J.W. Speaker | Engineered Lighting Solutions
J.W. Speaker Corporation was founded in 1935 by John W. Speaker. Early products included tire repair equipment and kits, radiator fronts, car and truck mirrors, and automotive lighting. In the early 1 ... read more
J.W. Speaker Corporation was founded in 1935 by John W. Speaker. Early products included tire repair equipment and kits, radiator fronts, car and truck mirrors, and automotive lighting. In the early 1940’s, J.W. Speaker Corporation developed the Heatab® miniature portable stove and the “P38” GI can opener – both of which were widely used during World War II and for several decades thereafter by the U.S. military.
In 1960, under the leadership of John’s son Jack, the corporation shifted its focus to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicular lighting – initially for lawn & garden and golf & turf tractors. Since then, J.W. Speaker has developed and specialized in manufacturing a wide variety of lighting products for other OEMs in agriculture, construction, on road commercial, material handling, mining, motorcycle, recreation, and aviation markets.
Today J.W. Speaker Corporation is lead by John’s grandsons. The company is focused on developing innovative lighting solutions for customers around the world. J.W. Speaker Corporation continues to not only embrace the latest in lighting technology, but also works closely with manufacturers to develop custom vehicular lighting solutions.
J.W. Speaker Corporation provides research and development, design, prototype, and manufacturing capabilities for the world’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
To ensure excellence in the quality of finished products, J.W. Speaker’s in-house capabilities are:
J.W. Speaker engineers evaluate lighting concepts to find cost-saving and value-added potential, and utilize Pro-Engineering (Pro-E) models for finite element analysis. This model is checked against equipment designs to ensure accuracy.
Product development is structured in four main phases:
Phase 1: Styling, concept development, and specification and/or regulation definition.
Phase 2: Design/engineering, product development, prototyping, verification.
Phase 3: Tooling, preproduction run, process and product validation.
Phase 4: Production release.
Each phase is gated & requires management sign off approval to ensure that all customer deliverables are met.
In the concept stage J. W. Speaker uses rendering software like “Flamingo” or “Maxwell” to help define the final look of the product. Renderings can define day or night lit appearance, depending on the product function. This capability has greatly aided customers in establishing the product and vehicle look earlier in the process, and greatly reduced “re-do” loops.
J. W. Speaker also performs quick optical feasibility during the concept stage generating benchmark light maps and product performance verification. J.W. Speaker maintains an in-house three dimensional printer which is used to validate fit and function. When required, our Pro-E models can be used to create stereolithography (SLA) prototypes for customer use. If more prototypes are required, cast-urethane models can be created from the initial SLA. Upon customer request, J. W. Speaker can make prototypes from real materials like plastic, aluminum, zinc, magnesium or others in a 4-5 week time frame.
Customer needs and legal requirements determine the pattern and intensity of Speaker’s lighting design. In order to design the required lighting pattern to meet the appropriate application and market, J.W. Speaker uses advanced optical-design software such as “ASAP”, “Lucid Shape”, and several in- house developed proprietary programs. J.W. Speaker then uses advanced evaluation software to analyze and validate optical designs.
Optical designs often evolve during development with customers. Speaker software allows for continual review and understanding of the light patterns on or off the road. The virtual reality room enables customers to experience realistic light distribution on or of the road with all the dynamic attributes of driving.
J.W. Speaker’s custom-designed Virtual Reality software allows the input of varying customer parameters for lighting. Inputs include relative placement on the vehicle, any bulb, LED or light source option in an existing light or a design-concept light.
The program then generates optical predictions for intensity, pattern and gradation. Reviews are done in real time and immediately display the effects of adjustments made. Customers are able to precisely define lighting expectations and performance characteristics without expending additional time or the cost of prototypes.
Once the specifications are defined, data is directly downloaded to lighting design and application software again saving on prototypes until our customer is confident the lighting will perform as needed. In fact, at J.W. Speaker the Virtual Reality software has shown a greater than 95% correlation to the final production-run parts.
We also offer the ability to add environmental data (specific to the customer’s market) to our custom VR application software. Customers can then actually drive behind their beam pattern on the road, in a field or another environment – all without leaving the comfort of our state-of-the-art simulator room.
CIRCUIT DESIGN & MANUFACTURE
J.W. Speaker designs analog and digital circuitry to support all lighting technologies (LED, HID, etc.) and I/O devices as well as controllers, converters, etc. Most electronic circuits for LED lamps are linear and/or switcher design. J.W. Speaker uses electronic software like “PADS” and an in-house anechoic chamber to minimize and prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI).
J.W. Speaker’s in-house Surface Mount Technology (SMT) equipment produces most of the electronic boards used in our products yielding higher quality control, greater flexibility, and shorter lead times.