Coca-Cola Brings 3D Robotic Billboard to Times Square

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Coca-Cola has designed, engineered, and constructed a new-to-the-world digital sign consisting of a LED display with 3D motion. The installation is the Coca-Cola sign in Times-Square and was completed and launched on August 8, 2017.

Nominating Company: The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia
Venue: Coca-Cola Times Square Sign, Atlanta, Georgia
Project: Coca-Cola Times Square Sign
Category: Venues & Public Spaces

BACKGROUND
With the help of its partners, Coca-Cola designed and implemented a new-to-the-world 3D digital sign. After more than four years of design, engineering and testing, the new sign was completed in August of 2017. The sign consists of 1,715 robotic LED cubes that can be choreographed and paired with digital content. Coca-Cola obtained three patents while developing this technology.

CHALLENGES
There were many challenges that had to be solved over the four years of engineering. A few of those are as follows:
– Vibration impact to the building structure resulting from a moving sign
– Increased weight of sign from 75,000 lbs to 150,000 lbs with only four attachment points to the building
– Manufacturing challenges with extremely tight tolerances of +-2 millimeters
– Thermal expansion and static deflection to maintain consistent spacing between moving cubes
– Reliability of robotic components through all weather conditions

SOLUTIONS
To overcome the challenges above, several solutions are summarized below:
– A custom vibration isolation system was designed to allow the entire moving sign to be acoustically isolated from the steel structure to dissipate any vibration before it traveled into the building.
– Extensive structural analysis and design was required to support the increased weight of the sign. Three structural engineering firms were involved to design a new supporting structure to support the load and transfer them properly to the supporting components from the building.
– We managed the quality control very tightly with a strict quality control plan and checkpoints along each part of the manufacturing process.
– Several engineering firms were involved to analyze and build theoretical models to analyze the thermal expansion of the sign components.
– Coca-Cola built five prototypes and tested them outdoors in various weather conditions to solve for all weather conditions.

cocacola_times_square_billboard_2

RESULTS
This is a new installation, and Coca-Cola expects $12 million in media value annually. Coca-Cola was awarded two Guinness World records for this sign (the first 3D Robotic Billboard and the largest 3D robotic billboard).

PROJECT PARTNERS
Radius Displays
Display Devices
Space 150
Landmark Signs
Scott Lewis Engineers
McLaren Engineering

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