NASHVILLE. Citing several trends leading manufacturers and fleets to adopt integrated electrical systems, Phillips Industries on March 9 announced a partnership with LED manufacturer Innotec to market that company’s BoardFree LED lights packaged with Phillips’ Sta-Dry trailer harnesses.

The partnership represents Phillips entry into the exterior trailer LED lighting market. Phillips has exclusive rights to market BoardFree in the commercial vehicle market. BoardFree was available for OEM installation March 1; an aftermarket launch is planned for June.

Prior to the partnership with Phillips, Innotec supplied U.S.-manufactured LEDs to Wabash and Utility and to a number of automotive passenger vehicle makers. Among the features of BoardFree is an in-mold technology process that eliminates the need for a traditional printed circuit board, resulting in an ultra-thin light that has no hazardous waste, Phillips says.  Other features and benefits Phillips touts include:

  • 3D forming to direct light in various directions
  • Sealed components completely protected from environmental issues
  • Diodes directly mounted to circuitry to efficiently dissipate heat
  • Thin profile, which results in superior strength

Phillips, which announced the partnership at the Technology & Maintenance Council meeting in Nashville, noted that in September 2013 TMC issued RP-704C recommending a “whole-systems” approach when specifying new trailers to address electrical problems. Exterior lighting was the only piece of the trailer electrical system not provided by Phillips.

The RP was just one element of the trend toward integrated trailer electrical systems, says Phillips President Rob Phillips. Increasingly, customers prefer to purchase lights and harnesses as a package for several reasons, including improved accountability – i.e., preventing lighting and harness suppliers from blaming each other for problems. Other trends include customers’ desires for combined warranty coverage and streamlined supply chains.