Reflector Forming & Finishing

A.L.P. now offers a full range of high performance reflectors and fabricated components for recessed, roadway, highbay and other lighting applications.  The sophisticated capabilities applied to produce these products are outlined below:

hydroforming5axis

Precision Toolmaking:  Spinning and Hydroform tools for reflector production are created with precision vertical and horizontal CNC milling.  This precision process reduces any chance of imperfection in parts that may be possible with additional tooling methods.

Spinning: Many high performance reflectors are manufactured by a spinning process.  We start with an aluminum blank.  The tool (or chuck) is installed on an automatic CNC-based lathe.  The lathe is spun at very high speed as rollers pass the material over the tool until the final shape is completed.

Computer controlled spinning machines are designed to use a precise, time optimized process.  This requires experienced programmers and operators who understand how factors such as size, material alloy, and content can impact the process.

Hydroforming:  Hydroforming is most often used in outdoor, task and high/lowbay lighting applications.  In this process, an aluminum blank is placed on top of the tool.  A rubber diaphragm is loaded onto the pressurized circle and forms around the punch tool.  A ram then pushes the tool to complete the operation.  This is an extremely precise process and applying the right pressure requires significant expertise and experience.

Hydroforming is especially suited to cost-sensitive, lower volume production, and for parts with asymmetrical or irregular corners.

5-Axis Laser:  Five-axis laser technology is used in downlighting reflector production for the creation of prototypes and custom work without the expense and time requirements of additional tooling.  The Five-Axis laser is also used to perform secondary operations, such as trimming and adding holes without expensive tooling requirements.

Auto polishing:  Formed reflectors are polished using automated Compubuf™ technology, to enhance the overall reflectivity of the part.  A raw reflector has a non-specular appearance with a number of peaks and valleys.  Semi-automatic, custom designed polishing machines attack the grain on the surface of the reflector.  Most high performance reflectors require as many as six separate polishing operations in order to achieve the aesthetic and performance levels required of the part.

Hand polishing:  The final process of polishing, to give reflectors a jewel-like finish, is accomplished by extremely experienced hand buffers.

Secondary Press Operations:  After reflector production, items like holes, lamp windows, and lamp tabs can be performed via Secondary Operations.  Secondary Operations for downlight reflectors are performed on 20-, 50-, 80-, or 200-ton presses.

Fabrication and Assembly:  Full sheet fabrication is achieved using computer-controlled Strippit machines, brake presses, Five-Axis laser cutting and rolling equipment.

Before shipping, some reflectors require painting and sub-assembly production such as the installation of springs, rings, or brackets.  Riveting machines and gluing stations may be used for these functions.