National Sign, the leader in illuminated sign and signal manufacturing in the traffic and transportation industries in the United States, is dedicated to developing ways to solve traffic control and transportation security challenges with products and services that set the standard for visibility, reliability and value.
National Sign began selling lighted commercial signs in 1932 and it has been a pioneer in the traffic and transportation industries since the early 1980s when it introduced the nation’s first fiber-optic discrete message signs. Over the years, National Sign has introduced many other innovations to the market including illuminated street name and case signs, LED lane control signals, and LED blank out and low-energy variable message signs. Most recently, National Sign commercialized a new-to-the-world line of low-energy NTCIP-compliant dynamic message signs that use 75% less energy than leading industry competitors.
Additionally, National Sign offers one-stop service solutions, custom design and manufacturing, and after-sales service and support –leveraging its strong national distributor network.
Management Team
National Sign is managed by a team of experienced executives in Battle Creek, MI. This talented cross-functional team manages sales, operations and growth of the company.
Key executives include:
  • Ronald E. Scherer – President and CEO
  • David B. Thompson - CFO
  • Jeff Swaddling – Chief Marketing Officer
  • James Montgomery – VP, Product Development
  • David Krauss – VP, Operations
  • Phil Hart – CAD Designer
  • Ken Baxter – Purchasing
Growth initiatives are led by National Sign’s Chairman Ronald E. Scherer. Mr. Scherer has over two decades of experience founding and managing private companies, including companies in the traffic, security, transportation, distribution, retail, real estate and healthcare industries. Mr. Scherer acquired National Sign and assumed his current role in 1986. National Sign has been a leader in the traffic control and management industries for several decades under his leadership.
National Sign’s finances are managed by David Thompson, the company’s Secretary, Treasurer and CFO. Mr. Thompson has over four decades of experience managing financial operations for public and private companies. He has been affiliated with the Scherer family businesses since 1973, when he was elected as a Director and appointed Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Thompson is an active Director and Officer on numerous accounting, civic and educational boards. National Sign’s operations are directed by John Cairns. Mr. Cairns has spent over 40 years in senior management positions with large, well-established companies in the logistics and transportation industries, including United Parcel Service, before assuming his current role with National Sign.
National Sign is headquartered in Michigan, with sales offices in Battle Creek, MI and suburban Ohio – National Sign also has a strong national distributor network that sell its products in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Products and Services
National Sign currently markets its products and services in the following industries and/or product categories:
  • Traffic Signs and Signals
  • Commercial Signs
  • Railroad Safety Products
  • Perimeter Defense Products
  • Traffic Control Products
  • Monitoring Systems and Services
Traffic Signs and Signals
National Sign offers the following traffic sign and signal products:
  • Dynamic Message Signs (DMS)
  • Blank Out Signs
  • Street Name Signs
  • Lane Control Signals
  • Case Signs
  • Custom Signs
National Sign manufacturers a complete range of LED and Fiber Optic regulatory, warning and guide signs that set the standard for ultra-bright, fail-safe traffic control applications. Capable of displaying any message or combination of messages in all standard ITE colors, National’s LED and Fiber Optic signs have exceptional message visibility and clarity, along with industry leading reliability and service. National’s DMS signs are NTCIP compliant and all LED and Fiber Optic signs can be customized to meet special requirements.
Commercial Signs
National Sign offers the following commercial sign products:
  • HD Super Resolution Full Color VMS
  • High Resolution Full Color VMS
  • Standard Resolution Full Color VMS
  • Standard Resolution Single Color VMS
  • LED Billboards
  • LED Rental Signs and Mobile Displays
National Sign and Signal’s full-color and single-color LED variable message signs and billboards set the standard for ultra-bright, full-matrix image and message signs, providing organizations and businesses with beautiful messaging while consuming less than half the energy of traditional LED signs. Through leveraging patented waste-reducing optics and sleep mode technologies, National’s VMS signs cost significantly less to operate, but have exceptional message visibility and clarity and are capable of displaying customized text, animations, graphics and videos in billions of colors. National’s LED signs are available with single- or double-face displays in a variety of sizes and resolutions.
