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Robotized installation of automotive lights

The lighting installed in automobiles has changed with the development of automobiles. The initial Ford T models still used carbide lamps, but by the 1920s dynamos and electric bulbs began to be widely used. The power medium in the form of electricity remained, but new types of light sources such as halogen bulbs, xenon headlamps and finally light-emitting diodes (LEDs) appeared one after another. LED headlights have quite a list of advantages, especially if we talk about energy efficiency, life span and quality of light.

How are LED car lamps built?

The different models of lamps differ, of course, depending on the make of the car, the purpose or the manufacturer of the lamp itself. In the housing of the headlight, there is a support frame, an electronic control module, LED modules and a cooling system. The headlights can contain up to dozens of LEDs. The control module can offer different lighting sequences for each component. All this is housed in a diffuser with appropriate lenses and bezel.

What processes are involved in the production of LED lights?

The primary issue is to have assembly lines adapted to the types of lamps produced. The designed workstations must ensure that all components are delivered in the right way, that the processes are carried out in the right sequence, and that ESD protection [1] is provided where necessary. Several main groups of processes can be distinguished in the production of LED lights:

-locating, assembling and bolting
-cleaning and surface preparation, e.g. by plasma [2], blowing with air ionization
-heating in an oven
-heating, including by ultrasonic and infrared
-gluing and sealing
-printing and application of labels
-testing for leakage, presence of all components, geometry, checking gaps between housing and lens
-vision testing of lamp functionality, electrical absorption of finished lamp, luminescence


Some of the assembly operations are performed at manual workstations, but equipped with automated screwdrivers in torque converter and reaction arm versions. Components are fed by gravity descenders or vibratory feeders, and screws are fed by a dispenser. Many of these processes are worth automating and robotizing. Multi-purpose robots are used to transfer product between stations or outlets, for example, to retrieve lamps from a furnace. Robots also work well in the bonding process, e.g. for surface preparation by plasma or precise application of glue. An ultrasonic welding unit with a sonotrode [3] can be attached to a robotic arm to position it precisely. A good example of the robotization of lamp assembly, where 3 robots of different brands are integrated, can be found in the lens application, plasma and glue station designed and built by ELPLC.

Lamp assembly lines from ELPLC

For several years, ELPLC has had in its portfolio the realization of complete assembly lines for automotive lights of various types. These include manual assembly stations, robotic stations with rotary tables, handling robots and specialized EOL testers. Dedicated software supporting multiple testing methods was also developed for the testers. It is a hardware-independent tool for managing the testing process centrally from a workstation or remotely.

Full traceability with ELPLC Smart Factory

Lines built by ELPLC are equipped with the proprietary ELPLC Smart Factory system. One of its functionalities is that the full production history of each piece is available and can be analyzed. This can be done against various criteria and selected filters, such as efficiency analysis by station or operator. Data export is also available. Read more about ELPLC Smart Factory.


[1] ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) protection is a system for protecting electronic components sensitive to electrostatic discharge.
[2] plasma treatment – acting on a surface with ionized gas, changing the chemical reactivity of surface atoms. A method of cleaning components before the bonding process.
[3] sonotrode – the final device of an ultrasonic welding machine, its function is the final amplification of the amplitude and transfer of vibration energy. The sonotrode is mechanically connected to the electrical signal to vibration converter and amplitude amplifier. Typical operating frequencies are 20, 30 or 35 kHz.

ELPLC SA machines and lines

We specialize in designing and building machines, complete robotic assembly lines and developing software for industry. We offer our expertise to many industries. We provide Industry 4.0 / Smart Factory solutions.

Lines & machines

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