Jason Morrison, Daktronics: 'We test our products to complete failure'

Jason Morrison, Daktronics ITS, parking & public transport market manager, explains how ITS products can mitigate the effects of climate change – and why they must be tested in the harshest conditions
April 27, 2023
Jason Morrison, Daktronics
Jason Morrison, Daktronics

What goes on in Daktronics’ Product Reliability Lab?

We use our on-site Reliability Lab to rigorously test components and cabinets. The challenges of outdoor environments test the performance limits of LED display technology. That’s why we test our products to complete failure. It provides our engineers with a detailed portrait of a product’s vulnerable areas. We use this data to design and improve our products so that you get an incredibly tough and reliable display.

What sorts of weather conditions can you simulate? Why is this important for equipment like dynamic ITS signage?

Our systems and testing equipment includes some like those used by the automobile and aerospace industries. Our environmental chamber simulates operating environments with extreme temperatures or humidity levels. Our salt fog chamber simulates corrosive effects of coastal precipitation. Meanwhile our HALT (highly accelerated life test) chamber combines temperature shock and vibration forces to stress products structurally, electrically, and thermally to uncover design weaknesses. We also have a spray test chamber which tests water protection of an enclosure or cabinet; and an electrodynamic shaker to test components’ resilience against vibrations.

Our sunlight and weathering tests test the plastic, paint, and LED degradation of each module including ultraviolet light exposure. And those are just some of the tests! We put every component through a staggering 63 steps. Measuring performance through all stages of lifecycle is critical for good design choices.

Our products are designed to withstand the harsh weather environments that ITS dynamic message signage experiences every day. The results are superior and reliable products. Reliability is key for communicating messages in real-time to keep travellers safe.

Is Daktronics seeing more instances of wildfire, flooding and dust storms in your deployments?

Our expertise is designing, manufacturing, installing, and supporting LED display technology. We recognise that our products – specifically ITS dynamic message signs – are exposed to extreme environmental conditions. This is why our team is so dedicated to testing quality and reliability. Using our knowledge from our on-site lab, we have substantial data to demonstrate how our products will withstand the test of time and how our products will continue to perform in the harshest environmental conditions.
Do you think ITS products help mitigate the effects of climate change? How?

Our lab services are constantly evaluating new and changing ways to test our products. This allows us to be a leader in product development which is instrumental in being ready for changing weather and conditions. ITS products continue to play an ever-increasing and critical role in enhancing the efficiency of our roadways, mitigating congestion, and improving safety; which all contribute to minimising the impact on the environment. 

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