Q2 2023

30 | SME News Q2 2023 Lighting Your Future MARL International Limited, a well-established design and manufacturing company, has been based in Ulverston, Cumbria for the past 50 years. We profile the firm as it pulls out all the stops and wins Leaders in Speciality Lighting Solutions 2023 – United Kingdom. Situated on the fringe of the English Lake District, MARL has continuously evolved its core offerings from indication components to illumination products and control systems, capitalising on the advancements in LED technology over the years. The late 1990s marked a significant turning point for MARL when white LEDs emerged, disrupting conventional electrical lighting technologies that had dominated the industry for nearly a century. As one of the pioneers in the global LED industry, MARL has established itself as a leading high-technology company operating in Cumbria. The company's core values have remained steadfast throughout its history, grounded in high-quality engineering and exceptional customer service. These values have been consciously maintained during the company's transition into new ownership over the past 20 years. MARL's uniqueness in the industry stems from its reputation as the go-to company when customers face challenging problems related to lighting or ruggedised electronics. MARL is known for its breadth and depth of in-house capabilities, encompassing design, manufacturing equipment, and a highly qualified and experienced team. Customers can provide direct input into every aspect of the operation, further enhancing their confidence in MARL's ability to deliver successful projects. MARL has transitioned its focus from components to comprehensive, bespoke speciality lighting system solutions over the past decade. This shift has necessitated an expansion of capabilities to include project management and documentation generation, supplying to government agencies and major global corporations. Let's take a closer look at some notable projects successfully delivered by MARL. Lighting systems for T26 Frigates: In collaboration with BAE Systems, MARL provides lighting solutions for the Global Combat Ship program, which the UK, Australian, and Canadian Navies are adapting. This comprehensive lighting package encompasses internal and external lighting, emergency escape lighting, floodlights, and control systems. MARL is responsible for designing, testing, and manufacturing 14 different product families to meet diverse lighting requirements. The program currently involves supplying a total of 32 ships across the three nations. Lighting systems for 72TS: MARL was awarded the contract by Transport for London (TFL) to design and supply a customised LED lighting system for the Bakerloo Line train fleet. With the trains dating back to 1972, this project posed several complexities. MARL successfully manufactured and supplied 4,906 lighting units, measuring a total of 4 miles. Key performance features include seamless illumination during traction gaps, flicker-free lighting with high colour rendering index (CRI), and energy savings exceeding 50%. This upgrade also enabled the installation of a new Passenger Information System. These recent projects demonstrate MARL's expertise in delivering highperformance, custom lighting solutions tailored to specific applications. The company's proficiency in working within constricting space envelopes and electrical supply configurations is particularly noteworthy. Utilising CAD-designed three-dimensional concepts, MARL can swiftly create working technology demonstrators that allow clients to visualise proposed solutions in practice. Regarding infrastructure development, MARL has set goals to enhance its capabilities at the MARL Business Park. These plans include the installation of a solar farm, additional darkroom demonstration areas, upgrades to environmental and optical test facilities, improvements to the in-house Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Centre, and increased CNC routing capability. These initiatives will enable MARL to offer enhanced services and maintain its position at the forefront of the industry. One other key aspect of the success of the firm is that sustainability is of utmost importance to MARL. The company has been environmentally conscious for the past 50 years, with LED technology offering a 50% power saving compared to traditional lighting technologies. MARL's commitment to sustainability is further exemplified by its early production of energy-efficient LED light bulbs in the late 1980s and early 1990s, contributing to significant cost savings for partners like Eastman Kodak. Additionally, the longevity of well-made LED lighting products reduces waste, eliminating the disposal of glass and hazardous materials, such as mercury, found in conventional lighting technologies. MARL International Limited's journey as a distinguished manufacturing company is characterised by its commitment to high-quality engineering, exceptional customer service, integrity, and stakeholder respect. With its unique value proposition, MARL stands out in the industry, attracting clients who seek innovative solutions to their lighting and ruggedised electronics challenges. By embracing continuous innovation, striving for excellence, and prioritising sustainability, MARL remains poised for continued success in the rapidly evolving landscape of LED technology and beyond. Company: MARL International Ltd Web Address: www.leds.co.uk Apr23458