In 2015, I joined the Product Development team at Synsor. While the kiosk program focused on reusing the same design as much as possible, the Product Development team would engineer a variety of fixtures for many different clients. Our scope ranged from a few tables located inside Best Buy to all the displays and cabinetry in a whole store.
In Product Development, I was exposed to new materials and manufacturing techniques. Some clients wanted curved surfaces, so we used bender boards or stacks layers of thin MDF. Many also requested mitered corners for better edge finishes, and as a result I learned about biscuit joiners.
Graphics were also a large part of many of these displays, and they had to be replaceable to change with the season. We often worked with vendors to develop fixtures that would support silicone edge graphics. One particular fixture required the graphic to wrap around a corner at the top and bottom but end just before the return in the center. The middle section of the frame required a channel for a silicone edge while the exterior edges used an angle to support the graphic around the wrap.
Many of the fixtures needed lighting to illuminate the displays. Although overhead lights were used in the kiosks I engineered, they were purchased off the shelf and their electrical loads were already accounted for in the MEP calculations. By contrast, the lighting in Product Development required much more analysis. Strip lights were often used to as backlighting for fabric graphics or illumination for shelf displays, and we had to determine the necessary power draw for each LED driver.
Other kinds of electronics, such as security devices or the products themselves, also had to be incorporated into the fixtures. Heat generation was sometimes a concern, and fans and ventilation needed to be added.