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Röhm's PMMA enables aesthetically pleasing security antennas in stores

Source:Adsale Plastics Network Date :2023-03-15 Editor :JK

Loss prevention antennas at checkouts or retail exits were often designed as bulky gray panels or pillars with very low visual appeal. An American company Checkpoint Systems has created a product that combined high performance with aesthetics, enabling the antennas to complement and blend in with a store’s design as much as possible.


Casings on the NS40 and NS42 antennas feature a special light-scattering PLEXIGLAS, Röhm's polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) product.


As the Checkpoint's Industrial Designer, Ben Rubinstein, said, “Our aim is always to help our retail clients stand out from the competition with products that are aesthetically pleasing, so we decided we needed to review a number of the antennas in our portfolio.


"While we do our best to make them as elegant as possible, some of the older ones did not look good when the alarms were sounding – as soon as the security function was triggered, the warning lights were uneven and there were hotspots,” he continued.



With PLEXIGLAS, aesthetically pleasing security antennas in retail stores can be realized.

Rubinstein set out to find a material that would enable more homogeneous light on the columns and discovered PLEXIGLAS molding compounds. “I quickly realized that PLEXIGLAS molding compounds offer precisely the properties we need,” commented Rubinstein, who was working on an innovative electronic article surveillance (EAS) system for food retailing at the time.


Instead of bulky, conspicuous gates, the new design consists of just one elegant column. An LED light is integrated at the top, hidden beneath an injection-molded cover made of gray PLEXIGLAS Softlight molding compound.


“This special molding compound has a particularly good scattering effect and prevents hotspots,” explained Neville Green, New Business Development Manager at Röhm. “Therefore, covers for RGB LEDs can achieve a homogeneous light effect even at low component depths.”


This was a key factor for Checkpoint Systems, as the compact and sleek design of the new NS40 and NS42 line required the LEDs to sit very close to the material.


The EAS antennas NS40 and NS42 from Checkpoint Systems: At the top of the columns is an LED light under a cover made from light-scattering PLEXIGLAS Softlight, which appears black when unlit. When the light is switched on, it is lit in the company color, for example, and switches to bright red when the theft alarm is triggered.

Rubinstein stated, “The LEDs are only a few millimeters away from the material. Other plastics quickly reach their limits here when it comes to their ability to scatter light. The PLEXIGLAS material can scatter light evenly however close we position the LEDs and, for me, this borders on magic.”


When it is not lit up, the molding compound has a black appearance and blends in with the low-key design of the columns. However, when the light source is activated, the columns can light up in any color combination and are only red when the alarm has been triggered by a potential shoplifter passing the antenna.


Another feature that convinced Checkpoint Systems to choose Röhm is the material’s high resistance. PMMA has one of the highest surface hardnesses of any thermoplastic and boasts good chemical resistance against, for example, cleaning agents.


“Security systems at store exits need to withstand quite a bit of wear and tear,” remarked Rubinstein. “Our EAS systems at checkouts need to be robust and last for at least ten years. This not only fits in with customers’ increasing efforts to ensure sustainability, but also matches Checkpoint Systems’ corporate philosophy.”


Here, PLEXIGLAS is “sustainable by design” and is 100% recyclable. Checkpoint added that this combination of properties is one of the key deciding factors for its partnership with Röhm.

Copyright:Original work. Please do not reprint.

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