Intech Developments Ltd
Intech Developments are experts in solving design challenges by using innovative solutions to complex lighting and illumination problems. Our long established reputation as a developer of specialist thermoplastic collimators and lenses puts us at the leading edge of bespoke optical design for Light Emitting Diode (LED) based technologies.
Intech's extensive facilities, in-depth knowledge and technical capabilities all combine to deliver a broad suite of development, manufacturing and test services that are uniquely tailored to meet any specific optical requirements. From design inception, through to volume manufacture, Intech deliver the technical services and support necessary to accelerate complex designs into fit for purpose commercial products.
Our projects have included, but are not limited to, Variable Message Signs (VMS)/LED message signs, LED signals, vehicle lighting such as high-level stop lamps, construction industry hazard lighting, LED panels and LED lighting. Intech's ability to understand clients' unique optical design requirements allows us to intelligently plan, develop and deliver solutions to the highest standards and quality.
Intech are illumination specialists with experience and mastery in this field spanning four decades, having been formed in 1987 by John Brown and Andy Elsey.
John Brown is an optical engineer who has designed lighting and illumination solutions for many major companies in the transport, marine, construction and lighting industries. John was instrumental in the growth of a major commercial vehicle lighting manufacturer in the early 70s, designing high performance lamps and reflectors. In 1976, he started his own successful vehicle lighting company. This was subsequently bought by a larger UK competitor in 1994, John being retained as a consultant.
Andy Elsey is an electromechanical engineer who spent the first ten years of his working career with a major international manufacturer of plastic products. During this time he gained invaluable experience with regard to all aspects of plastic injection moulding, ranging from an in-depth knowledge of processing machinery maintenance through to hands on setting and troubleshooting.
Since 1994, Intech has designed and manufactured many bespoke high performance optical solutions for Light Emitting Diode (LED) sources in products such as:
Large (48m2) high definition video screens for outdoor events such as concerts and sporting occasions
Vehicle Message Signs (VMS) and variable speed limit signs for use in traffic control on motorways and other busy highways
Mobile traffic lights
High-level stop lamps and other automotive rear lamp assemblies
To find out more about what we do, please visit our projects page.
Over the years Intech have been involved in many varied and exciting illumination projects involving Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies. From our pioneering work on LED stadium video screens, automotive high-level stop lamps, hazard warning and bicycle lights to our more recent optical sub-system developments for Variable Message Signs (VMS) and LED rail signals, Intech have gained a reputation for delivering successful innovations.
Intech's clients engage us on their most challenging and demanding of illumination projects, to overcome where necessary, any design process bottlenecks allowing product development to progress. Recent key projects have included advanced illumination sub-systems commissioned on behalf of Network Rail and the UK Highways Agency.
Variable Message Signs
Variable Message Signs (VMS), also known as matrix signs, are outdoor LED signs specifically designed to deliver driver information about traffic incidents, road conditions and congestion. Text and pictograms are used to relay important messages to drivers in all weather conditions.
Intech are proud to be a key provider of illumination systems on several types of variable message signs that the UK Highway Agency (HA) is deploying on congested motorways and trunk roads right across the UK. Intech are responsible for the design, development, testing and manufacture of optical sub-systems on both Mark 3 and Mark 4 Motorway Signs (MS3, MS4) and the Advanced Motorway Indicator (AMI), all of which are common sights on many major roads in the UK today. All road signs are developed to European standards (currently EN12966-1-2005).
MS3 signs are single colour text displays configured in 2 lines of 16 characters or 3 lines of 18 characters. They sometimes have additional matrix indicator aspects that allow for graphical representations of lane closures, etc.
MS4 signage uses dual colour technologies (typically red and amber) that are capable of displaying both text and pictograms, examples of which can be seen on the HA website.
AMI is a matrix indicator that has been developed as a key part of the Highway Agency's Active Traffic Management (ATM) schemes, such as the one piloted on the M42 in recent years. AMI is capable of displaying lane closures, variable speed restrictions and traffic control symbols. Some AMI signage uses an advanced internal optical feedback system to enable variable speed limits to be legally enforced. Intech played a critical role in the development of these optical enforcement technologies.
