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HepcoMotion enchants Parisian shoppers with a festive window display

02 December 2016

Christmas is getting closer and Paris likes to mark this in style! Every Christmas, both visitors and residents of Paris are enchanted by the Christmas window displays at the large department stores in the city.

This year is no exception for one of the oldest department store in France that is renowned for its magnificent window displays. 2016 sees a show-stopping Christmas window display that features a festive themed visual installation with a row of houses and a train track on the roof moving letters around the window to spell the name of the shop. At the centre of this window display is HepcoMotion’s flagship GV3 and PRT2 circular guide rail that form the track for the letters to move around on. 

When Mechanical Visual Merchandising (MVM) were tasked with designing and producing the unique display, they 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. 

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