Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Benefits of OLED Displays


An organic light-emitting diode (OLED), is further development of LED technology in which the electroluminescent layer is made of an organic compound.

OLED technology and adoption has developed quickly in the last few years as OLEDS offer many advantages over both LED and LCD technology.




The Advantages of OLED

Unlike LCDs, an OLED display generates its own lights, therefore does not require back-lighting. This means that they will consume considerably less power. This is an important factor in mobile hand held devices where power consumption is an important issue.

Along with this OLEDs are:
  • Thinner
  • Lighter
  • More flexible than either an LED or LCD

OLED vs LCD / LED


Along with the lower power consumption and improved mechanical properties, an OLED is also brighter than an LCD or LED. This is due to its multi-layered conductive and emissive layers, it also does not require a glass support which absorbs light.

An OLED is now the display of choice in many commercial applications such as mobile phones, TV, monitors and digital cameras. With the current technology push to curved or flexible displays, OLED will have an important part of the future.



However, LCD and LED have an established following and their own advantages along with their longer lifetimes.

There is also the development of quantum-dot light emitting diodes (QLED) that is now entering the display arena in large size displays and is touted to be the long-term replacement of LCD.

It will be interesting to see if there is one winning technology for the future, or if the present situation will continue where requirements and size determine the correct technology.

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

The SCHURTER Design Process: Design to Production



Understanding the what, where and how your business will implement a touchscreen solution into your everyday needs is the initial stage in our product design process. You can read how we work through those requirements in our article, ‘The SCHURTER Design Process: What Does Your Customer Want.'  

Drawing Stage


Once we have an understanding of the business needs and sourced the components from our suppliers, we can start the drawing stage.

At SCHURTER we offer a fully customisable touchscreen solution. This can involve modifying components to fit the customised product. Once we have briefed the suppliers of the modifications, they return to us, a drawing with these included. The customer will also be involved at this stage, with us requiring approval from them.

SCHURTER also ensures we approve the supplier drawing before returning it, to start the build.


The Samples


On average samples take up to 12 weeks to arrive at SCHURTER. When they arrive, we check them against the original drawing and once we have completed our checks, the samples are forwarded to the customer.

Once our customer has received the products and approved them, our team will move onto the next part of the journey, pre-production.

Pre-Production


Pilot runs can be requested by the customer, this is when a smaller quantity of the overall order are produced. The main purpose of this is to ensure quality and standards can be maintained when producing on a larger scale. The other reason for pre-production is for the customer to receive concept models which can be used for marketing and distribution.

Once the pre-production products are approved by the customer, the final step is mass production.

Production


Initial production now go ahead, it is normal that production takes place in tranches. The first quantity may not be for the overall order, the actual highest quantity could take a couple of years to build up for the particular product.

Read our previous article: The SCHURTER Design Process: What do your customers want?

For more information on the products we offer visit our website, alternatively you can email our team for a FREE consultation.



Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The SCHURTER Design Process: What Do Your Customers Want?



What do your customers want? That is the first question we ask any of our customers. Gaining a solid understanding of what the end customer requires, ensures we consider the right steps when starting the design process of a SCHURTER touchscreen.

Step 1: What is the environment?


Specifying where the touchscreen will be used allows us to define the requirements for a suitable product. There are a range of different environments that need careful consideration, for example:
  • Hazardous
  • Food processing
  • Outside
  • Office
  • Medical
Special measures are always put in place during the research and design phase to ensure the end product can withstand unique environments such as hazardous areas. There are also required certifications and standards we must adhere to. These are considered throughout the design phase to ensure the final product meets all the specifications.

Step 2: Touch Technology


There are a range of ways businesses require their touchscreen to function. For an input system to be used by the public, a simple single touch function is the easiest. Whereas in a medical environment, a multi touch function may be a better option. This could be for a range of reasons such as, zooming in on X-Ray results.

In addition to understanding the environment, there is also the factor of whether gloves will be used. Although it may seem like a simple idea, if we designed a touchscreen not taking this into consideration plus the glove material, the touchscreen wouldn't operate in the same way.


Step 3: What are the display requirements?


Once we have understood the type of environment in which the touchscreen will be placed, we have already gained an understanding of the potential display requirements.

For example, for the medical industry. At SCHURTER, we know a wide viewing angle is normally required, therefore the display would need to be optically bonded to achieve this. There is also the factor of placing a touchscreen in an outside environment. In these applications, daylight viewing is generally a must, therefore again, optical bonding is required. Light transmission and contrast are also other major considerations. 

