Since 1985, we have seen many innovations in lighting: Parabolic reflectors have given way to projectors and FF/complex-shape reflectors, window-clear lenses, xenon light sources, and AFS. Each time, more engineering resources were needed to support these new technologies often added to the coëxisting former ones.
LED technologies are coming very fast with a fantastic new foreseeable need for resources. In the next “In-depth technologies” paper, I justify in detail the new surge of engineering resources to be expected. During the 5 years to come, an increase of around 50% of engineering capacity will be required and the lighting suppliers would be wise to prepare themselves to this new challenge if they don’t want to fall short of resources due to their lack of anticipation .
The development of the headlamps for one car model requires today an average of around 20,000 engineering hours. It will climb up to around 30,000 hours with the arrival of LED and intelligent headlamps. Add the fact that the number of vehicle models will continue to grow, that they need to be restyled every 3 years, and that headlamps are often the main change for a restyled car, see why in my next paper hereunder.
Transfer of manufacturing activities to low cost countries is a fully understandable trend which we are today be prepared for. What will be left for our advanced economies in Europe, USA and Japan? The answer is: building up our capacity to innovate, create, design and market.
The arrival of LED technologies represent for lighting suppliers a fantastic opportunity to buff up domestic engineering resources, create juicy added value for customers, and at the same time keep our technological advance.
Are lighting players, OEM purchasers and engineering managers, lighting suppliers R&D and project managers prepared for such a change?
DVN General Editor