The Danish company Roblon A/S, which has developed LED lighting to the international market since 1995, was faced with a challenge when they were asked to shed light on the migration history of Germany
A museum has been established in a railway station in Friedland in central Germany where more than four million German and international migrants have arrived since 1945. The lighting in the museum ought to support the migrants’ stories without disrupting the experience of the visitor, be a risk of danger, or affect the objects’ exhibition lifetime by causing them to fade or degrade in other ways.
The lamp, called Ara 5, is mounted magnetically on a rail, which means that it can be adjusted to many different use situation. This exhibition posed another challenge: it should be possible to dim the lights both individually and centrally. Roblon hired a project team from EKTOS to help solve the task.
Digital control of an analog power controller
“Not so many lights run with one diode at a time”, tells R&D engineer at Roblon, Hans Martin Kirkegaard, and continues: “Normally multiple diodes are placed after one another in a series. This way you get higher voltage, which is easier to handle technically if you want to be able to dim the lights”. Project Manager at EKTOS, Brian Thomsen, adds:” It’s hard to get full functionality with analog solutions so we chose a digital solution where power management is done locally by each light”.
Development of this solution is based on PLC technology, or Power Line Communication, which means that the paths to the individual lamps are overlaid with digital communication. That the power control is placed locally by each lamp which means that each lamp works independently of the other lamps. This ensures consistent behavior for all the lamps that are connected to the same rail.
A brief process
“The cooperation with EKTOS has been the best cooperation we have had with an electronics supplier,” says Hans Martin Kirkegaard. Since the first meeting between EKTOS and Roblon only three months passed before EKTOS delivered the promised 930 lamp drivers and 230 controller PCBs.
“The cooperation with EKTOS has been the best cooperation we have had with an electronics supplier” Hans Martin Kirkegaard, R&D engineer at Roblon
Due to a limited project period, and because EKTOS had experience with Power Line Communication from earlier projects, EKTOS arranged a small project team where the project manager and the developer worked directly with each other without including a technical lead in the team. “The structure of EKTOS makes it possible to put together a project team that matches exactly the individual project situation. This means that our customers only pay for what they need”, says project manager Brian Thomsen.
“The structure of EKTOS makes it possible to put together a project team that matches exactly the individual project situation. This means that our customers only pay for what they need.”
The Friedland Museum, Roblons first customer to Ara 5, opened 15 March this year. Read more about the exhibition here: www.museum-friedland.de.
Niels Martin Jørgensen