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Visible Light Communication Part 2 – Manufacturing
A few months ago, we introduced the world to visible light communication – how LED lights can carry data to your computer or mobile device.

Today we’re back with part two and intend to show you that LVX system – an American company – is ramping up their manufacturing process and beginning to take orders from coast to coast.

St. Cloud Minnesota is the setting for our story today.

Before we begin, a quick refresher course. An LVX-managed LED lighting system is between 30-70 percent more efficient than fluorescents. The lights also cut down on your operating costs, because they don’t need to be maintained the way fluorescents do. Oh and by the way, they transmit data – wirelessly through the light.

This is how LVX Wester’s 2×2 replacement light is assembled.
The boards come into this first machine on the assembly line and sauter paste is squeegeed onto a special mask with special holes. The paste fills in the holes in the mask where the components will be placed in stage two.
Here’s the smaller parts which make up the board are picked up by a robot and placed on the fresh sauter paste. And boy, does it move fast.

Ron Rose, Director of Engineering, LVX Western
“This machine is capable of placing those parts at up to 30,000 parts per hour. So you can image that we can place a whole lot of parts really fast, and have a whole lot of production coming through a machine like this.”
Much like this robot, its neighbor in stage three essentially does the same thing, with much more accuracy than human hands are capable of.

Ron Rose, Director of Engineering, LVX Western
“If you were doing it by hand, these parts would be placed somewhat differently than the one before it. This machine places each part exactly the same every time.”

The fourth and final stage is the oven, bonding the board and its pieces. The glue? The sauter paste from stage one. This oven is temperature controlled, and does not do any damage to the board or its components.

Ron Rose, Director of Engineering, LVX Western
“After it leaves the oven, the next step is an inspection station where there’s a camera that will inspect the parts and ensure that all of them are placed accurately, that none of them got moved in any of the other processes, and that we have a quality part that we’re shipping to our customers.”

After a second quality control check by the technicians, it’s time to finish the board, during which a worker places the optics, secures the board and the backing, and makes sure the power pack is connected so it can be turned on.

Dave Kleis, Mayor, St. Cloud, Minnesota
“We’re looking at sustainability, and looking long term at how we can create greater efficiency, greater transmission of data. We’re becoming more and more an information society, and the capacity is always a problem for us, so it sounded like a great opportunity to partner. We’ve had many conversations trying to figure out how we could do that, and we were finally able to come up with a contract. We’re excited to be the first customer.”

“We were looking at switching to Led lights anyway, so this is one of those things where not only do you have the efficiency of the lights, but the ability with that efficiency to create data transmission, which is something that, years ago, was beyond our comprehension. That’s where this partnership is really unique for St. Cloud.”

“This is something I think from any city’s perspective, is a revolutionary technology. It’s going to be with us a long time. Every city is looking at long term, how you can create greater efficiencies, and this is something that folks can look at now to benefit their communities for a long time in the future.”