OVERVIEW OF MENTOR BRAND SOLUTIONS

OVERVIEW OF MENTOR BRAND SOLUTIONS
OVERVIEW OF MENTOR BRAND SOLUTIONS

The MENTOR range of products is mainly addressed to industrial equipment manufacturers, but you’ll also find a few surprises here. It’s not just about indicators, switches and a vast selection of mechanical accessories – don’t forget to check out the innovative, fully waterproof M-Fibre lighting system, which is a perfect solution for both machine parks and designer interiors.

MENTOR is a German supplier specialising in components used in the manufacture of industrial equipment. These include LED indicators, pushbutton switches and other widely applied components. What distinguishes this supplier from its competitors is the diversity of its product portfolio and the wide range of non-standard or highly specialist solutions available. Amongst other things, MENTOR manufactures multiple types of fibre optics for LEDs and PCB-mounted switches – i.e. products that are used in the development of control and supervisory equipment panels. The company also provides the innovative, versatile M-Fibre lighting system. Moreover, it manufactures high-quality mechanical components. To introduce you to this wide range of products, we have compiled this general overview – with categories representing the main types of products.

INDICATORS, LED COMPONENTS, ACCESSORIES

The MENTOR product portfolio consists primarily of lighting components, which goes beyond optoelectronic components to include indicators and a wide range of accessories, especially fibre optics.

Advertisments

MENTOR Light in a thousand colours and shapes

Indicators, LEDs and light sources

The LED indicators supplied by the manufacturer can be divided into two groups:

signalling devices designed for PCB mounting and intended for application in control circuits – the other group includes panel-mounted products. The former are common LED components found in industrial or household appliances. They are designed as diodes enclosed in a plastic housing. The housing facilitates mounting (the leads always have a fixed pitch) and ensures an even, standard arrangement of the light points (and also improves the mechanical durability of the mounting, thus minimising the risk of short-circuits). The indicators are available in white, red, green and yellow – often with more than one colour in the set, which may consist of from 1 to 16 optoelectronic elements with a diameter of 1.8 mm to 5 mm (flat, concave or convex face). The TME catalogue includes both through-hole (THT) and surface mount (SMD) models.

When it comes to LED indicators, you can choose from a number of typical solutions that will prove useful in industrial equipment panels, controllers as well as control boards and rooms etc. MENTOR supplies both indicators enclosed in metal (chrome) and in plastic (black) housings. Components with transparent bodies are also available. Their terminals are adapted for soldering or PCB mounting (THT), indicators with factory-fitted power leads are also on offer. They come with LEDs whose diameter ranges from 3 mm to 20 mm and are mounted in 6 mm to 25.65 mm cut-outs. As they are adapted to be powered with typical voltages present in signalling systems (up to 24 V DC) and can operate at temperatures from -40°C to 80°C, their parameters meet the requirements for components used in machine parks, warehouses and other industrial facilities. Selected models are IP64 rated .

1-Indicators, LEDs and light sources
2-Indicators, LEDs and light sources
3-Indicators, LEDs and light sources

M-Fibre system

The M-Fibre system is intended for creating lines of light with the aid of flexible fibre optics that emit light radially outward from their axis. In the system, the illumination is provided by LED modules constructed using RGBW components (selected models), i.e. those capable of emitting both white light and a mixture of red, green and blue (out of which any colour can be obtained). The modules are controlled and powered using dedicated drivers provided by MENTOR. A set of these three components allows to create a bright line (straight or curved) of any colour. It can be placed in materials of various characteristics (plastic, concrete, wood, etc.), even on complex solids.

4-M-Fibre system

The power rating of RGBW modules used as illumination sources in the M-Fibre system can reach up to 3 W.

This means that the M-Fibre system is a perfect fit for both interior or vehicle decoration applications and also for very practical applications such as, for example creating warning lines, illuminating thresholds, low ceilings, marking escape routes, etc. As the optic fibre itself doesn’t contain live components and doesn’t conduct electricity, it can be placed underwater, e.g. in a swimming pool.

