Case study: “Edgelight” light design by Hella for the Porsche Macan

At a glance:
Development of a mould for producing a completely new rear lighting system for the Hella company for use in the Porsche Macan.

The customer:
Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. is a globally active, exchange-listed family-run company which develops and produces lighting technology and electronic products for the automotive industry and has access to one of the largest trade organizations for motor vehicle parts and accessories in Europe.

The Macan is a compact SUV with five doors, five seats and sporting ambitions from the Porsche company suitable for both city use and long-distance drives.

The task:
For the Porsche Macan, Hella developed a new rear lighting system featuring LED light in light strips. These patented “Edgelights” offer a new level of quality for safety-related brake lights. The “Edgelights” are arranged in a strip and can be integrated into the body shell of the vehicle in a space-saving way.

The task of Hofmann – Ihr Impulsgeber was to develop a mould which produces the complex geometries of the component with no distortion or sink marks. The requirements on the thick-walled PMMA part, the so-called lighting module or light conductor (the heart of the brake light) were high. In addition to freedom from distortion using the 2-component injection moulding process, the primary challenge was actually to create a highly complex prism geometry – LED light can only enter and exit with full light output if the prisms are complete and have no sink marks.

The solution:
To fulfil the high quality demands of the “Edgelights,” the specialists at Hofmann – Ihr Impulsgeber decided to produce the component as multi-component parts using transparent PMMA in a 2-cycle process on turntable moulds. Here, each mould produces one left-hand component and one right-hand component in each cycle through pre-injection and final injection using 2-component technology. 2-component technology was used to create the very thick walls of the component without sink marks. Using conventional 1-component technology, cycle times would have been very long and a deep sink mark on the component would have been unavoidable. 2-component technology makes it possible to separate the thick light conductor into two thinner parts. This enabled the cycle time and sink marks to be reduced.

Success:
Hofmann – Ihr Impulsgeber built an innovative serial-production mould which enabled the Hella company to produce its newly developed rear lighting system for the Porsche Macan. Not only did the mould make a new, distinctive design for the brake lights possible, it is also able to produce complex prism geometries required for maximum output of the LED lights of the “Edgelights.” This was a bright idea for brake lights, which are so important for safety in road traffic.