Thursday, 15 February 2018

Southern Manufacturing review 2018

Southern Manufacturing review 2018 

Manufacturing exhibitions are a great way to network and advertise products and services. Southern manufacturing is arguably one of the best for this. This manufacturing trade show has a large turnout each year. This means there’s a large audience of people who you can showcase your company to who are interested in manufacturing and could be looking into new products and companies. 

What can you expect from the exhibition?

SCHURTER returned to the exhibition this year and it was noticeable how much it had grown from previous years. The level of planning that had gone into making the exhibition run was evident and it seemed to work better. Factors that made the exhibitions popular.  
  •         New purpose built building
  •         Free parking
  •         Free admission
  •         Full Program of FREE technical seminars.

SCHURTER's Southern Manufacturing stand

Why doing the exhibition is worthwhile.

The Building and venue were impressive, with a new purpose built building. The overall facilities were vastly improved. It helped make the whole exhibition feel more professional and organised. It meant the exhibition offers the perfect environment to meet potential new customers and a platform to showcase your products

This gave SCHURTER a chance to engage in conversations with people who were generally interested in our products. There was a variety of different exhibitors, from many different markets. This included Materials, Aerospace, Automotive, and Electronics, defence & security and Energy. This offers a variety of industries exhibiting a wide selection of products.

SCHURTER would recommend the Southern Manufacturing exhibition to any company that wants to showcase their products and services to potential customers.

Finally, to everyone that we met at the exhibition, it was good to meet you and we hope you found the exhibition as good as we did.

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Monday, 5 February 2018

3 reasons why you need to upgrade your HMI solution

Is your Human machine interface (HMI) no longer up to the job? Then it might be time to upgrade?  If you’re unsure then this blog post will help you to decide. SCHURTER is going to give you its top 3 signs of when it’s time to upgrade your HMI.

HMI solution used to control a machine

Tip 1: Is your control system delivering the functionality you require?  
If your HMI solution is correct for the machine it controls, then the system should be offering you everything that you ask of it.  Every control requirement will be easily and quickly accessible. However, over time new features can be installed on the latest machines which might not be as easily accessed on an out of date HMI panel. When this occurs, it slows down efficiency and will affect how quickly the machine is used. Your customers will become frustrated and may look at other machines that are quicker and easier to use. A major focus in today’s world is speed and efficiency and the HMI solution needs to facilitate this and not hamper it.

Tip 2:  Hard to use interface
An HMI solution should meet all your requirements for your customer. Top of this list should be ease of use/navigation of the system. The system shouldn’t require a huge amount of training to use. If the system is complex with many features that aren’t easy to navigate then your customer’s staff won’t be able to use the machine without lengthy training. Training costs your customers time and money. Remember the control system needs to be easy to use and the operator of the machine needs to be able to use the machine confidently to maximise production.  By designing an HMI solution with ease of use in mind, you are giving your customer a solution that will work for them.

Tip 3: is it touch?
If you’re looking to offer the latest HMI solution, then capacitive touchscreen technology is the leader on the market. The latest touch technology in phones and tablets accompanies our modern lifestyles. This same technology can then be intuitively used in the workplace. Large capacitive screens not only provide a quick exchange of information between the machine and end user but also solve all of the issues of functionality and ease of use and are totally future proof from simple software updates.
If you have decided your HMI unit is no longer up to the job and in need of an upgrade then the solution is simple. It’s also the key to making sure that your machines will be leading in your industry.

Touchscreen solution for an HMI System

SCHURTER are leading innovators in the market of HMI solutions, with many years’ experience in designing and manufacturing HMI’s. It’s with this level of understanding SCHURTER can offer a complete solution from the design phase all the way to the finished product. So if you’re thinking about a touchscreen solution then look no further than SCHURTER. 

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Monday, 15 January 2018

How SCHURTER are changing your dentist experience

Visiting the dentist can be a nightmare for many and traditional methods don’t always offer the most pleasant experience. However, like many industries, dentistry is introducing new digital equipment that’s helping to improve your dentist experience.

Practice and patient records management

Implementing a touchscreen solution throughout the practice is the first adoption of digital dentistry. This allows patients to check in for their appointments with ease. Many dentists opt for this solution for its ease of use. All that is required is to confirm appointments is their date of birth and time before then being directed to the waiting area. Touchscreens are helping to change the patient's experience even before they sit in the dentist chair.

