Customer Case Studies

Many of Touch International’s touch screen projects are completely custom, insuring that each customer receives a product that is representative of their overall vision, both in look, styling and touch performance. Below are case studies that describe the Touch International difference.

Medical Display for Operating Rooms

Customer:  Medical Device Manufacturer

Project:  Multi-use display integrated into various medical equipment in and out of operating and emergency rooms.

Background: 

Medical equipment manufacaturer brought us a complete display module. To simplify development and supply chain, the company used the same display component in four different finished products, two of which are used in operating rooms. The current display display went EOL without much advance notice.

Challenges: 

All of the final products were in full production, so they needed a solution fast. Since redesigning cabinets and and components around a new display wasn’t an option, they required a display that fit mechanically. Since the products are used in operating rooms, the displays must retain the optical EMI filter to contain maintain EMI/RFI compliance.

Summary of issues to consider:

  1. Display must fit mechanically and have at least 350nits of brightness.
  2. Must maintain EMI shielding.
  3. Must fit active area of optical filter.
  4. Must meet target cost range.
  5. Must be compatible with existing board layout.
  6. Must be able to deal with super bright ambient lighting conditions.

Solution: 

TI’s display team was able to identify and source a 450nit display that was compatible with the active area of the optical filter, matched the outer mechanical dimensions tail location, and fit the right price point. Unfortunately, the display was slightly thicker than the existing cabinet would allow. To remedy the problem, TI’s mechanical engineering team quickly redesigned the optical filter using thinner glass. After producing rapid prototypes at the Austin, TX Design and Development center, testing verified the transmissivity was increased 8% and the overall stackup was identical to the original product design. The team then optically bonded the EMI filter to the display to increase picture quality and eliminate internal reflections in high ambient lighting conditions.

TI solution key feature overview:

  1. Identify and Source Display with matching specs, price, and increased brightness.
  2. Redesign EMI Filter to meet target stack height while increasing optical clarity.
  3. Optically Bond EMI filter to Display to eliminate internal reflections.

Through tactical sourcing, rapid prototyping, and thinking outside the box, TI was able to offer a fully customized, complete solution to an unavoidable and unexpected EOL that would have haulted production. Instead, the new design provides improved performance and extended product life while maintaining the target price range.

Industrial Control Device

Customer:  Industrial Controls ODM

Project:  Industrial touch screen display control unit.  Sunlight readability and PCAP Multi-touch in a cost sensitive product.

Background: 

The device is a ruggedized tablet that currently used resistive technology and a standard display for various industrial control applications. They wanted to go PCAP with multi-touch and sunlight readability to expand the device’s capabilities, but were concerned about potential cost impacts and compatibility issues.

Challenges: 

The current display was not a good candidate for sunlight readability and was approaching the end of life cycle. New displays were available, but some didn’t have LVDS connectivity and could require redesigning the device’s motherboard. For PCAP, the new screen had to mechanically match the current resistive sensor and any new display selected. The device would be used with medium duty gloves, often in bright sunlight.

Summary of issues to consider:

  1. Touch sensing with light gloves.
  2. Use in a wide operating temperature range.
  3. Use in bright sunlight.
  4. Somewhat ruggedized for a multitude of industrial considerations (dirt, oil, shock, vibration, industrial cleaners, etc.).
  5. Multi-touch with gestures.
  6. Final solution cost.

Solution: 

After considering the customer’s requirements, our engineering team tackled both tasks in tandem. The display team found a lower cost display that worked mechanically, but required a custom LVDS board and cable. The team designed and produced a combination that the customer was able to easily integrate into their existing housing, saving them from unnecessary NRE. A custom super bright LED rail and driver was developed in combination with a select mix of optical films to get the LCD over 1200 nits of brightness for clear sunlight readability. The display that was selected featured extended temperature operation, so extended time in the sun will not be a problem. Meanwhile, the touch screen team designed a new projected capacitive touch sensor featuring our new S-Series capabilities that was mechanically identical to their existing resistive part. The sensor was laminated to a chemically strengthened cover glass for maximumdurability.

TI solution key feature overview:

  1. Multi-touch with pinch/zoom/flick/rotate.
  2. Wide temperature, sunlight readability.
  3. Ruggedized solution for lasting performance.
  4. Able to withstand industrial elements such as dirt, grease, and harsh cleaners.

To finalize the solution, the touch screen was optically bonded to the display to maximize picture quality, sunlight readability, and ruggedization. The final cost of the new solution was within 10% of the previous solution total cost.

