FULL LUMINAIRE DEVELOPMENT

“Perfection has to do with the end product, but excellence has to do with the process.” ― Jerry Moran

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In the area of new product development, iLumTech cooperates mainly with manufacturers of lighting fixtures or manufacturers of other products with the usage of lighting technology. We provide technology consulting services, new product development from market requirement to realization, product maintenance, cost optimization, certification management, prototyping and testing services and additionally as well component and private-labeled product sales. Our work covers everything from the concept to the final product, within the framework of which we can deliver a wide range of services across industrial, optical, thermal, electronic and mechanical design, all of which are supported by excellent supply chain management, full system testing and prototyping. Our experience of designing and delivering hardware and software solutions for home automation and controllers as well as industry-leading optical systems and nanotechnologies mean that we are truly able to provide the best luminaire full product development you can imagine. We work strictly on the basis of NDA and we do up to 100 different projects per year, mainly in field of general LED lighting, street lighting, urban lighting, airport lighting, but as well decorative or special illumination. 

EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT AND OFFER

In order to evaluate the development possibilities, time and cost, specific information must be provided by a customer. The information should be filled in the “Product definition form” and submitted to iLumTech, or alternatively can be supplied as well manufacturer own product definition form which includes all the needed information.

  • type of the luminaire, application,
  • shape, dimension, mounting requirements,
  • design requirements and benchmark product information, sketches, drawings,
  • housing material, optical material, special requirements on used connection materials (glue, gasket, screws etc),
  • LED specification, power, system efficiency, lumen output, variants, CCT / CRI requirements, optical requirements, performances etc.,
  • IP, IK, ATEX rating, snow and wind load, ability to withstand different ambient temperatures, requested lifetime and failure rate,
  • commercial requirements – target price, sales quantities, packaging details etc.
  • time requirements.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATION & PROPERTIES DEFINITION

We will help you complete the product definition form. All technical issues are evaluated, re-evaluated and optimised during project meetings, at which the responsible persons for your project from each R&D department and the commercial team will be present. During the product definition phase, we will encounter our first obstacles, to which we will endeavour to find suitable solutions to prevent delay later in the development process. Every discussed detail will be recorded in your product definition documentation and sent to you to double check. This gives you added assurance that the foundation we build upon is precisely according to your wishes.

COST & TIME SCHEDULE EVALUATION

Based on the final definition, we will prepare a time schedule containing project milestones. You can discuss your feelings about the project based on the documentation provided at these milestones. You will also receive a cost evaluation, which is the quote divided according to development costs and tooling expenses. Commercial conditions, including the price and payment conditions, along with the schedule, are part of the overall development contract as well as the signed product development form.

DEVELOPMENT CONTRACT

The result of the technical and commercial negotiation and agreement process is the final development contract and confidentiality agreement. Here, all conditions and the commencement date of development are stated.

DEVELOPMENT STAGES STEP BY STEP

Design and engineering

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

This is the process of preparing 3D designs using 3D CAD modelling software. The process allows us to implement any adjustments you wish to make immediately.

OPTICAL DESIGN

We prepare optical designs according to the requested illumination, beam angle, LIDC, UGR and efficiency and efficacy specifications. The optical designers also take into account the materials asked for or can offer new technologies based on our internal research.

THERMAL DESIGN

The thermal design process starts with the simulation and suggestion of appropriate heatsinks made of optimised materials that ensure the smallest possible luminaire. We focus on self-designed and highly effective forged heatsinks that boast excellent thermal conductivity properties despite their compact size. Our thermal designers cooperate in detail with other departments and engineers to ensure the best thermal management for the chosen electronic components of the luminaire.

ELECTRONIC DESIGN

The electronic department prepares electronic designs for PCBs as well as suggesting the most suitable components and electrical schemes. They can also propose the software and interface needed for touch panels, computers and other devices in order to make control of the luminaire as easy and flexible as possible.

MECHANICAL DESIGN

Our mechanical designers and engineers prepare sheet metal, die cast and extrusions designs according to the type of luminaire, using the advanced CATIA 3D CAD software. The designers ensure that the desired mechanical properties are provided, especially in the case of requested IP and IK protection ratings. .