Touchscreens in the chair
Dentists are now using touchscreens to show and explain the dental work that will be carried out on their patients. The display can show patients detailed visuals and help give a complete overview of the dental work that will be done. This helps the patients understand the work to be done and provides peace of mind about the forthcoming procedure.

Displays helping to make cutting-edge equipment easy to use.

Cutting edge ultra-sonic dental equipment uses touch technology to control the system. Ultrasonic technology equipment is accurate, fast, highly powerful, reliable and less invasive. For the dentist, a touch technology control panel provides a naturally intuitive experience. For the patient, the technology confers outstanding outcomes, less swelling and pain and complications.
Overall the patient experience is improved, is less traumatic and results in a swifter recovery.
SCHURTER is continuing to work on the latest technologies on the market.

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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

How are touchscreens improving your gym experience?

How are touchscreens improving your gym experience?

Gyms are a big part of the world we live in today and health and fitness has never been more popular than it is now. There seems to be more and more gym’s popping up each year. In fact, consumer spending on gym membership has soared by 44% in the last few years. What’s making gyms so popular? A big factor is the technology you find in modern gyms. Now gyms are packed with technology that is helping gym goers reach their goals. We will be focusing in particular on touch technology and the benefits it provides.

Touchscreen technology

A touchscreen is the perfect interface for smart exercise machines. Users have complete control of the machine at their fingertips. A user can use these touchscreens to set targets, measure progression and monitor performance with ease. The clear display guides users effortlessly and settings can be altered to match your needs and preferences. This can be achieved if you’re on the treadmill or a rowing machine, the touchscreen display can be mounted to many other machines you would find in the gym. An added benefit for the gyms themselves is the touch display can also be used to capture a target audience in the gym. Small cameras can be added to the equipment that will recognise the age, sex and mood of the person using the equipment and can then play an applicable advert.

Wearable touch technology

The popular Apple iWatch or Fitbit is seen more frequently in the gym.  They give immediate and accurate information to the wearer and can often be connected to gym equipment. This gives users even more control and personal health information such as their heart rate, calories burnt, distance travelled during their workouts and can even monitor the wearer's sleeping pattern when at home.

How SCHURTER are involved

This Year SCHURTER has supplied several companies with cutting-edge touchscreen technology for smart exercise machinery. SCHURTER is designing solutions that meet the latest needs of fitness equipment manufacturers by understanding the requirements and needs of the industry and is committed to continuing to design and manufacture the latest touchscreen solutions. If you’re a fitness equipment manufacturer and want to take your machines to the next level, then talk to SCHURTER. We can help you to produce a touch solution just right for you and your customers.

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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Where will touchscreen technology be in 2018

Touch screens are a major part of our lives either at home or at work. But how important will they be in 2018? All technologies are growing at a rapid rate and that’s no different when it comes to touchscreens. In fact, in 2018 it shows no sign of stopping, and the market for touchscreen modules is expected to double from $16 billion in 2012 to $31.9 billion in 2018. This shows the rapid growth in this market.

Why has there been such a growth in touchscreen technology?

Touchscreens are helping to make things faster and easy to use. Mouse and keyboards are now being replaced by touchscreens which are allowing users to navigate systems faster and easier. Ensuring a faster input means greater efficiency in the transfer of information between the man and machine. Companies now realise that touchscreens bring major benefits and this will only increase in 2018.

As reported in the American Chemical Society journal “Langmuir” British scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a cheap flexible touchscreen made of silver and graphene. Combining graphene - a material made from a single layer of carbon atoms - with silver nanowires, to create a film which will outperform regular screens but using a fraction of the amount of silver. The screen will also be more responsive and use less power. Although a volume manufactured version of this may be several years away it proves that the future of touchscreens will be incredibly exciting.

SCHURTER is always monitoring the latest touchscreen technology and how we can implement them into our manufacturing processes. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What is the future of Touchscreen Technology?

In 1967 E.A Johnson invented the first capacitive touchscreen console and over the last 50 years, the technology has evolved to become the primary interface on most devices, most notably PCAP touch technology that is used on our smartphones. But where does the human interface go from here?
Today we can perform numerous tasks on our smartphone from online banking, checking our health and even changing the temperature in our home whilst several thousand miles away. However, the biggest issue and most difficult thing we can’t do productively on our smartphone would be writing. Any letter, in-depth composition or data entry develops into a nightmare of clumsily pecking at the virtual keys. Typing this way is unnatural and the touchscreen has a long way to go to enable life improving efficiency.

