FAST PROTOTYPING INNOVATION INTO EMERGING MARKETS
This prototype shop used unconventional single part and low volume production technology to bring a game changing lighting system to market that also aids the environment.
As diode technology has improved in recent years, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been getting increasing attention as a source of residential and commercial lighting. Small wonder, since compared to traditional incandescent lighting, these new lighting sources can provide the same amount of illumination using as little as 10 percent to 15 percent of the power. This huge reduction in energy consumption means big savings for consumers and, perhaps more importantly, big reductions in the amount of fossil fuel used to generate that power.
None of this is news to one lighting manufacturer who has pioneered many residential and commercial LED lighting applications and has set itself the task of leading what it calls “the LED lighting revolution” that is aimed at making traditional energy-intensive lighting technologies obsolete.
One of its more significant initiatives in this area has been a line of LED architectural lighting products that incorporate breakthroughs in optical, electronic and mechanical design, as well as thermal management, allowing optimal distribution of light with minimal power consumption. The goal, ultimately, is to replace the miles and miles of overhead lighting in office buildings, schools, hospitals and retail structures with energy efficient LEDs.
It’s a bold move, but as the potential impact of products like this become increasingly clear, a growing number of suppliers are seeking to establish themselves as players in this arena. One other manufacturer realized that in order to maintain its leadership position in this young market, it had to get its new lighting product to market quickly. Essential to that aim was getting the required prototype parts, and that help came from the 3-Dimensional Services Group (Rochester Hills, MI).
The 3-Dimensional Services Group consists of 3-Dimensional Services, Urgent Plastic Services and Urgent Design & Manufacturing (UDM) that specialize in design, engineering and analysis, in-house tool construction and complete build of prototype first-off parts and low-to-medium volume production runs 50 percent to 70 percent faster than conventional prototype shops by making large process capacities available in injection molding and casting, stamping, machining, robotic and manual welding, laser cutting and welding, waterjet, hydroforming, tube bending, vibration welding, casting and pattern fabrication, RIM tooling, rapid prototyping and assembly operations.
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