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.

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