The key to fluent typing consists of 3 elements, touch input, orientation and confirmation - a traditional keyboard has all three to satisfy these criteria. Touchscreens allow you to input information but they do not give you a sense of confirmation or direct your finger by the physicality of the keys. Missing these elements makes it difficult to get into any creative flow but two new technologies are now emerging.

Haptics, which is a means of simulating touch sensations by creating a vibration that activates sensors in your fingertips to notify your brain, once you have pressed a button and secondly Microfluidics, this technology creates dynamic transparent tactile surfaces by pushing a solution through a material to define keyboard formations that can rise and recede thereby giving a physicality of the keys. The addition of these two technologies provides the orientation and confirmation needed to enable full typing productivity.

We are already seeing mobile devices use Haptic and Microfluidics in defined positions. The next generation will allow the user to program a combination of these technologies, keyboards could be adjusted in size and location and provide haptic feedback in any position and the microfluidics technology used to create a personalized keyboard for each user. For example changing the size of the icon to relate to their finger size and typing style. Moving further forward we will see haptics and microfluidics evolve together to include tactility and vibrations for more than just keyboards and buttons. Mapping and navigation are examples where you could see the varying contours with the haptic giving various feedback on what you are doing by increasing the length and strength of the vibration. Users who are visually impaired could choose a braille option when manoeuvring around their touchscreen device or when writing without having to purchase a separate product.

From the minute we are born a connection through touch is acquired, this connection with each other spreads to our personalized technology and current developments will soon enable touchscreens to react in the same way by responding to every individual’s personal touch.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Save time and money with SCHURTER's tailor made solutions

The competition from the Far East does not sleep. Through numerous distributors, it offers a range of cost-effective standard touch panels. The ease of a standard item and low cost are attractive, but is this right option for an industrial or medical machine application?
Input systems for industrial and medical machines are often subject of an extended lifecycle expectancy, the service life of these products could be 10 to 15 years. A touch panel for these would consist of a selection of components such as touch sensor, display, controller and electronics. The majority of these components are subject to rapid technical advancements, for the displays this is 2 to 3 years. But the touch sensors and the corresponding controllers also change very quickly due to technological advancements.

In a standard touch panel, this will mean every few years the item will be discontinued and a new item will replace it. What does this mean for the machine manufacturer? It will be down to the machine manufacturer to check the new items compatibility, as the panel could have changed size, controller software, cable positions etc. For a machine manufacturer, this will mean valuable engineering time will be required every few years to check compatibility, to re-validate the panel or ever to re-certify. How much will all of this “extra” work cost over the lifetime of a machine?   

SCHURTER offers its customers complete solutions. This means we assume responsibility for the whole input system. We are also responsible for the availability of the products and components throughout the entire cycle. SCHURTER guarantees a product with full compatibility, form and function throughout the entire service life. During the development phase, customers are made aware of the complexity of the product design with the relevant parameters. Aspects such as the availability of components and long-term availability, exchange possibilities and qualification also play an important role in product design. These aspects are often forgotten and/or pushed to the side for cost reasons.

The longer the lifecycle of the product, the more important it is to have an experienced system provider who can optimally advise the customer on the choice of the individual components. A system supplier with the appropriate competencies and manufacturing facilities can also significantly reduce the time required to develop a product. This gives the customer peace of mind that their product is in the right hands.  

If you’re looking into an HMI/touchscreen solution for an industrial or medical machine with the lowest cost to you over the lifetime of your product then look no further than SCHURTER 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Why a High Quality Prototype can make a Huge Difference

A prototype is paramount when it comes to product development. This is true in any industry and any company that plans to start a line of production. The customer wants to receive the highest quality product and service, this is why the prototype is key. The prototype is the chance to prove and showcase that you can produce the highest quality product.

The process of creating a prototype comes with great benefits, not only does it produce a physical example of how the product will look and feel but It can also iron out any design issues and improve functions along the duration. Pre-production will be able to produce a highly accurate assessment of the time and cost involved in the production, this then means manufacturing costs can be reduced by resolving any problems which were underlined in pre-production.  

Remember the prototype model is the company’s reputation don't chance it by saving money it can take a long time to build up a corporate reputation and a short time to knock it down if you don't meet the expectations of your customer or potential customer. So it’s then very important that you make sure the prototype is the highest quality. The customer needs to see the end product that will be close to how it will appear in production. 

SCHURTER’s high-end equipment and in-house touchscreen sensor production ensure rapid prototyping that significantly reduces the time-to-market of your product. To further reduce the development time. Although still producing a high-quality prototype that meets all the customers’ requirements. If you need a prototype then contact us at SCHURTER.

