A touchscreen solution can provide the following features:
- Operation by touch (including gloved hand)
- Operate behind a plastic or glass overlay
- Endure harsh and outdoor environments
- All the options of a Smart device or phone
Where do touchscreens controls fit into your interface solutions?
Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) have a tough life in industrial, factory and outdoor environments. A device must withstand not only the natural elements, liquid and solid contaminants as well as heavy operational handling. A combination of dust, dirt, moisture, chemical, vibration and impact will considerably reduce the life expectancy of a product.
Traditional interfaces with mechanical dials, buttons and levers can be problematic due to foreign matter entering the component. A touchscreen can, by its own technology, be enclosed in another material and still function without the worry of contamination. Other features that make a capacitive touchscreen a better selection would be the integration of smart technology. This option provides functionality that a button can’t supply; this lets you swipe, zoom, drag and drop on-screen elements.
- Easy to clean with no moving parts
- Creatively backlit
- Exciting graphics
A touchscreen is both an input and output device, allowing the user to interact directly with the display screen. This option makes a mouse, keyboard or buttons surplus to requirements and keeps the device housing simple, like a smartphone. Touchscreens are acknowledged to be the logical progression of keypads. Their integration will become more and more commonplace in the future.
How does a capacitive touchscreen switch work?
A projected capacitive touchscreen works using etched ITO on either film or glass to produce an XY grid. This grid creates a 3D electric field. When this field is interrupted by touching the surface, the controller senses a change in capacitance. The device notices this locational change and then reports the coordinates. As a result of the XY grid, multi-touch is possible, i.e. swiping and zooming.
Most capacitive touchscreens design contains three layers:
- an upper graphic overlay layer
- an ITO sensing layer
- a backer layer
The touchscreen driver is usually fitted to the flexible PCB tail connector. Typically, the overlay layer is made from a durable material like plastic or glass. It is the ability to sense through heavy and thick overlay materials that make Touchscreen Interfaces, much like capacitive switches, a right choice if the intrusion of dirt, dust or moisture is a concern. The touchscreen will also be easy to clean and can be made vandal-proof.
There are multiple types of interfaces that capacitive touchscreens integrate. This versatility with other components allows for more advanced device operation. A touchscreen could be added to a membrane keypad to display device functions while the keypad switches operate the main controls. Joining touchpanels and keypads will offer an infinite range of operational possibilities. Today we encounter membrane touch switches and control panels in every walk of life, both in business and at home. Common examples include:
- Smartphones & tablets
- Vending machines
- Household appliances
- Exercise equipment
- Digital cameras
- Automotive controls
We can offer a range of backlighting solutions that will light up you HMI and work with your touchscreen control panels. These solutions include light guide film (LGF) and LEDs. We will consider the requirements of your application, such as thickness preference, shape, environmental exposure, and other unique specifications, and help you design the backlighting option that is the best for your product.