Customisation has become an asset in today’s market. Customers not only want functional products, but also look for solutions that incorporate new aesthetic requirements in line with the final requirements. “Whether it is a light indicator for the oven or washing machine, a spotlight for the coffee machine or a light profile for professional equipment, customisation of a product, for us at SLIM, takes place at different levels – the company explains –. On the one hand, customisation begins from standard products to catalogue. In this case, the customer can request the sampling of an existing product with certain modifications: it is possible to intervene at the level of light source or components (lens, colour, request for cables with particular technical specifications, IP grade, etc.). Parallel to standard customised products, at SLIM we develop full-fledged custom products that tend to be based on the customer’s specific request. Custom lighting solutions are realised from the development of a printed circuit placed inside them. The plastic case where the PCB will be placed is developed based on the overall dimensions and technical specifications provided by the customer: it houses a LED or several LEDs depending on the quality, quantity and type of light desired”. Research and innovation in the development of tailor-made solutions are two crucial aspects based on a series of creative and technological processes.
Research and innovation
SLIM summarizes the main steps that can be followed during a project start-up stage:
– market analysis: this involves understanding market needs and trends, assessing competitors and identifying opportunities for innovation.
– materials research: this may include the use of new materials or the combination of existing materials in an innovative way.
– development of new technologies: in some cases, research and innovation of customised lighting solutions may require the development of new technologies. “This was the path that led us to the development of the micro LED spotlights and the optical fibre with light source”, SLIM explains.
Design and prototyping
The design and prototyping of customised lighting solutions can be complex processes: the use and implementation of advanced tools and technologies guarantee efficiency and a high level of quality. SLIM shows the main steps:
– customer needs analysis: this includes understanding the required technical specifications, desired functionality, aesthetic requirements and available budget.
– conceptual design: once the customer’s needs are understood, SLIM’s technical department can start developing design ideas and solutions. At this stage, it is important to consider factors such as the shape, size (overall dimensions), colour, brightness and durability of the custom lighting solution.
– 3D model: after selecting the appropriate concept design, the designer can use 3D modelling software to create a virtual model of the custom lighting solution. This model can be used to test functionality, evaluate appearance and make modifications.
– prototyping: once the 3D model has been approved by the customer, the designer can move on to the prototyping stage. This may include the creation of a physical prototype, using additive manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing.
– testing and evaluation: after creating the physical prototype, the customised lighting solution must be tested to assess its functionality, reliability, durability and overall quality. Depending on the test results, further modifications can be made to improve the custom lighting solution.
– production: lastly, once the prototype has been tested and approved, it will move on to the production phase. This may include the production of pilot batches for further testing and evaluation before moving on to mass production.