Monday, 25 September 2017

SCHURTER's Management Meeting 2017

Management Meeting 2017

The SCHURTER International Management Meeting was this year held in the UK from the 7th to 11th September 2017, with 25 CEO’s from group companies travelling to the UK from worldwide locations.
On Friday the 8th of September the company invited the CEO’s to visit the factory in Aylesbury. The guests were given a welcome presentation by the UK CEO, Andy Birch and his management team. This was followed by a tour of the factory and a chance to show off our site. The tour took guests around each department in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the facility and the effective day to day running of the site.

Once the tours were complete a BBQ took place in the gardens of the Broad Leys pub and restaurant for both the visitors and the staff of SCHURTER. Thanks to a let up in the weather, the evening was a huge success with great BBQ food and also fish & chips to add a British touch, great ambience and even cupcakes emblazoned with the SCHURTER logo to finish!

On Saturday 9th September the agenda continued at the base for the management meeting, Sopwell House, St Albans, Hertfordshire. The theme of the day was strategic planning and this was followed in the evening by a meal at the award-winning local restaurant, Thompson.
On the afternoon of Sunday the 10th, the CEO’s took a well-earned break from proceedings to make a trip to the Luton Hoo Estate in Bedfordshire. Here they participated in various country pursuits such as Archery, Lawn Croquet and Falconry whilst experiencing first hand some truly bracing British weather! A welcome afternoon tea interval gave them all chance to warm up before enjoying a guided tour of the Luton Hoo Hotel. The evening drew to a close in The Sitting Room at the Mansion House with a 3-course dinner. 

On Monday 11th, with all presentations made and future planning proposals set, the agenda was concluded and the CEO's departed, having experienced a diverse range of local hospitality which spanned across three neighbouring counties.

The management meeting really outlines what SCHURTER stand for as a company. SCHURTER unites together across multiple countries and cultures to work as one. SCHURTER shows professionalism and a passion for what they do. Being part of a global group allows SCHURTER to utilise the strengths of each company within the group and offer complete solutions and a product lifecycle management system globally. This shows that SCHURTER is a one-stop shop and are the best choice for the complete solutions, whether this is a customised component or a fully integrated touch screen solution.

SCHURTER in the UK are able to offer products from both divisions; Input Systems and Components. The manufacturing site based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire specialises in human-machine interfaces, membrane keypads and Touchscreens. This means that SCHURTER is able to design a complete solution to meet our customer’s needs.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Intuitive use of machines makes all the difference

Machines simplify our everyday life in many different ways. But for this to work smoothly and for the machines not to be so complicated that they present us with insurmountable obstacles, the human-machine interface must be kept as simple as possible.

Interface between man and machine

Information is communicated via a human machine interface. It represents the link. There is a dialog between the two system partners, which creates an (inter-) action. The interface is therefore responsible for translating and communicating the information between the two linked systems of man and machine.

Forms of communication

On the human side, various technologies are used as input systems. For instance, the language input. Human communication comes closest and will undoubtedly prevail in the future. But others are more well-known and above all (still) more reliable. For example, the keyboard. Over time, this has been extended to include the mouse due to the development of graphical user interfaces. In addition to the mouse, especially for mobile applications, touchpads and Apple's trackpad have also been added. The features of a mouse have been basically substituted on a touch-sensitive surface. So-called gesture control was added to known features (e.g. scrolling): Swipe, zoom and rotate. 

The touchscreen represents the latest level in this evolution. In principle, this does not offer much more in the way of features than the mouse and keyboard. But it does greatly simplify the use of numerous applications. Here, the finger replaces the cursor. You can now tap directly on the action you want to perform. The user does not need to go back to the trackpad. The control is implemented instantly. On the downside, it is unavoidable for the display to become smudged as a result of the screen being constantly touched.. The machine communicates differently. It usually gives feedback in an audio form or via the display. It acknowledges the input more or provides options for further, more detailed input by the user.

In practice

When it comes to actual use, the machine or developer of the device must of course consider many different points. For example, the interface requires the following characteristics:

  • Fast design-in process
  • Input and display system in one on the smallest of spaces
  • Standardized interface
  • Low cost and suitability for mass production
  • Customer-specific adjustments in the design, technology and production


Devices are successful when they are accepted by the users. Once more, the smartphone is the perfect example in this respect. Despite the high complexity of the device, it has become the norm within a short period of time thanks to its easy, intuitive usability. This is what we should all strive for. Usability makes all the difference.

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