PRG Uses Theatrical Technology At Detroit Auto Show

PRG drew on its vast experience with theatre and other staged events for scenic and lighting innovations that helped draw crowds to exhibits for Hyundai, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge at Detroit’s recent North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). PRG also provided lighting and rigging for press events for other top automakers at the expo, which ran January 7-21 at the Cobo Hall.

“Being a broad-based company allows us to draw on a wealth of experience and innovations in all areas and apply these to meet our customers’ needs,” observes Jere Harris, founder and chairman of PRG.

To dramatize the sleek durability of Hyundai Motor America’s new concept car, the HCD-10 Hellion, Hyundai asked its partner, Exhibit Works, Inc., to design a turntable that tilted while it rotated—an eye-catching contrast to the flat, earthbound motion of typical auto show turntables. Putting Hyundai’s idea into action with just two weeks’ lead time, PRG staff engineered and constructed a gyroscopic turntable consisting of an 18-foot disc rotating at a 10° angle, joined by a column to a flat, stationary bottom disc.

“This is the kind of technology you see on stage all the time, but rarely, if ever at an auto show,” explains Jim Kempf, PRG’s senior technical designer at the company’s New Windsor facility. “It definitely emphasized the cool factor of the vehicle.”

Hyundai plans to use the turntable and its control system, also built by PRG, to display vehicles at other venues, including the upcoming Chicago International Auto Show.

At the Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge booths, PRG’s proprietary Virtuoso® DX2 lighting control console helped manage the complex signal distribution and control requirements necessary for lighting the brand exhibits in the massive hall. “Virtuoso’s built-in fiber optic distribution network makes it possible to reliably distribute control data over great distances without the degradation of signal you would experience in traditional copper based systems,” explains Marion Hall, PRG product specialist for Virtuoso. “Virtuoso is a proven product that is known for its performance and stability so it was a good choice for this type of event,” added Hall.

PRG also used its proprietary Series 400™ Power and Data Distribution System at the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge booths. “Series 400 saved time by making it possible for the technicians to quickly reconfigure data distribution through the racks without physically having to move and cables to different locations,” explains Hall.

In advance of the event, PRG provided training to programmers and technicians who were new to PRG’s proprietary products.

Overall at NAIAS, PRG provided theatrical lighting and rigging for exhibits and press events for all brands of the DaimlerChrysler Group, all seven Ford Motor Company brands, Subaru of America, Inc., and American Suzuki Motor Corporation.

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