Intech continues to play a pivotal role in the development of LED rail signals in the UK. To date, only two signals have been approved for use by Network Rail, one of which Intech was assigned responsibility for the design and development of the optical sub-system. We are providing ongoing test and manufacturing services for various production parts and assemblies used in these signals.
To date, only two signals are approved for use by Network Rail, one of which Intech was assigned responsibility for the design and development of the optical sub-system
Accredited to ISO 9001-2008 by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), Intech offer three comprehensive services:
- Design and Development
- Testing and Approvals
These services are tailored to our client's specific requirements and are supported throughout the complete life-cycle of the project. Individual services are provided where appropriate on a stand-alone basis and we are happy to discuss your unique needs.
Design & Development
Intech's ISO 9001-2008 accredited design and development procedures utilise the latest in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) technologies to rapidly innovate engineering concepts. Three dimensional CAD (3D CAD) is complimented by both illumination and computational fluid dynamic analysis where appropriate. Concepts are embodied using a stage-gate model allowing us to move through the development activities with confidence, while limiting potential design problems.
Using the latest Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies combined with both prototype and pilot tooling, we can deliver fully functioning optical sub-systems, allowing verification tests to be conducted and preliminary approvals to be obtained early in the design cycle. Intech's development activities adopt a sustainable approach and, where necessary, additional software tools and techniques are used to analyse any impacts.
Intech's design activities are controlled by our Product Data Management (PDM) system, which has integrated Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) workflow. All of our development documentation is managed in the PDM system, including specification documents, test results, reviews and CAD/CAE data. All product development activities are routed through a PLM workflow progressing designs into manufacturing.
Intech has a long and established background as a specialist manufacturer of bespoke thermoplastic lenses and collimators, in particular those specific to Light Emitting Diode (LED) sources. We also manufacture associated ancillary products that are peripheral to the optical sub-systems using a variety of manufacturing materials and processes.
Some of the more familiar manufacturing processes that Intech have at their disposal are:
- Injection moulding, including insert and over-moulding techniques
- High Pressure Die Casting (HPDC)
- Extrusion, both thermoplastic and metallic
- Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) manufacturing and fabrication
- Rapid manufacturing techniques
Intech utilise various assembly techniques including:
- Ultrasonic joining technologies including welding and stake
- Various bonding and curing technology systems
Our manufacturing capabilities include outsourcing to approved specialist sub-contractors, with Intech retaining control over the quality and logistics of production to ISO 9001-2008, accredited by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA).
Intech's in-house inspection and measuring facilities ensure the highest of quality standards are maintained regardless of the manufacturing source, process or materials used. This coupled with our rigorous quality assurance procedures, enables Intech to deliver the highest levels of service.
Testing & Approvals
Intech are proud of our large and well equipped test facility which consists of a 15 metre long, 4.6 metre wide and 3.3 metre high blackout hall for colour measurements.
Our laboratory includes the following test equipment:
- A 3m collimating light bench (equivalent to approximately 20m viewing distance) with manually operated goniometer and a fast response photocell
- A heavy duty goniometer designed to hold large and heavy objects such as rail signals or individual modules of variable message signs
- A climatic test chamber with internal dimensions of 500x500x500mm and a temperature range of +180°C to -40°C (2°C/min rate of temperature change)
Colour measurement devices include:
- SPECBOS spectroradiometer
Minolta luminance and colour meter
- An adjustable 40,000 lux solar simulator typically used for contrast ratio measurements
Various ancillary test and measuring equipment, including:
- Electronic test and measuring devices
- Optical inspection and measuring devices, including a 3 axis visual measuring machine
- Data logging and acquisition devices and associated software
- Integrating sphere and other optical measuring devices
Most of our lab equipment is calibrated to 'The United Kingdom Accreditation Service' (UKAS) standards. Intech can also arrange for optical testing and approval of products to British / European standards to be conducted in approved third party test facilities.