Digital Light is a milestone in front lighting

The digitalisation of the headlamp is a milestone in front lighting technology for MARELLI Automotive Lighting. As a lighting technology partner, AL developed the high-resolution headlamp principle together with Daimler and Texas Instruments. This makes it possible to design the light distribution of a headlamp more flexibly than ever before.

The technology is based on a matrix with 1.3 million micro-mirror elements integrated in a DLP module. Digital Light" turns the high-performance headlamp into a tri-functional system that expands intelligently controlled adaptive lighting options with groundbreaking assistance information - for near-optimal illumination of the vehicle's surroundings, finer resolution in glare-free high beam, and with guidance/warning information for the driver projected onto the road ahead.

The high-quality and increasingly sophisticated features of the headlamps also place increasingly higher demands on the production process. The order for the Daimler S-Class went to the Brotterode site. This is also where the DLP module, in which the digital technology is integrated, comes off the production line. The installation of the high-tech chip requires absolute cleanliness in production. So the decision was made to create the appropriate production environment in Brotterode with a cleanroom production facility. "The plant is the first production site in the AL Group to manufacture a headlamp module under cleanroom conditions," Marcus Weigel (Process Engineering) makes clear. "With this experience, Brotterode is a reference plant within AL."

The high standards of manufacturing also continue on the assembly line. "The individual headlamp is assembled by the employees directly on the transport system from the housing onwards and only leaves the assembly line after the final inspection," explains department head Christian Rommel. Between the individual production steps, it runs automatically on the conveyor belt and is forwarded to the corresponding assembly stations via lifts. This automation is an enormous relief for the employees and active health protection.

Another innovation is the fully automatic cap station, where the headlamp housing is fitted with caps to protect the internal technology from dust and water. It is the first station of its kind at the site. "In the past, we had large rubber or plastic caps that were fitted to the housing by hand beforehand. Now up to 6 small caps are applied fully automatically after the spotlight has been adjusted," says Christian Rommel.

Due to the good preparation of the new start-up, the key figures have developed very positively with increasing call-offs.

After his presentation, the headlamp innovation had already received its first prize. The still young Digital Light was awarded the "Marcus 2019" of the Austrian mobility club ÖAMTC in the category "Signpost" as 'most innovative new product 2018' and 'particularly forward-looking concept' from the automotive sector.

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