system boasting power conditioning and back-up at 560VA (volt-ampere) in addition to remote power management and monitoring of up to eight ITS devices in a traffic control cabinet.

The SP Commander 560’s pure sine-wave output insures the delivery of clean and fully conditioned power to the ITS cabinet. Extended operation in the event of power loss is provided with optional batteries.

Critical ITS devices are protected from power surges, spikes, sags, noise and other power anomalies. At the same time, the IP-addressable SP Commander 560 gives transportation agencies control of the cabinet remotely through a web interface that allows technicians to reboot and power up devices individually.

Rebooting frequently solves equipment lock-up and reduces costly maintenance calls. The monitoring capabilities of the SP Commander also provide agencies with notifications of cabinet status and fault conditions in real time, as well as a log for analysis and documentation.

“Our ITS Commander previously relied on a separate line-interactive BBS (bulletin board system),” noted Jeremy Huffman, Southern Manufacturing’s product manager. “With this new system we can provide more complete on-line power protection and save 2U to 3U of rack space in the cabinet.”

Erik Knecht, Clary’s national sales manager, commented, “We are excited to incorporate Southern’s Remote Power Management into our UPS, offering two great products in one.”

Clary is also highlighting how its UPS technology has recently saved the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) over US$250,000 annually by solving the problem of expensive signage repairs.

When a variable message board fails in a heavily-traveled freeway location and safety is compromised, the only option is to repair and maintain it during off-peak hours. One of the agency’s message boards failed frequently and repair was expensive and complicated due to its location, available personnel and time constraints.

Located on a busy route, off-peak maintenance was the only time possible. A mile of cones, three trucks and five personnel on overtime were regularly called on to service the message board at a cost of US$5,500.

Clary solved this problem by installing its SP 1250U UPS unit, which has an input voltage range of 75Vac to 155Vac while outputting 120Vac with very high tolerances. With the wide input voltage range, the Clary unit was able to tolerate the voltage variation caused by the lights cycling on and off, while protecting the message board electronics at the same time. Since the installation of the UPS unit, CDOT has not had to repair or reset the message board control system.

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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).