Railroad Safety Products
National Sign offers the following railroad safety products:
  • Visual/Negative Resistance (VR) Crossing Systems
  • Physical/Positive Resistance (PR) Crossing Systems
  • LED Crossing Alert Signs
  • Crossing System Monitoring Services
National Sign’s rail grade crossing safety systems and alert signs are new-to-the-world solutions to improving safety at rail grade crossings. The systems combine state-of-the-art retractable delineators, bollards, LED alert signs and intelligent monitoring equipment to effectively detect, alert, deter, deny and secure rail crossings from vehicle traffic during train passes. The innovative systems deploy visual (negative) resistance delineators – Model 100 – or physical (positive) resistance barriers – Model 400 – at grade crossings to prevent train-car collisions and save lives. The base DADDS system can also control and report information on up to 20 other traffic control devices with nearly unlimited expansion capabilities and/or interface with multiple grade crossing status systems. Communications of real time information to Positive Train Control (PTC) systems is available through the proprietary controller communications module system. This system meets all FRA guidelines for Class 7 rail grade crossing operations and creates the safest operating environment for trains and motorists.
Perimeter Defense Products
National Sign offers a line of retractable security barriers. These new-to-the-world barriers were developed to address the need for intelligent area denial and perimeter security applications. The K12-rated Model 400 barriers are certified by the United States Department of State to stop a 15,000 lb. vehicle traveling at 50 mph. The barriers deploy fully in less than 6 seconds in normal operation mode, and in less than 2 seconds in emergency operation mode. National Sign vehicle barriers are self-contained, eliminating the need for a central hydraulic pump station or underground lines. Specifically, each barrier has an independent hydraulic power system and all electromechanical components are housed directly next to each barrier, providing environmental protection and ease of access for maintenance or replacement. Model 400 barrier systems can be operated locally using a panel or keypad, or remotely using high-speed Ethernet radio or satellite communication. Remote monitoring of the system is possible through a secure web-enabled interface. All National Sign security barriers are shipped in a pre-fabricated, steel foundation, significantly reducing on site installation requirements and cost. Additionally, the barriers operate on low power (24v) and each barrier has its own independent battery back-up system in case of power outages.
Traffic Control
National Sign offers a line of traffic control delineators. The retractable delineators were developed as a safe and easy way to control or redirect traffic, particularly in situations where repetitive changes in lane usage or traffic flow patterns are required. National Sign delineators eliminate crew exposure to hazardous situations during traffic flow changes by eliminating the need for workers to place pylons, drums or vertical panels. The delineators also have valuable security applications, including providing management or control of traffic around secure facilities (e.g., serpentine lanes), or as protection devices at railroad crossings. Additional applications include traffic flow management at toll collection lanes, weigh stations, parking lots, tunnel and bridge entrances, HOV lanes and reversible lanes. The delineators are flexible, but highly durable polymeric pylons designed to withstand repeated vehicle impacts. The barriers are housed in self-contained cartridges recessed in the ground and can be easily raised or lowered as needed. Each barrier can be individually controlled or controlled as part of an array of delineators that takes commands from a central control unit.
Monitoring Systems and Services
National Sign recently developed and commercialized Intelli-Monitor, a new-to-the-world software monitoring solution designed to help customers evaluate the health and status of access control and crossing safety systems – and related security equipment – quickly and easily. Intelli-Monitor provides users with real-time system health and diagnostic data, including power and battery status, controller memory, panel temperature, sensor loads, barrier cycle and run time, pump cycle and run time, and communication device status, among other things. Intelli-Monitor can be operated locally from a LAN-based desktop or laptop PC, or remotely using high-speed Ethernet, cellular or satellite communication links. Remote monitoring of the system is possible through a secure web-enabled interface.
Installation & Maintenance Services
National Sign also offers customers a complete menu of equipment installation and maintenance services, ranging from installation oversight to turnkey installation management and system maintenance, service and support. While National Sign’s perimeter defense and traffic control are extremely low maintenance by design, routine maintenance services including brush replacement, electrical connection checks, cylinder debris removal and system cycle tests should be conducted to ensure that equipment stays in excellent operating condition at all times.
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