The Revolution Blog

Hamilton’s Big Screen Debut at Detroit Auto Show

Friday, Jan 29, 2016

Ford’s “Go Further” motto not only reflects its supercharged attitude, but the automaker’s bold new trade show look.

Enormous, caster-driven video walls dazzled Detroit Auto Show guests at Ford’s main exhibit. Hamilton’s Maxi-Duty wheels guided the 30 by 60-foot screens, designed by award-winning design and manufacturing firm, Mannetron in collaboration with EWI Worldwide.

“Ford wanted a showstopper,” said Peter Jungen, engineering and design manager at Mannetron. “Typically, these screens run on tracks. But that wasn’t an option because Ford wanted something clean that wouldn’t detract from the experience.”

A combination of magnetic tape, sensors, Hamilton muscle and wicked-smart engineering made it possible.

“The screens moved on a pre-determined path set by a computer,” said Jungen. “The sensors, mounted on the wheels, picked up the magnetic tape and guided the screens back and forth with the help of an autonomous vehicle.”

In synch with Maxi-Duty

The Maxi-Duty wheels provided ample capacity to tote the 16,000-pound screens, which played video, images and visual effects to synch up with the cars on display.

For example, attendees could snap their pictures in the driver’s seat of a Mustang and have their mugs featured on the big screen. The video walls would then converge on each other like a curtain, revealing more of the photo mosaic by the inch.

Because guests could move freely about the exhibit, safety was a prime concern for Mannetron.

“We built in sensors that would detect if someone were nearby,” he said. “If they got too close, the whole thing would stop moving. We even built in logic to prevent someone from jumping in between the walls right before they closed together.”

Miss the exhibit? No worries. Ford plans to use the display for at least the seven years, which gives you plenty of time to scope out some pretty cool cars, and even cooler caster wheels.

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