Trailer Magazine

REDARC lighting the way for the future

  • From the December 2019 issue.
REDARC lighting the way for the future

Having reached its 40th anniversary, Adelaide-based REDARC Electronics continues to lead the way for unique product innovation and continuous improvement, however it’s some of their longstanding products which continue to set the benchmark for the commercial road transport industry.

A long list of awards is a testament to REDARC’s world-class range of heavy vehicle electronic products. REDARC’s Business Development Manager for Heavy Vehicles, Tim Chivers, says the accolades acknowledge the company’s enduring reputation as the Australia’s power conversion specialist.

In celebrating four decades in Australian manufacturing, REDARC acknowledges the role that the heavy vehicle industry has played in supporting local manufacturers. With roots that stem from having strong relationships with truck, trailer and bus manufacturers including Kenworth, Volvo, Iveco, DAF, Scania, Mercedes-Benz, MAN and UD, REDARC is always engaged with evolving technology in the heavy vehicle industry.

An example is their Trailer Lighting Reducers which are by no means a new product. However, over REDARC’s 40 years of operation, they have dramatically evolved and are a prime example of the continuous improvement that distinguishes REDARC from its competitors.

“Trailer Lighting Reducers operate from a 24-volt DC electrical system to provide 12-volt output circuits trailer brake, tail and indicator lights. They are one of the first products REDARC designed and manufactured in the 80s,” Tim says – adding that the reducers have changed dramatically since the first iteration close to 40 years ago.

Like most REDARC products, the reducers have been continuously developed to match advancing technology – in this case, for volt supply and truck lighting controllers.

“We are perpetually upgrading our products to interact with the increasing number of modules found in modern heavy vehicles,” Tim says. “There are numerous functions in these modern vehicles than there were when we first developed the product, for example, lamp detection, feedback and flash rate.”
As the technology involved in the reducers continues to develop, Tim says that REDARC must be on the front-foot of these developments whilst simultaneously developing an acute understanding of the market demands. An example of this is how REDARC has been able to consolidate products to suffice this demand.

One such product is the 5 Circuit Trailer Lighting Reducer (VRB5C) which combines three pasts REDARC’s legacy reducers into the one unit.

Tim notes the power output of the VRB5C, which is still compatible with incandescent bulbs, makes it ideal for multi-trailer combinations. “Even for these bigger combinations, the reducer is around 95 per cent efficient – they don’t draw current when lights aren’t being used and there is little power wastage in the conversion process.” 

As LEDs consume less power, Tim says REDARC was also able to give the VRB5C a new, more compact design. “In terms of the size, efficiency and in-built protection from short circuits and voltage spikes, consolidating the aftermarket range has brought the technology up to speed with our heavy vehicle range.”

The key enabler that allows REDARC to focus on continuing to improve all its products as technology improves is their business model that encourages innovation. “We choose to put technological development into everything we do and invest 15 per cent of annual revenue into R&D. As an advanced manufacturer, we need a highly skilled and empowered workforce. Without this, we wouldn’t be able to improve our legacy products like our Trailer Lighting Reducers.”

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