“People identify with their car as they do their mobile phone: it needs to be highly customised and personalised”, says Steffen Reuter, TECHNIPLAS® vice president for innovation and technology.
The car has become an individualised companion, its appearance an extension of personal brand – and alongside colour, form and material, lighting is increasingly employed to clearly distinguish one vehicle from another. Light creates atmosphere, enhances familiarity and homeliness, and conveys a sense of elegance and quality; and it also serves to position and differentiate leading brands.
To meet these standards, designers need innovative, customised solutions based on advanced products and superior technologies. TECHNIPLAS® has extensive experience in lighting and other forms of vehicle personalisation, and works closely with its customers to develop solutions for the most demanding applications. With a long history of collaboration with premium OEMs, it has a unique combination of competencies in design, material selection tooling, and multicomponent manufacturing. It develops solutions for often unusual requirements: “TECHNIPLAS is a strong partner whose ideas are often ahead of the market,” says president and CEO Kim Korth.
Its Switzerland-based operation WEIDPLAS® pushes the boundaries of lighting technology and its expert engineers know how to impressively present cars and concept vehicles alike. Its elegant solutions exhibit expertise in materials, specific brightness distributions, and the seamless integration of lighting elements within vehicle components.
TECHNIPLAS® creates planar light sources by combining LEDs with creatively-shaped light guides. The challenge is often to create a homogenous light surface using a point-source LED, and the TECHNIPLAS® team is able to achieve this by creating micro-structures in the light guide surface; the company has developed a series of proprietary simulation software tools that allow ultimate flexibility in lighting design. “Based on outcoupling and the scattering behaviour of the micro-structures, we can arrange these so that their exact distribution in the light guide results in a homogenous and diffuse lighting surface,” explains Reuter.
Many applications, such as sill plates, require highly homogenous planar light sources, and the TECHNIPLAS® software facilitates the creation of specific brightness distributions to achieve the desired effect. For example, on illuminated folding tables created for the Rinspeed XchangE concept vehicle, certain symbols appear only when the backlight is on. Also spectacular are the extremely thin and practically invisible light guides serving as a hidden third brake light in the rear window of the Rinspeed ∑tos. “TECHNIPLAS® has assembled some of the industry’s most trusted brands to build a world-class organisation that makes us nimble and scalable globally. We lead with integrity, innovate with purpose, and drive operational excellence that delivers superior customer value,” Korth concludes.