Prototyping

FULLY FUNCTIONAL LUMINAIRE PROTOTYPING

Nowadays, speed is a key factor in the successful development of a product. Faster is better and ultimately saves money. Therefore, we have at hand our own stateof-the-art prototype workshop where we can create prototypes of almost the same quality as the final product within very short timeframes.

With our own industrial 3D printer, we can produce prototypes in as little as 12 hours, and no more than 24 hours. Additionally, our mechanical workshop is equipped with a wide range of traditional machines that allow for turning, milling, cutting, bending and welding so we can provide fully functional prototypes and samples within just a few working days. We can also manufacture prototype PCBs and equip prototype luminaires with these PCBs in order to perform all necessary luminous flux, thermal and EMC measurements.

Increased visualisation capabilities

Rapid prototyping allows the 3D visualisation of a product straight after the drawings are completed in tactile 1:1 scale. Depending on the complexity of the model, it can take minutes or hours to create. Nothing can compare to a prototype in terms of its ability to show any design issues early in the development process.

Easy detection of design flaws at an early development stage

Prototypes enable us to check the functionality of parts before any expensive tooling investment is made. Design flaws and other issues can, at this stage, be resolved.

Time and cost savings

As everything is checked in advance, you need not worry about unpleasant surprises that would otherwise prolong the development time, increases costs and delay the release of your product to the market.

Tooling

DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF TOOL

The tooling stage follows the approval of the final documentation and prototype. This involves the development and production of die-casts, extrusion tools, or injection moulds. Through the years of experiences with manufacturing and design, we have built an extensive network of proven and trustworthy tooling suppliers that can provide a wide variety of tools. We are happy to point you in the direction of the most suitable and reliable suppliers for your project.

DIE-CAST TOOLING

Die casting is a metal casting process characterised by the forcing of molten metal into a mold cavity under high pressure. Mold cavities function similarly to injection molds, and are created using two hardened tool steel dies that have been machined into the desired shape. Most die castings are made from non-ferrous metals, specifically zinc, copper, aluminium, magnesium, lead, pewter and tin-based alloys. Depending on the metal to be cast, a hot- or coldchamber machine is used. Within the framework of this mechanical design process, we provide tooling 3D model reviews and tool production support and additional steps are done to ensure the proper result of the development of the tool:

  • Die cast tool design & design for manufacturability
  • Flow, thermal and stress analysis
  • Gating, overflow and runner design.
  • Die casting process development & troubleshooting.
  • Die cast tooling and casting materials and alloys.
  • Die surface treatment & coating.
  • Infrared thermography.

EXTRUSION

Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed or drawn through a die of the desired cross-section. The products of extrusion are generally called ‘extrudates’. The two main advantages of this process over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections, and to work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusion may be continuous, theoretically producing indefinitely long objects or semi-continuous for the production of many items. The extrusion process can be done with hot or cold materials. Most commonly, extruded materials are metals, polymers, ceramics, concrete, play dough, and foodstuffs.

In the case of lighting products, extrusion is used mainly for the production of the side parts of the luminaires, rails, plastic covers, plastic lenses, heatsinks etc.

ALUMINIUM FORGING

Forging is one of the oldest known metalworking processes. Traditionally performed by a blacksmith using a hammer and anvil, the process has developed greatly over the centuries into something that is highly viable even in modern industry. It requires the use of materials that are able to withstand extreme processes such as heat, pressure and mechanical stress, but the results are suitable for mass production and deliver some outstanding material properties. For example, the thermal conductivity of a forged heatsink is double that of an extruded one, resulting in a much smaller and lighter weight product.

Testing and evaluation

IN-HOUSE TESTING AND EVALUATION

We have some of the best equipped inhouse laboratories in Europe, and can provide our customers with extensive and indepth services thanks to the array of tests we can perform side-by-side with our other services. This provides development flexibility and speed not possible if these tests needed to be outsourced. Another advantage is that tests can be performed on final prototypes before they go to the next stage, tests that would normally be very time consuming. Additionally, it means that when the final product is sent for certification and other required external testing, for example, ENEC, UL, CE and others, it cannot fail as the tests have already been done. Additional to these standard measurements, we also have a remote controlled long-term test facility where we can stress test luminaire prototypes prior to their release to production. This process ensures that the final product is of the standard you need.

