Optical design


Polymer Optics Automotive Limited (POAL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Polymer Optics Limited (POL)


POAL was set up to concentrate its expertise in optical product design, development, tooling and mass manufacture in the automotive market, supporting OEMs and 1st and 2nd Tier suppliers. This allows POAL to specifically resource and support the automotive industry, but draws on POL’s many years of product and process development and innovative approach. This has resulted in many patented techniques developed for automotive applications.

POAL’s wide expertise in product design, assembly and manufacture enables us to apply advance Design for Manufacture (DFM) techniques to build in product reliability and dramatically reduce cost in tooling and product. On many projects, POAL is able to reduce component counts in assemblies, speed assembly times and remove complex tooling features, while improving the optical efficiency and overall illumination performance of the system.

POAL fully manages and supports the mass manufacture of automotive lighting products, together with the associated surrounding parts of the assembly, through carefully selected localised supply-chains. These supply chains are built and managed by POAL to provide a wide range of process capabilities to supply innovative lighting products, with TS approved manufacturing partners. This gives us very wide flexibility in the technologies we employ in our leading edge product designs.

Please view POAL’s General Presentation to see our wider range of capabilities


Curved light from a simple lightguide
Curved light from a simple lightguide


Nissan Juke LCD Illumination

 Original customer design used two injection moulded white reflectors to try to contain the light in the system
POL re-design uses a die-cut reflective polyester film to give a more efficient, low cost constructionjuke2
 Light bleed at top of display and poor contrastjuke3  Light bleed removed and contrast enhancedjuke4
Original Customer Lightguidejuke5 High level of light-bleed in the original customer designjuke6
New POL Lightguidejuke7 Dramatically reduced stray light in the POL design giving higher contrast displayjuke8


Nissan Qashqai Console Illumination


qashqai-2qashqai-1 POL has developed the interior illumination system for the 2014 Nissan Qashqai which draws on POL’s wide polymer optical product development experience to introduce some novel product features

  • 500mm long lightguide illuminated from one end only, saving cost in the electronics and wiring harness.
  • Original customer design used two LEDs and a longer wiring harness
  • Laser etched tool surfaces provide precise light extraction and intensity in areas where required.
  • Lightguide is hard coated for abrasion and chemical resistance against various reagents.
  • Design for Assembly (DFA) and Poka Yoke techniques used to reduce cost and ensure reliability.
 lightguide1 lightguide2 lightguide3 The lightguide was designed with advanced light control features and textures to independently control and adjust the illumination in the upper and lower sections, to achieve the required evenness and balance.POL has patented new light control techniques to give fine control over the viewing angle, direction and evenness of the illumination projected onto contoured target surfaces in automotive and other similar applications.qashqai


Infiniti Q30 interior illumination

POL has developed the interior lighting for the recently released Infiniti Q30 range of vehicles, including the cup-holder illumination, dash-board accent illumination and foot-well interior lights.

We supported the vehicle development with full opto-mechanical design and analyses of the lightguide assemblies, prototyping and tooling stages, through to on-going mass manufacture.

Again, POL’s advanced DFA techniques were employed for ease of manufacture and assembly, with full Poke Yoke capability, especially for the Interior Light product where the number of components and tooling complexity was greatly reduced over the customer’s design.


Infiniti Q30 – Cup-holder illumination



Infiniti Q30 – Dash-board accent illumination

q302 q303POL has developed the 350mm long lightguide assembly to project light onto the edge of the lower dashboard section for accent illumination. The light output is controlled with fine light extraction feature patterns to give the required light distribution along the grained finish of the dashboard contours.q304



Infiniti Q30 – Interior Light


 q30-interior-light2 q306

Optical ServicesServices

Design and Development

The latest computer optical design and ray trace programs with optomechanical innovation are used to take full advantage of plastics materials. Complex optical surfaces combined with integral low cost assembly features.



SLA (Stereolithography), SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), Clear SLA, SLA to Vacuum Casting, Direct Machining and Tooling options.



Proven optical quality toolmakers are chosen and assisted by mould flow analysis to optimize the tool. Our specialist toolmakers are skilled in optical surface generation and polishing.


Global Manufacturing

Our moulders are trained in the art of optical moulding. Mould flow process analysis and thorough F.M.E.A. is controlled by the Project Manager to ensure quality and quantity.


Technical Development

Our integrated approach to design enables optical components to become part of the total solution, including how they interface with the other non-optical components.


Optical Coatings and Films

Plastics optical components can be coated in poly-siloxane and acrylate based resin blends to impart more robust properties.


Project Management

Every project has a dedicated Manager to ensure as tasks are actioned, the client is kept informed on progress at each stage. Timing plans are used to monitor progress against agreed milestones and they ensure full control through-out the design, tooling, sampling and production stages.


  • Design and Development
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling
  • Global Manufacturing
  • Technical Development
  • Optical Coatings and Films
  • Project Management