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The freedom to think long term.

Diehl Aerosystems' emergency lighting system is part of an aircraft's onboard safety, helping passengers to get out of a plane quickly.


We travel by train instead of flying and eat more vegetables than meat to improve our personal ecological footprint. However, making the footprint of metal processing plants “greener” takes much more effort than that.


People sit up to 18 hours in an aircraft. How can light contribute to the passengers' wellbeing? How can flying be made an experience?
„The emergency lighting system in an aircraft saves lives. However, we actually wish it would never be used.“
Michael Dietl
Senior expert for emergency lighting systems at Diehl Aerosystems
“In order to be more efficient, we need to use energy more intelligently."
Mr. Camille Kielwasser
Project engineer in the Central Services of Diehl Metall in Röthenbach
"When a passenger feels comfortable onboard an aircraft, he will come back-"
Dirk-Achim Schevardo
Business Development Manager for Cabin Systems

Emergency lighting systems

"Emergency lighting systems in aircraft cabins are not so glamorous as, for example, in-flight entertainment. However, in case of emergency they are much more important: they always have to work everywhere perfectly," Michael Dietl says about his product. "Flying actually is the safest way to travel. We contribute to making every flight a little bit safer." 

Emergency lighting guides the way to the exits when normal lighting systems fail. Passengers must clearly see the exit route that leads directly outside. In the event of a power failure in the cabin, the emergency lights at the cabin ceiling and on the floor come on, enabling safe exit.


  • Aircraft cabins continue to be developed. Aerosystems shows what is feasible.

"Aircraft can be evacuated within 90 seconds, this is absolutely impressive. However, to ensure orderly evacuation, we develop a certified emergency lighting system for every aircraft program," says Michael Dietl. "A major component is the battery above the aircraft door. This is the energy source for the emergency lighting system and must be absolutely reliable and safe."

Complex tests have to be carried out to guarantee that reliability: "We subject the batteries to extensive stress tests. They are overcharged, overheated or maltreated mechanically to select the most reliable battery technology."

Cabin lighting

  • The following video will give you an impression of work on cabin lighting: 

Research receives fresh impetus from a very familiar but unexpected source in this connection: "Ideas from household appliance technology are always interesting to us. For example, the development of vacuum cleaners also has influence on possible new battery types," Michael Dietl adds.

The subject of emergency lighting systems has a longstanding tradition at Diehl Aerosystems. For 40 years, Diehl has dealt with aircraft lighting and on-board safety. Since flying has become increasingly popular, more and more companies have entered the aviation market. However, they do not have such an extensive background of experience. But this is no reason for Diehl Aerosystems to sit back and relax: "We want to stay flexible and curious to keep on providing our customers with new, technically mature and safe systems."


Improve the process – Save energy

How can we obtain an overview of all the consumption data required during ongoing production? The first step of energy management is effective energy controlling: Ongoing consumption must be monitored exactly: The cause must be researched wherever specific upturns are seen. Meter data is prepared to assign it exactly to the individual energy consumers. Energy management creates the prerequisites for responsible, conscientious and economical handling of energy, to continuously improve the ecological footprint of our metal production.

This year's objective? Handling materials more efficiently and sustainably than we do today.

“We have always been conscious about our environment and costs” says Camille Kielwasser from Central Services at Diehl Metall in Röthenbach. “We basically never had open doors to the boiler room and we installed motion sensors on lamps that were always on. But that is not what we mean, when we talk of energy management. For example, we are working on reducing the energy expended and the material used in the individual processing stages of production.”

This means rethinking and optimizing the entire production process time and again. “The high number of over 100 different alloys and a wide spectrum of semi-finished product formats and dimensions make recording and accurate assignment to products very difficult. This is a giant task”, acknowledges Dr. Claus Heubeck, Manager for Energy and responsible for the purchase of energy for the entire Diehl Group. More and more meters were installed at Diehl Metall in Röthenbach for this purpose, which recorded the consumptions in real time and routed it to an evaluation system. This enables production heads to effectively monitor the energy consumption of their plants. Managing energy with continuously improving transparency, is the task.

“We keep finding new adjusting screws to improve even more, year by year”, comments Camille Kielwasser. “This year we plan to increase our material efficiency. The dross that resulted from smelting and casting brass bolts was sold to recyclers in the past. In future, the assorted dross [1] will be separated and fed into the smelting process in the foundry again after a preparatory process. This will reduce our use of new metals and contribute positively to the ecological balance of brass production.”

Sustainability at Diehl

[1] Dross is also called slag. It emerges while smelting metals, and must be removed before further processing. The recycling of dross is a contribution towards sustainable handling of metals. More information on recycling at Diehl Metall is put together under "Sustainability"


  • Dr. Claus HeubeckManager Environment and Energy
    Phone +49 911 5704-405
    Fax +49 911 5704-387
  • Diehl Metall Stiftung & Co. KG Heinrich-Diehl-Str. 9 90552 Röthenbach a d Pegnitz

Light Verification Center

The Light Verification Center of Diehl Aerosystems has a floor space of more than 1000 sq m. It is the largest facility of its kind in Germany where the effect of light in aircraft cabins is tested. Passengers are to constantly feel comfortable during up to 18 hours of flight. "Cabin lighting is of great importance for a person's biological clock, and the service crew uses lighting to structure the flight phases. That means for us: every flight phase must have appropriate cabin lighting," Dirk-Achim Schevardo explains.

Depending on the respective cultural origin, light is perceived in different ways and so we adapt it to the airline’s wishes: "Scandinavian airlines like warm, bright light; in the Asian region, cooler, bluish light is preferred" Schevardo describes the different tastes. In this context, the surfaces reflecting the light are decisive. "We try to "paint by light": that means all surfaces should be illuminated evenly."

In top-of-the-range aircraft construction, designers use select materials and want to stage them appropriately. Dirk-Achim Schevardo remembers a customer who wanted to accentuate a particular kind of wood veneer: "However, dark wood absorbs a huge amount of light and thus requires a specially adjusted light source. We see ourselves as a link between engineers, designers, marketing experts and businessmen. This is of particular importance if the customer cannot describe his problem in detail."

Aircraft Projection System

  • Diehl Aerosystems regularly shows at exhibitions what is possible in aircraft cabins:  

Diehl Aerosystems is known as a supplier with highest quality standards. This is what matters in our sector: “It is important to us that lights can be replaced rapidly and our high quality standards ensure a low failure rate. Nevertheless, we want to sell the light effects in the cabin, not the technology as such or individual lamps. The amount of effort we spend on that guarantees the best results for our customers.” 

In order to show the multiple effects of light in the cabin, our employees check the customer's requirements in detail: "Light can make flying an experience again. We offer design workshops to show what is possible. In the cabin roof or in a light dome, we make emerge a starry sky, the airline's logo or duty-free products. 

The success of Diehl Aerosystems proves us right: “All Airbus aircraft and almost the entire Boeing aircraft family are equipped with Diehl lighting systems,” Dirk-Achim Schevardo proudly states.


  • Diehl AerosystemsDipl.-Ing. (FH) Dirk-Achim SchevardoManager Business Development Cabin Systems
  • Diehl Aerosystems GmbH Donaustraße 120 90451 Nürnberg
Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG © 2018