Innovation increases your chances to react to changes and discover new opportunities. It can also help foster a competitive advantage as it allows you to build better products and services for your customers.


Sapphire coating by MULTI ELECTRIC


One of the key drivers behind MULTI ELECTRIC’s Innovation Strategy is to build better products and services to help customers solve their challenges. This is the key reason why more than 10% of the workforce at MULTI ELECTRIC, and its parent company, consists of R&D staff and why the R&D budget goes beyond industry standards.

One of the main elements our teams have focused on, is the protection of the prism of our inset lights.

Even the sturdiest light cannot fend off an attack by heavy equipment like snowplows.

This means that for the northern regions of America we need to make sure the inset lights can not only withstand the pressure of those heavy commercial and military planes but also keep performing as if nothing happened. They also need to continue with an unchanged light output when snow covers the airport and snowplows clean up the airfield.

Within MULTI ELECTRIC we use different sets of coatings to protect the inset lights and more specifically the prisms of the lights.

The first is metallization, a transparent plastic to make sure the reflector bends the light to give the right beam to be compliant, this is made of pure aluminum. For the elevated light, the metallization is done on the aluminum.

Another coating is the anti-reflex coating applied on some prisms for the runway lights where higher intensity is needed. This coating is made on the entrance and exit surface so where the light enters and leaves. It improves the brightness of the light and reduces the reflection of the light thereby reducing any potential losses, up to 4 or 5% for every transition. This coating is applied in three layers to reduce the reflective indexes.

Last but not least, we have Sapphire coating, a solution by which the prisms of inset lights can be protected when snowplows or other equipment cleans the airfield. In many cases, inset lights that are unprotected get damaged and scratched by such equipment thus impacting the light output of these lights over time.

To protect the prisms of the insets lights, a sapphire coating is usually applied to add a protection layer to the prisms, as sapphire has a hardness second only to diamond. Unfortunately, in many cases, the coating loosens after a while because of the very rough conditions under which they have to operate. In collaboration with some of our customers in the northern part of America, MULTI ELECTRIC has developed a new kind of protection. The sapphire coating that is used is constituted by a plate of about 1 to 1.5 mm applied to the prism. What is special is that the sapphire plate is partly embedded in the glass, avoiding any change in shape or profile of the light. By having an integrated solution, the prism is not only much stronger but the protection is designed to last throughout the light’s lifetime. Thus, saving money in the maintenance of the light and adding extra safety by avoiding any degradation of the light output as required by the FAA.

The solution developed by MULTI ELECTRIC’s finest engineers is patented and is one more unique feature that MULTI ELECTRIC offers its customers.

Coatings and how they are used to protect the lights and the light output are just one of the many innovative ways by which MULTI ELECTRIC makes a difference for airports every day.

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