Safety at your fingertips
Infrastructure Road safety Traffic management

Safety at your fingertips

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Modern signal-requesting devices incorporating high-quality German engineering are making roads safer, with robust, innovative design that considers the needs of all road users Langmatz innovations have been helping to make roads safer for more than 30 years.

Langmatz, based in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, specializes in power engineering and telecommunication, as well as in the development and manufacture of traffic engineering products. The company’s signal-requesting devices keep pedestrians safe all around the globe. Back in the 1970s, Langmatz developed and launched onto the German market the very first signaling systems for the visually impaired. The company has since become a technology leader in this product segment.

Guiding the way

The devices in this product range have the word ‘guide’ in their name, precisely because they lead, guide and direct pedestrians. The family includes modern signal- requesting devices for different designs of traffic light systems, as well as acoustic signaling devices and SOS/ emergency call buttons for road tunnels. Pedestrians can use the devices to request a green signal at traffic lights, while the traffic light phase is indicated to people with visual impairments through both acoustic and tactile (pulsed vibration) signals, making it safer for them to cross the road.

Multifunctional devices

By definition, all the devices feature specific functions from the outset so that pedestrians fundamentally always have two options. They can either request the signal by pressing a large pushbutton with an isolated microswitch, or by means of a capacitative sensor based on the principle of dynamic measurement.

The sensor detects changes in its range, such as a layer of ice or dirt, and adjusts itself accordingly. The advantage of this is that the selfregulating resonant circuit does not trigger a continuous request.

The buttons are therefore totally reliable, regardless of weather conditions, and even if the user is wearing gloves. They also feature a tactile crossing signal – a pulsed vibration – ideal for the visually impaired. This prevents pedestrians from confusing the crossing signal with other factors, such as structureborne vibration in the pole caused by traffic. Finally, they provide visual feedback by means of an adjustable flashing function.

-25°C to +60°C The temperature range in which the Basicguide traffic control button is able to operate reliably.

The tough, basic model

Langmatz launched the new Basicguide EK 524, a new traffic control button, at Intertraffic Amsterdam 2018. It meets many requirements of local authority planners and signal engineering companies, at the same time offering excellent value for money. The device has fixed standard settings and is compatible with any voltage – and therefore any traffic light system. The Basicguide operates reliably in a temperature range of -25°C- 60°C (-13°F - 140°F). Approved by all major signal engineering companies, it is compliant with DIN 32981 (10.2016), EN 50293, IK10 and IP54.

Used alongside the Langmatz EK 98 acoustic signaling device, it provides orientation sounds and/or crossing signals that adapt according to traffic noise. Both as a sensor or pushbutton, the new Langmatz Basicguide offers a particularly robust solution as a spare part conforming to the relevant standards.

The EK 533 Crossguide traffic light push-button represents an innovative universal voltage device with an excellent track record in cities and communities all over Europe.

The model with unique features

What is special about Crossguide’s technical development is that both acoustic signals and voice prompts can be individually recorded and played. This high-end device even allows you to set the volume of the acoustic signals based on the time of day and traffic noise levels. All its functions and parameters can be adjusted and parameter sets saved and copied by USB cable, serial cable or Bluetooth using a laptop.

Like all Langmatz traffic light pushbuttons, the EK 533 is compact, durable and extremely well protected against vandalism. The engineering technology is future-proof. It is even possible to retroactively upgrade its functionality using an existing module slot without having to replace the devices themselves. Even when retrofitting old systems, you can also enable additional features, such as visual feedback and acoustic and tactile crossing signals, without having to open up the control unit, as these functions are solely set using the software.

The devices can optionally be supplied with a gold cap buffered real-time clock, which permits precise night-time reduction or night-time deactivation, for example.

Popular entry-level model

As its product name suggests, the Easyguide EK 424 is a simple pedestrian device. Equipped with basic centralized functions, this signal-requesting device has been extensively tried and tested in the field and is very cost effective.

The Langmatz tunnel model

The Langmatz range also includes the EK 534, an SOS/emergency call button, which has enjoyed a successful reputation Europe-wide for many years. It is designed to ensure the safety of road users in tunnels in an emergency. The EK 534 has two distinguishing features: it can generate acoustic feedback of up to 85dB (in accordance with German Guidelines for the Equipment and Operation of Road Tunnels); and also has a data entry capability for customized visual feedback text.

Ready for anything

Langmatz signal request devices are durable and easy to install.

Regardless of the type of product, Langmatz’s guide range of signal-requesting devices all feature the same specific basic features that make them appealing to local planning authorities, as well as signal and civil engineering companies. They all operate with universal voltage (20-253V), meaning they can be used with any traffic light system. They are also highly flexible and easy to install as they are compatible with all standard pole diameters. In the event of replacement, contractors can often use the existing drill holes. In addition, they have colorcoded connection wires with dedicated functions for ease of installation.

What’s more, there is also the option of multifunctional equipment add-ons to further benefit customers. Sadly, traffic light buttons are a popular target for vandals in many communities. Therefore, when developing this product range, particular attention was paid to high mechanical strength and a stainless-steel guard was integrated as standard. These signal-requesting devices are both extraordinarily reliable and especially durable – without the need for any additional accessories – making them even more appealing.

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