Makrofol® black panel films: bridging the gap from analog to digital speedometers

Makrofol® LM light management polycarbonate films enhance the effectiveness of hybrid speedometers that are bridging the gap between analog and digital displays with a seamless surface. Our black panel Makrofol® LM296 unites an anti-glare film surface with bright, controlled display lighting that appears only when needed.

Car instrument clusters on the  transition from analog to digital 

The global car industry is in the middle of a major transformation, as it rapidly shifts from analog to digital technologies. This has direct implications for the instrument cluster, which not only displays the vehicle’s speed, performance and distance travelled, but in future must also integrate important information applications such as GPS.  
According to many studies, purely analog speedometers are likely to be phased out almost completely in a couple of years. Fully digital solutions will demand the wide availability of innovative new materials.   

Makrofol® LM296 light management films: the right solution at the right time

Our Makrofol® LM296 transmission film offers a black panel effect that is glare-free and only visible when in use, making it an excellent material solution for digital speedometers that integrate digital display elements. We originally developed Makrofol® polycarbonate films to supplement automotive surfaces and structures with added functional properties.
In this application, grey-colored extruded Makrofol® LM296 film achieves optimal display performance within a tightly controlled light transmittance tolerance of just ±3% across its defined wavelength range. The matte surface improves image homogeneity and minimizes display defects, and no added printing is required to achieve the desired display effects.
Fade in and fade out effects are combined with precisely controlled lighting properties. Light diffusion effects can vary from transparent to translucent, which also make the film ideal for eye-catching exterior lighting features, 3D displays and LED light guides. 

The transition from analog speedometers to fully digital ones requires an interim solution that can integrate both technologies. Makrofol® LM296 films work well in hybrid speedometer displays, providing a black panel effect and precisely controlled lighting that’s visible only when activated.

Lily Shui

Global Segment Manager, Mobility, Specialty Films, Covestro

Easy processibility and design freedom

Polycarbonate-based Makrofol® LM296 also offers excellent processibility: It is available in a range of thicknesses, and stands up well to high-pressure 3D forming, while also accommodating either digital or screen printing. These properties greatly enhance design freedom, enabling automotive OEMs to create seamless, complex display forms. Our experts can support you in prototyping and troubleshooting for your own applications.
Our Makrofol® LM polycarbonate films make digital speedometers and instrument panel cockpit displays clearer and more elegant, while enabling an increased amount of information to be displayed on demand, clearly and effectively, under all lighting conditions.

Our Technical Competence Center in Shanghai can assist you with prototyping and troubleshooting.

Speedometers made easier with Makrofol® LM

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Key Benefits

  • Black panel: Thin, glare-free matte surface offers precise display lighting only when needed.
  • Design freedom: Makrofol® LM296 is 3D-formable and engineered to enable freedom of design in display applications.
  • Minimal distortion: Light transmittance tolerance is just ±3% across the defined wavelength range.
  • Processable: Available in various thicknesses, it is suitable for digital or screen printing.
  • High yield: Precise surface structure improves image homogeneity and minimizes defects.

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