As more and more sectors rely on touch screens for a wider variety of equipment, sourcing the right manufacturer for the job has become a more complicated challenge. These are some of the most sensitive components in the equipment you manufacture and you must be sure that it works in whatever conditions your clients demand of it. Fortunately, touch screen technology has been improving over the years to become more rugged, better able to handle extreme temperatures, and better for outdoor use, while controllers have been streamlined for cheaper integration.
One of the first questions you need to ask before you decide on a touch screen supplier is what kind of environment your equipment will be used in and will it be able to withstand it? An industrial PDA should be resistant to chemicals, dirt, and grit, as well as ruggedized, meaning that the screen can withstand direct impact and resist scratches and abrasion. It will also need to be in the resistive class, relying on pressure rather than electric charge, so that it can be operated by gloved hands or a stylus, and scratch-resistant enough that an improvised stylus like a pen or a screwdriver won’t damage the surface. A public kiosk used outdoors, like an outdoor ATM, will need to be waterproof and vandal-proof, since it will be left unattended overnight, in all weather and all seasons. Standard resistive touch screens are an economical solution, but for outdoor and extreme condition applications, impervious alternatives like A D Metro’s ultra resistive touch screen are must-haves.
However, vandalism and the elements are not the only extreme conditions you have to be aware of; military, aerospace, and emergency equipment face electromagnetic interference and require adequate shielding (in the form of an ITO coating) to work reliably. If it’s used in a cockpit or at all exposed to sunlight, the touch screen must be anti-glare and anti-reflective, while if the screen is used in an entertainment or gaming application, protection from the elements will be far less important than light touch responsiveness and great optics.
Almost every job is unique and touch screen technology must be adaptable to a variety of applications and industries, which is why smart manufacturers are always ready to customize your solution — you can find out more about customization at Admetro.com. For example, films and coatings can enhance the product’s optics when your clients require a clearer image, strengthened substrates mean the screen can withstand impact, and improvements to the glass lamination can also improve resistance to impact. Another customization option is the application of ITO (tin oxide) coatings as an Electromagnetic Interference shielding that comply with EMC requirements and MIL-STD. Any mobile computing device that is going to operate in extreme cold may need mullion heaters in the substrate, while other outdoor uses could necessitate anti-glare or anti-reflective coatings, all some of the customization options you can find with suppliers like A D Metro. You make great equipment; just make sure that the components you source are up to your standards.