Signs of the Times - September 2013 - (Page 38)
THE MOVING MESSAGE
By Bob Klausmeier
Digital-display consultant Bob Klausmeier brings 34 years of
firsthand, professional experience to all digital-sign markets.
You can reach him at email@example.com.
Who Provides What to Whom, Part 2
This year, I added import/export data, and more.
ast September, I wrote a column
entitled “So, Who Provides What to
Whom?” Interestingly, the column
brought more reader responses than
any I’ve written during my 12 years
as an ST columnist. In addition to
my comments, the column listed
34 LED-display suppliers – and the
country of origin for their display
Some readers said I’d pulled the
pants down on various suppliers,
but that wasn’t my purpose.
However, such reader response
did advance my awareness of the
complexities, especially in the U.S.
The lack of transparency piqued my
curiosity. I wanted to know how
many display providers operate in
the U.S., and how they function.
I drew from my own accumulated
information pool (I keep quite a bit
of information on known LED display
providers), but also uncovered many
other information sources. This
year, for example, I added import/
export data as well as information
from various Internet searches.
Initially, I updated and expanded
last year’s list. Once done, I sent my
list to a dozen or so confidants, who
keep similar information, and asked
them to add other known companies.
Next, I measured the list against
Internet presences, and available
shipping information, to ensure
each listed company was actually
conducting business in the U.S.
Ultimately, I learned how woefully
incomplete was last September’s list.
My present evaluation finds only
three corporations that produce the
majority of their display products in
the U.S. – Daktronics, Watchfire and
YESCO. Daktronics and Watchfire
A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report said rising labor costs have caused the
country’s astute business managers to shift their export-manufacturing focus to highprofit, high-technology products. Since 2010, a U.S. government analysis said, Chinese
high-tech exports to the U.S. have increased by 24%. The WSJ report also said China’s
skilled labor force, large domestic market and networks of suppliers offset any rising
wages or the effects of a stronger currency.
38 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / SEPTEMBER 2013 / www.signweb.com
also produce some components
in their own (separate) factories
YESCO Electronics produces most
of its LED-display products entirely
in the U.S., but, in 2013, it began to
import some finished product from
a Chinese manufacturer.
Certain companies purchase
display components from Chinese
manufacturers, and assemble completed displays in the U.S., but the
majority of U.S. suppliers purchase
finished goods from Chinese or
Taiwanese companies and resell
them in the U.S.
Apart from the three U.S. manufacturers, my list comprises 82
confirmed, resellers of LED digital
displays in the U.S. Because I could
not verify they deliver products to
the U.S. marketplace, another 26
purported display providers are not
on the list.
The export/import data provides
revealing insights. For example, 42
Chinese manufacturers produce the
majority of the imported LED display
products sold in the U.S. The most
prolific is Shanghai Sansi (Shanghai).
Next is LEDman Optoelectronics
(Shenzhen, China; Tampa, FL).
Both companies work with multiple
resellers, and sell directly to display
users in the world marketplace.
Obviously, the manufacture of
LED display technology is firmly
established in China.
Numerous digital-display types
exist, and my list doesn’t distinguish
between them. Note, however, that
much of the LEDman-supplied
product goes to the digital-billboard
marketplace, through either Formetco
(Duluth, GA) or Media Resources
The third largest exporter to the
U.S., Opto-Tech (Hsinchu, Taiwan),
delivers the majority of its product
to CBS Outdoor (New York City)
for use as digital billboards or as
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - September 2013
Signs of the Times - September 2013
Who Uses the Phone Book?
The Moving Message
Technology Review - DGS 3D POP store system
Technology Review - KIP C7800 poster printer
When the Cheering Starts
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
Starting at the Bottom
LED Lamps for Box/Cabinet Signs
The Aria’s 260-ft. Pylon Sign
Signs of the Times - September 2013