MENTOR have completely updated and redesigned their Plastic and Metal Knobs catalogue, adding in all of their latest knob introductions. The catalogue has an all-new design, and is available for immediate PDF download – why not Download it now!
BMW’s M-Class saloon cars are well known for their performance and technical excellence in the premium sector of the sports saloon market (I can confirm this from personal experience!) The “M” is short for BMW’s Motorsports Division and in addition to technology and performance, their sports saloons display design flair with classy interior design touches and eye-catching exterior design features.
7-segment displays are nothing new but these innovative MENTOR ones are – they lack LEDs! Instead, the customer provides its own SMD LEDs (even RGB) and mounts them on the PCB using a cost-effective manufacturing process. The MENTOR light guide based 7-segment displays are push-fitted to the board at the end of production.
It’s becoming very hard these days to differentiate a company’s new products from the competitors. In a bid to create individuality, products have become more multifunctional, more intelligent and more complex. Examples can be found in the fields of smart home, automotive, IoT, eMobility etc.
Siemens is a leading manufacturer of PLC control systems for a wide variety of applications. A recent product is the new Sirius ET200 motor starter, which offers high functionality within a very compact case. In this Case Study, Siemens used a modified version of the miniaturised square Light Guide 1296 from MENTOR.
Square Light Guides / Light Pipes are an innovative product range from MENTOR. I like them because they not only look great but allow you to visibly differentiate your product designs from the more mundane. It is worth noting that whilst the 10-column array versions have multiple tiny light elements closely spaced together, MENTOR’s clever integrated diaphragm prevents light bleed even when different colours are used adjacent.
MENTOR have added multiple array versions to their range, and all of the engineers I have shown rear-mounted samples to were very impressed. OK, they are not going to change the world but they are a clever concept that is highly practical and do enhance optical quality. If you need IP68-rating though, look elsewhere – by definition rear-mounted versions cannot deliver this (yet!)
Conventional front-mounted light guides will by definition always have heads slightly larger than the enclosure’s hole, which results in not all of the head being directly illuminated by the LED. The advantage of mounting from the rear of the panel is that all of the light guide head is directly illuminated and this produces a markedly superior lighting effect.