OPTICAL LABORATORY

In our optical laboratory you will find the following equipment plus more:

  • Goniophotometer RiGO 801
  • Luminance meter with single lens reflex optical system
  • Luminance analyser and lux meter
  • Integration sphere
  • Scatterometer
  • Spectrometer
  • 3D scanner

THERMAL LABORATORY

Our new, high-tech thermal laboratory isequipped with a wide array of devices, such as:

  • Two thermal chambers
  • DAQ system IR thermometer
  • Thermal imager
  • Thermal test centre – a test facility for air handling luminaires.

ELECTRONIC LABORATORY

We can perform many tests within our state-of-the-art electronic laboratory, including:

  • Electrical safety tests
  • EMC testing
  • Electronic devices functional tests
  • Long-term tests
  • DALI compatibility tests

Product completion

FINALIZATION OF THE PROCESS

The development process is nearing its end, but there is still work to do. We welcome you to join us at the release meeting or pre-series for a final check of the details of your product, and its assembly and packaging. In addition to the already provided final technical documentation, we can support you with production and assembly manuals, and any third party certification.

THIRD PARTY TESTING

After finalisation and testing of the prototype, if certification by a third party is required, the product is sent to the appropriate certification laboratory. As we perform all tests in-house beforehand, the possibility that the product fails any official laboratory test is eliminated. This ensures that the final release of your product to the market is not unnecessarily delayed.

RELEASE FROM DEVELOPMENT

Once we have the test reports and certificates issued by the certification laboratories, the next step is to release the product from R&D. During the release meeting, the final prototype, as well as test reports and samples, are compared to the product definition form. If the result is satisfactory, the product is released from development following a defined release protocol that needs to be signed by all responsible parties. At this point, all datasheets and instructions are already prepared additional to the internal codes and a final bill of materials (BOM). When the product is officially released from development, you are also supplied with full technical documentation. At this stage, you can check the documentation and any necessary corrections will be made. Final technical documentation is only provided once all issues have been resolved.

PRE-SERIES

Between the development and mass production of the product, there is a step called pre-series. At this point, production engineers check the luminaire and its assembly based on the prepared technical documentation and instructions. If any corrections need to be made before the product enters mass production, this is the time when they are implemented. Once the pre-series phase in completed, the product it released to mass production.

RELEASE TO MASS PRODUCTION

Now that pre-series is complete and all necessary certification in place, the product can be released to mass production. You may have your own manufacturing services in place, or we can organise this for you in cooperation with trusted local business. We will discuss this along with forecasted volumes with you during the development stages in order to secure suitsble delivery times and organise spare parts on stock. Produced luminaires will be packaged as requested with labels and barcodes.

AFTER-SALE SERVICE

CUSTOMISATION

We are also able to adjust your existing products according to specific request. This can cover anything from modification of the mounting, optical system, dimensions and construction of the luminaire, to the adding of air slots, sensors and emergency kits.

OPTIMISATION AND GENERATION UPDATE

As the Technological Revolution progresses, new methods for the production of materials and solutions are innovated faster than ever, which inevitably means that older ones become obsolete or hard to find and in turn more costly. If your products contain such elements, your production costs may get too high and your profit margin too low. It is also possible that the materials and solutions you use exhibit qualities that are not necessary for your application, yet you pay for them nevertheless. We know that finding the best materials and solutions can make the difference between success and failure, and can help you find the most suitable, viable and practical options for your products, resulting in simplified construction, more efficient assembly, reduced costs and higher profits.

LUMINAIRE REPLACEMENT

Customers do not always want to update the whole infrastructure of their building in order to replace the lighting. As a result, you may wish to develop a luminaire suitable to be a direct replacement of a current product, to keep existing customers by offering them a simple and effective solution. To this end, we can prepare new products based precisely on the defined parameters of an old product.