Success Story with AEC Illuminazione

Surface cleaning with Openair-Plasma for long-lasting lighting systems.

AEC Illuminazione Srl has been manufacturing street lighting systems as well as urban, industrial and tunnel lighting installations for over 60 years. All production processes, from the initial project to the final product, are carried out at the company’s headquarters in Tuscany, Italy. AEC’s clientele includes town and city councils, as well as global energy providers.

The lighting systems incorporate only energy-saving LED technology and high-performance reflector optics made of ultrapure aluminum with tempered glass lenses. This method of construction guarantees an extra-long service life and unique lighting quality.  However, the manufacturing process presents certain challenges, since the adhesive bond between the anodized aluminum hinges and the tempered glass lens must be very strong and very tightly sealed.

These characteristics can only be achieved if the surface of the aluminum hinge is free from deposits and contaminants. In the past, isopropyl alcohol was used to clean the surface, but this method has many drawbacks. Since the alcohol has to be applied manually, it is not possible to remove all traces of contaminants from the surface. Furthermore, due to the risk of skin irritations, staff carrying out this operation have to wear protective clothing. Finally, the alcohol is highly flammable and can easily ignite, thus necessitating further safety precautions.

An innovative chemical-free process recommended by the supplier

For these reasons, AEC was keen to find a simpler and more effective surface cleaning process. Hönle, which supplies AEC with UV systems for adhesive curing during the bonding process, urged the company to try the Openair-Plasma® technology from Plasmatreat. This system has indeed made it possible to perform fully automated surface cleaning without using chemicals.

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