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Festive window display gets some guidance

05 December 2016

Every Christmas, both visitors to Paris and residents are enchanted by the Christmas window displays at the large department stores in the city. This year one of the oldest department stores in France has a show-stopping Christmas window display that uses HepcoMotion’s flagship GV3 and PRT2 circular guide rail to form a train track to move letters spelling the name of the store around.

When Mechanical Visual Merchandising (MVM) was tasked with designing and producing the unique display, it turned to HepcoMotion to provide the linear and circular motion required. Well known for its traditional industrial applications, Hepco is well versed working in range of industries (such as scientific, medical and film & TV). Indeed, this is not the first time Hepco has been called upon for a Christmas application!

The application is quite challenging, as the carriages are not driven by a motor. Instead, an actuator drives the carriages up the track incline and then gravity moves the carriage around the rest of the track. The track therefore needs to be low friction to allow the carriages to move freely without any drag. The smoothness and accuracy of Hepco’s slides make this possible ensuring a low friction and quiet movement.

Featured within a five metre window in prime position at the front of the store, the 3D train track goes up and down, and loops around – requiring the track to turn left and right, and to change height. This requirement for both vertical and horizontal movement is quite unusual for an application. The challenge is aptly met with Hepco’s straight GV3 slides combined with PRT2 slides to provide the turns.  Sixteen metres of track are used and there are four turns.

Surrounded by a scenic snowy landscape, there are eleven carriages on the track - each carriage of the train is carrying a letter to read the name of the department store. Festive and mesmerising, this display will delight and amaze many. Indeed, the Christmas window displays of shops in Paris are even listed as a tourist attraction by the official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Paris.