LED accessories

The MENTOR range includes a number of accessories for light-emitting diodes – designed with manufacturers of electronic devices containing control panels in mind. Among these, fibre optics for LEDs are a noteworthy product group. Their function is to transfer the light emitted by the diodes to another surface – to make it visible to the user as uniform, clear dots. This solution has a number of advantages:

32 LEDs
A module for 32 LEDs, suitable for components with a diameter of 3 mm
  • it allows for the optoelectronic elements to be placed at a certain distance from the front of the control panel;
  • the indicator diodes can be placed on the PCB and permanently integrated into the main circuit of the device, even if it is installed perpendicular to the front of the device;
  • very small SMD LEDs can be used as indicators, as the optic fibre diffuses light and as a result an evenly illuminated shape with a larger surface area than the LED itself will be visible at the fibre end.

This solution translates into cost savings, simplified design and a faster production process. The fibre optics are available as components with a square, circular (diameter up to 5.2 mm) or rectangular cross-section. They can have flat, concave or convex faces. They are available in modules supporting from 1 to 32 LEDs, and their maximum length is 150 mm.

IP68-rated control panel design

Special versions of LED fibres (light guides) have another advantage: they can be used in the construction of panels exhibiting the highest degree of protection. It is referred to as the IP68 rating, which stands for full protection against dust and water ingress (including submersion). Such properties are of key importance in many applications: heavy machinery, ships, harbours, construction equipment (e.g. power tools) and in the construction of other hardware that, by design, is intended to be subject to water jets (either while being cleaned or on account of its working environment). In order to develop a waterproof panel, it would be necessary to fit the optical fibre tightly into its mounting hole.

Rings on the fibre optic stem prevent dust and moisture ingress

This is possible thanks to the shape of the stem of selected MENTOR products, in which the part of the cylinder that is near the face has been fitted with ring-shaped ridges. Press-fitted, the component can be firmly seated in the panel opening, and any penetration of dust, moisture etc. is effectively prevented. Products of this type come in lengths ranging from 4.5 mm to 30.6 mm – with flat and convex faces of 2.2 mm, 3.2 mm or 5.2 mm in diameter. They are designed to be fitted into (respectively) 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm or 4 mm diameter mounting holes.

Complementary products

Other solutions offered by the supplier include spacer sleeves to facilitate “high” LED mounting directly on the PCB. Optoelectronic accessories also include lenses (filters) and reflectors, thanks to which the light emitted by the LED gets dispersed over a large area (or, for signalling applications: make it visible from a wider angle).

8-SWITCHES
9-SWITCHES

SWITCHES

The electromechanical components supplied by MENTOR mainly include pushbutton and toggle switches mounted directly on PCBs. Their intended use includes low- and narrow-profile devices installed as modules, e.g. on DIN rails or in racks. They are available in both THT and SMD variants. The range also includes illuminated components (marked 1844.xxxx), in which the button is made of transparent plastic and can be illuminated by an LED installed inside. Products with similar functions but more compact design (1845.xxxx) consist of a miniature switch and an LED (3 mm) housed in a single body. The pushbutton components are available with DPDT, SPDT and SPST contact configurations, in mono- and bistable variants.

In addition, MENTOR supplies toggle switches intended for similar purposes and available in a similar format – these also feature 3 stable positions. Other electromechanical solutions from the manufacturer include coding switches, as well as rotary and slide switches.

10-SWITCHES
11-SWITCHES
13-MECHANICAL COMPONENTS
14-MECHANICAL COMPONENTS

ACCESSORIES AND MECHANICAL COMPONENTS

Last but not least, it should be mentioned that MENTOR is a supplier of a number of mechanical accessories. These include the simplest components, such as microswitch keys – but also high-quality potentiometer knobs. Among these are knobs made of aluminium and solutions for multi-turn potentiometers, equipped with digital counters and a locking lever.

Other noteworthy products by MENTOR include grips (handles) made of chrome steel or aluminium. They are characterised by durability and resistance to mechanical impact, and they are also easy to clean. Such components can be disinfected and washed with various cleaning agents with no risk of damaging their surface, which is why they are perfect for laboratories, food processing plants and pharmaceutical factories.

15-MECHANICAL COMPONENTS