The Story of ConnexSys
This is the story of a mount that addresses the biggest video wall problems installers face. This is also the story of our customers, who help inspire our design with valuable feedback at every step of development. Connecting these stories is the ConnexSys™ Video Wall Mounting System – Chief’s latest solution designed to save time and solve installation problems. Here’s how we did it.
The ConnexSys story started several years ago. Installers were having trouble with large video wall installations. Since no wall is perfectly straight, small imperfections get multiplied over space, and most mounts simply don’t adjust enough to compensate. A new solution was needed.
The first step was to collect information from installers.
“We spent an immense amount of time on customer empathy. It’s not that we didn’t do it in the past, but we did so much of it this time around it felt like what we did in the past was almost nothing,” said Greg Rupp, engineering supervisor.
Research revealed the four most common problems with video wall installations: Speed, Alignment, Serviceability, Rigidity.
Armed with feedback from dozens of installers, the engineering team was assembled, including Mathew Schuh, design engineer, and Jay Dittmer, engineer.
They started with a clean piece of paper.
Drawing after drawing.
I think my favorite part is empathizing. Having empathy for the problem or the challenge. You put yourself in a person’s shoes who is going to be using it and what would they like to see.
- Jay Dittmer
Solving one challenge at a time as they worked through the solution.
Early on, the idea to use strut channel as an anchor entered the design and stuck. It provided a strong, flat base for quick leveling of a single row.
For several days in a secret room at InfoComm 2013, Rupp and Kathryn Gaskell, product manager, met with 20 firms to gather feedback on the rough prototype they brought.
“The nice thing about the June prototype is it was clearly a prototype,” Gaskell said. “When you have something at that level, people are more willing to honestly say what’s good and what isn’t.”
Gaskell says the meetings at InfoComm helped guide the next design stages and clarified other decisions. It was clear a new release system and more stability were needed.
Justin Nicolay, a mechanical designer who started at Chief in June 2013, was tasked with devising a new release system. His bike restoration hobby came in handy at this point by leading him to a system that uses a bike brake mechanism for consistent, controlled display access.
At the end of the summer, it was time once again to return to customers for a fresh look at the solution. One such person was Vince DiStasio, vice president of Video Visions, Inc. in Trevose, Penn.
I want it to be simple to install … If it can make someone’s job easier, make their install quicker, make life easier – that’s the main goal right there.
- Mathew Schuh
“It should be a game changer in leveling your video wall,” he said. “Any wall that you go to hang a video wall, the contractor says it’s straight, but there’s always some flexion in the wall. The one beam will help alot to run everything on the same level plane.”
The reaction was the same wherever the Chief team took it. The last customers who saw the new system asked when they could order it.
It is Chief’s mission to dramatically enhance your experience with technology. The ConnexSys Video Wall Mounting System is just the latest example of that mission at work – and the name is as much about connecting with customers as it is connecting displays. We hope you find ConnexSys as valuable to your video wall projects as we valued your feedback in creating it