Rottne improves LED lighting in harvesters and forwarders
Dec. 18, 2018 – Rottne has taken a revolutionary coherent approach with the lighting on all of its harvesters and forwarders. The new LED lamps used are not just significantly better – they are also dimmable when necessary and positioned so that they appreciably facilitate work and driving in the dark.
“Previously the focus was on many lamps. Now we want them in the right place,” said David Selstam, electrical designer at Rottne Industri.
A typical fowarder or harvester features up to 20 lamps. With the machine operator in focus, Rottne tackled what Selstam called a fun challenge, where the aim was LED lighting with a balanced and comfortable light that illuminates over a long distance, but which is also good close up, and that does not dazzle the operator.
“Everyone speaks about more lamps, but placement has not always been so accurate. The wrong lamps in the wrong place result in glare, which dazzles instead of giving an illuminated work area,” said Samuel Östling, who works with technical support at the company.
And Östling knows what he is talking about. In addition to working at Rottne, he is also an experienced forestry machine operator. He knows how difficult it is to operate a forestry machine when the lights dazzle instead of illuminating the work area or forestry road around the machine.
“The difference with the new lamps is extreme. We use four to five different types of LED lamps and all of the highest quality. As an operator you notice the effect immediately,” he said.
The new lighting gives less operator fatigue
In short, the new coherent solution means a new way of thinking about work lighting. Thanks to the development of LEDs, a lot of research has concentrated on light quality and with the right type of lighting you can maintain your concentration longer, you do not get as tired, and thus enjoy a significantly better work environment.
“Rottne’s machines now have a perfect interaction between the lamps to aid the operator’s work in the dark,” said Selstam.
Dimmable LEDs eliminate glare and reflections
Many lamps remain in the same fixed positions, but at another angle to produce the best lighting. In other parts of the machine, Rottne has chosen to mix long and close range lighting that produces an optimal overall picture.
Furthermore, Rottne has developed unique headboard lighting, modified the bunk lighting and has switched to dimmable work lighting on the forwarder cab which means you are not dazzled by the work lighting reflecting on the headboard.
Accurate testing and simulation with the operator in focus
Behind the new lighting lies many hours of research, simulation and test operations to find the optimal angle, colour temperature and strength of a lamp. Rottne started the ball rolling two years ago and since then the company, together with lighting company Hella, has worked to produce a perfect solution.
Different lamps were simulated in varying environments, including fictitious forests, to find the optimal placement of the lighting points and the strength. Simulations have been performed using virtual forestry machines where Hella has calculated the exact angles of how the lights are to be mounted.
“The aim the whole time has been to have the operator in focus, in simple terms, to make the work in the forest easier. Where in the work area is more light needed? Where is less light needed? Which new light placements are required? Where should dimmable lights be mounted? We have worked with many issues and have now resolved these.”
“I must say we are really pleased with what we have designed and developed,” says David.
LEDs are standard on all machine models
During a transitional period all newly manufactured Rottne machines that have LED lamps will be fitted with the new lighting. The headboard lighting is an option found on all of Rottne’s forwarders.
“Everyone speaks about the need of a lot of light when working in the dark, but frequently have forgotten about how and where it should be placed. The comprehensive solution that Rottne has developed is extremely smart,” concluded Östling. “A large number of hoses will be saved for example on the forwarder now that you can see the whole wagon and its stakes properly through the headboard…”