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System Overview

An industrial transportation customer contacted Innovative Controls Corporation (ICON) for a solution to update their existing manual display system.  This customer was using ‘dry-marker’ boards to display and update departure times and sorting destinations of cargo for their staff.  In order to improve efficiency of their in-house sorting and shipping system, ICON devised the “SORT-EZE” system, an electronic solution to greatly improve the efficiency and timeliness of their information needs to their staff. 


The “SORT-EZE” ICON Marquee System package consists of both hardware and software.  The hardware consists of display units, communications and power cables, and a communication interface module at an IBM-compatible computer.  The software package is an ICON custom-built Visual Basic graphic programming package.



The standard ICON Marquee Display Unit consists of a highly visible 3-line LED (light-emitting-diode) unit, with a display area measuring 7-1/4” high x 36” wide; however, there are various sizes of displays available to suit your needs, plus custom-designed displays are offered.  Wiring this display unit is quick, as it only requires one communications cable and a standard 120VAC receptacle to power its internal power supply.  The standard unit provides a 3-color display with a number of effects features including scrolling, flashing and color-changing features.  These large display units can be mounted by hanging them by chains or by cables from the ceiling or by using swivel wall or ceiling-mount brackets.  Not only can these attractive display units be read from a greater distance than the previous dry-mark boards, but also multiple units can be updated in an instant.  These units typically have a span of 80,000 hours MTBF vs. 20,000 hours for a Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) unit.  In addition to these units being controlled by the ICON custom marquee-programming package, an optional handheld remote control offers manual on the spot programming of the display unit.  This unit is also available in a NEMA 12 or 4 enclosure for specific environments.


 Wiring of the ICON Marquee System couldn’t be easier, allowing for quick installation during a shutdown or off-shift. Each unit requires just one communications cable and one power cable.  The end user has the choice of RS-485 or an Ethernet communication network to access the displays.  Typically, all of the display communications cables for a given area will be run back to the local computer that controls these displays.  The communications cable will then terminate to either an RS-485 to RS-232 communications box, or to a standard Ethernet network interface card.  Each display requires just a standard 120 VAC power receptacle for operation. 


The final piece of hardware required is an IBM-compatible computer to provide the operator interface to the ICON display marquee units.  This computer and monitor can be mouse driven, or provided with a touchscreen option.  A typical “SORT-EZE” application will utilize one computer to control an area of 12-16 display units, however much larger installations are just as easy to set up.  An existing computer may be applicable to control messaging, depending on its capability and communication capabilities.


The software package consists of the ICON custom Marquee Programming Package installed on each computer controlling an area of marquee units.  The standard package is designed to show you a graphic ‘floor plan’ of your facility as well as the information to be shown on each marquee in the area of control.  This software can be designed to provide time-of-day clock or countdown information for critical shipments.  This program is tailored to our customers needs, and can be designed to provide a default message in all display units, and updates as required.  Changing a marquee is as simple as clicking on a marquee on the computer screen and keying-in the information fields.  Our marquee systems can also be programmed to update automatically.  You are not locked into a stock package when you purchase a software package from Innovative Controls.  We will customize our software to achieve your requirements.



In addition to the ability to update a great number of displays quickly, another advantage of the ICON Marquees is that you can display information that normally resides on a single computer monitor.  At times it can be challenging to for a group of people to view a computer monitor, but with the highly visible ICON Marquee System an entire group can view the computer data on one, or several displays in multiple locations.

The ICON Marquee displays can be used in the following applications:

·        Plant Floor Notification

·        Production Line / Machine Reporting

·        Alarming / Safety Messages

·        Critical Messaging

·        Offices / Reception Areas

·        Hospitals / Labs

·        Assisted Living / Retirement Centers (large text available)

·        Scheduling


In summary, the highly visible ICON Marquee System package is quickly installed, easy to maintain, inexpensive to operate, and customized to meet your needs.  We provide the complete hardware and software package, and can provide a complete turnkey system, or work with your staff to install the display units.  Improve information to your team with the addition of an ICON Marquee System today.  Contact the ICON sales staff at (419) 691-6684 for a solution to fit your needs

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