By Jacob Vernon, Production Manager, Pfannenberg
With the advent of new signal tower technology and designs, state-of-the-art signal towers (aka stack lights) are now bright enough to fit all applications and environments. That makes it easier to order signal towers and reduces the number of spare parts needed.
The new generation of signal towers eliminates configuring, ordering, and stocking difficulties users previously faced because of the proliferation of different sizes and options to meet the wide range of applications.
Typical Signal Tower Lights and Alarms
Signal towers, like the INTENSE BR50 Stacklights, can contain up to five lights of different colors (red, amber, yellow, green, blue, and white), with each color signifying a particular status, warning, or alarm.
Lights in each category may blink continuously or intermittently to indicate a more urgent condition and to attract more attention. The signal tower may also include audible warning/alarming signals.
Application Affects Tower Number and Type of Lights
Stack towers are used in a wide variety of applications, which may affect the number and color of lights used. Examples include machine warning indication and machine fault management; productivity monitoring, for example rate-based machine output management with displays counting parts per hour or parts per shift and equipment effectiveness and productivity; and as warnings and alarms signifying hazardous chemical levels.
Advantages of New Generation of Stack Lights
A new generation of stack lights replaces incandescent bulbs with LED elements that can be 10,000 percent brighter, making them much more visible and better at capturing attention in all indoor and outdoor ambient light conditions.
LEDs also last much longer than incandescent bulbs. While incandescent bulbs typically are rated at a lamp life of only 2500 hours under ideal conditions, LED elements last for at least 50,000 hours. Moreover, LEDs are not as vulnerable to vibration and shock as incandescent bulbs, generate less heat, and consume much less electrical power.
The Size Advantage
Perhaps the most significant advantage of this new generation of stack lights is the LED’s smaller size. Some stack tower lights with incandescent bulbs feature diameters of up to 4 inches (100 mm), while state-of-the-art LED stack towers have lenses with half the diameter – even though the systems are much brighter.
One-Size-Fits-All Makes for Easier Ordering and Inventory
Selecting the right size and figuring out all required parts results in a complicated ordering process because incandescent bulb and lens sizes vary greatly depending on the application or environment’s luminosity requirements. This makes maintaining spare parts costly and burdensome.
The new state-of-the-art LED signal towers are bright enough so that one-size-fits-all, or nearly all, applications. That makes it much simpler to figure out what is needed for each application, and maintaining inventory is much cheaper and easier.
Signaling towers are a simple and effective solution for a wide variety of applications. New technology now makes them easier to order, install, and maintain.