Step 4: What is the housing unit?


The final step in the process is considering what type of material will be used for the housing unit. For example, in the food processing sector, stainless steel is standard due to continuous wash downs, whereas in an office environment, plastic or aluminium is generally used.

Different housing materials impact on the design, particularly the way the touchscreen is built into the housing unit.

The food processing and medical markets are good examples of where sealing and minimal areas for entrapment of contamination is required. For these markets, we use a closed front design rather than mounting the touchscreen behind the bezel, which is normally used for office environments.

Throughout the design process at SCHURTER Electronics Ltd, we endeavour to source the right materials and maximise the potential of the device to ensure quality and longevity of the product. We continuously liaise and update our customers to ensure we keep an open line of communication in case of any changes along the way.

Read next article: The SCHURTER Design Process: Design to Production

For more information on how we can help find your business solutions visit our website. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange a free consultation, please email our team who will be happy to help with your enquiry.



Thursday, 13 September 2018

A Balancing Act



The Big Issue


As I am sure you know the automotive industry is making a huge shift to electric vehicles, this in turn is drive huge development and innovation in batteries. One of the biggest issues is efficiency, you get a lot less miles out of a full battery charge than you do out of a full tank of fuel be it diesel or petrol.

Battery Balancing


The challenge has been set. Develop a battery that is small and light enough to be in a car that is going to replace the need for a combustion engine. Battery powered engines also have one other draw back, Battery Balancing. Batteries usually consist of several cells, these cells need to be managed to ensure that they all charge to the maximum time after time to maintain the same efficiency of the first charge.



The need for a battery management system has arose. These systems can ensure the batteries charge to their maximum, and increase the life-cycle of the batteries by monitoring the charging and discharging process. Batteries are at risk when they are exposed to over temperature, short-circuits  and pulsed over currents. SCHURTER offer many different fusing options to protect against this. Including the USN 1206, RTS, UST ranges.

If you would like to find out more about battery balancing technology, you can read the full application note below.

            

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Touch Technology in the Great Outdoors


Outdoor applications for Touchscreens


Touchscreen technology forms part of our everyday lives. From the Pay at Pump petrol stations to withdrawing money from a cash machine. The demand for the everyday touchscreen is far greater than ever before as users want an instant response and the quickest way to get it, bringing the touchscreen at the forefront of businesses strategies.

Advantages of Touch Technology


Adaptability:  Investing in capacitive input systems can pay dividends. If you were to replace a membrane keypad parking machine, when a new design comes to market, it isn't as simple as just installing the new software. The entire unit would need redesigning. Whereas once you have invested in touch capacity, the only function that would need be to be updated is the software. Saving costs for your business in the long term.


Durability:  A membrane keypad has a lifetime of around one million presses. A touchscreen has no limit, the glass will last virtually until it breaks. With the design and technology used to manufacture the glass, it can withstand harsher working environments, a range of touch forces and weather tolerances. An option to ensure maximum durability is to review the thickness of the glass. Producing a product with thicker glass will ensure a longer lifespan, in turn also saving long term costs.




All Weather Proof


Rain: If sealed properly within the housing unit or enclosure, manufacturing a water resistant touchscreen is possible. It is key to note, although an input system can tolerate rain, if submerged in water the functions will not withstand. As water is a conductor, the touchscreen will interpret this as human interaction, therefore it will not work.

Sun: A touchscreen is no different from any other piece of glass. If left out in the sun it will heat causing it to become too hot to touch. A touchscreen can continue to function until approximately 70 degrees, however to touch this with bare hands would definitely cause a reaction from the user!

Cold: A touchscreen can still function with temperatures dropping to around minus 20. Even though temperatures like this are rarely experienced in the UK, it is a consideration SCHURTER takes into account when testing our touchscreen solutions.

Optical Bonding


Optical Bonding is the method in which the air gap between the touch and the display is removed. This process makes the touch and the display essentially one unit. Imagine gluing the display and the touch together, and light from the display only has the outside surface of the glass to overcome. A display without optical bonding will cause refraction and reflection due to the various layers of glass the light from the display has to penetrate.

Watch more on Optical Bonding:




Coating Treatments


Anti-reflective and anti-glare are coating treatments for a touch panel. By adding these finishes to the end product, they will reduce reflection from the sun in a similar way in which the glasses we wear are coated in an anti-glare treatment.

The method is key when designing touchscreens for outdoors and forms part of SCHURTER's overall customer requirements assessment.

To learn more on our products and find out how we can help your business requirements, click on the link below.

Learn more on Touchscreens