Pelican crossings have been in existence for many years but the aim of this project was to create a product to be aimed at the fiercely competitive European market. The pricing of the product was crucial but also the unit had to be developed so that it could achieve a high IP or waterproofing rating which is a significant area of weakness on competitor products.
This project involved housing a new PCB within a two-section sealed housing with a new hinging system consistent with the IP (waterproofing) rating required for the complete housing. It was very important to achieve a high IP rating because other products traditionally in the market have suffered from water ingress and thus unreliability.
As well as designing and manufacturing the housing Hallam had to find gaskets and sealing systems to achieve the high IP ratings desired. The technical challenges were made particularly difficult by the cost constraints because of the competitive markets into which the product was aimed.
Design for manufacture of the internal features required for mounting the new PCB represented an almost routine challenge but the hinging system requirements proved to be difficult to achieve. A number of models, simulations and prototypes were required until a final successful hinging system was developed.
The prototypes were constructed so that the operation of the hinge effectively placed the top and bottom part of the control box into an exact alignment onto the seals and gaskets. This would mean that the device was waterproof when the cover was closed and remained waterproof after it had been opened to service it. The hinging system therefore needed to repeat accurately and keep the top and bottom part in precise location on the seals and gasket to retain the waterproofing capability.
The hinges also involved utilising stainless steel pins and again it was essential to ensure that they stayed accurately located and therefore did not allow disturbance of the alignment of the top and bottom part of the control box.
The sealing system also required research into state-of-the-art gasket materials and special adhesives suitable for attaching the gaskets to the polyesters of the architectural-powder coated housing body.
This product has proved to be extremely successful and since this system was developed, several other similar products have been designed or redesigned with similar levels of success.