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.
Multitron’s MD Duncan Grove will be on MENTOR’s Stand and he will be able to introduce you to the most relevant MENTOR electronic and opto engineers to discuss your product designs.
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. However if you need IP68-rating, 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.
During my recent factory visit I explained to MENTOR that Multitron’s UK Design Engineers were loving the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of MENTOR’s switch cap solutions but many were asking for round / circular versions rather than square. I quite reasonably berated MENTOR for their short-sightedness in not supplying these.
See working demos of miniature light guides, light guide-based 7-segment displays and illuminated switch caps for dome switches, all in “technicolour action”. View the video to fully understand how these components can enhance your products! Of course, you can find out more in the Light Guides Micro-site.