By offering a carefully engineered, fully customized solution and utilizing our mature supply chain, we were able to provide the customer with a durable solution that dramatically increased their products’ value without a substantial cost increase.

Ruggedized Mobile Touch Screen Computing Device

Customer:  Military Device Manufacturer

Project:  Ruggedized mobile touch screen computing device.

Background: 

Defense manufacturer with focus on battlefield electronics wants to develop a ruggedized and mobile touch computer.

Challenges: 

The engineers developed a 10.4” sunlight readable, ruggedized mobile computer with advanced software that served ground troops with communication, navigation and more. It would be exposed to a multitude of elements through various terrains. The most important challenge was extremely low temperatures. Some of the issues to consider included:

  1. Touch sensing with heavy gloves.
  2. Be used in a wide operating temperature range.
  3. Passes military EMI/RFI emissions requirements.
  4. Able to perform the elements a ground troop encounters (dirt, water, vibration, etc)
  5. Multi-touch with gestures mainly for pinch/zoom/flick during navigation and radar viewing.

Solution: 

After considering the customer’s stringent requirements and the harsh environment, Touch International leveraged their recently released PCAP Plus technology and designed a custom touch screen that featured:

  1. Two-finger multi-touch with pinch/zoom/flick/rotate.
  2. Ability to operate with heavy gloves and any pointing device.
  3. Full MIL-STD-461E/F compliance for EMI/RFI requirements.
  4. Full functionality with dirt/grease/vibration/water, including completely submerged.

While TI’s PCAP Plus touch screen already met their operating temperature requirements, TI designed and optically bonded a transparent LCD heater to further extend the operating temperature of the display, resulting in “instant on” even in extreme cold.

By offering a highly engineered customized solution that ensures complete functionality in the harshest environments, we were able to provide the customer with a durable solution that outperforms their competitors’ devices for years to come.

Transportation & Surveillance Systems Developer

Customer:  Transportation Surveillance Systems Developer

Project:  Transparent heater for transit surveillance camera lenses.

Background: 

The customer needed to develop a solution that would allow cameras to be mounted on the outside of passenger trains for travel monitoring and security purposes.

Challenges: 

The custom developed a custom camera housing that would be exposed to a multitude of elements at high speeds through various terrain. The most important challenge was extremely low temperatures. Some of the issues to consider included:

  1. Maintaining optical clarity
  2. Ensuring the unit resisted debris impact
  3. Custom fitting existing camera housing
  4. Keeping the camera lens free from frost buildup

Solution: 

After considering the customer’s vision and the camera’s environment, Touch International designed a custom transparent heater that included:

  1. Impact resistant chemically strengthened glass to protect the housing.
  2. Index matched ITO to maintain excellent optics.
  3. Custom shaped and beveled glass with graphic for seamless match on camera housing.
  4. An anti-smudge coating for easier cleaning and clarity when wet.

By offering a fully custom solution that protects the cameras from any environmental issues, we were able to provide the customer with a solution that keeps ice buildup from blocking the view, but also protects the housing and lens from the impact of possible debris making a durable solution for years to come.

Interactive Time Management System

Customer:  Global Workforce Management Company

Project:  Interactive Time Management System 

Background: 

Touch International was originally secured as a consultant to help solve supplier and technology issues, and help the customer transition the product into production. The TI team was brought in as a consultant because of its touch technology background, strong technical understanding, and familiarity with embedded systems.

Challenges: 

TI identified several potential barriers to market, which included:

  1. Supplier issues
  2. Cost constraints
  3. Low power and overhead requirements
  4. Compatibility issues with an embedded Linux operating system

Solution: 

Using a holistic, unbiased approach, Touch International was able to identify the best solution for the customer’s project, earning trust and ultimately gaining the multi-million dollar contract.

By examining the customer’s requirements and constraints, Touch International deduced that a 7” 5-wire resistive touch screen with an anti-glare coating would best serve the customer because:

  1. Resistive technology consumes the least amount of power.
  2. 5-wire resistive is very cost effective, but still provides good durability.
  3. A 7” LCD is easily replaceable should one fail.
  4. Including an anti-glare coating was important to promote on-screen readability in a variety of environments.
  5. The design is easily repeatable, making it ideal for high-volume production at our China facilities.

Cosmetic Surgery Display Unit

Customer:  Global Pharmaceutical Company

Project:  Cosmetic surgery display unit for both floor and portable use.

Background: 

Prior to approaching Touch International, the customer was working with a different touch screen manufacturer but was unhappy with the optical clarity of the touch screen. They also wanted to have electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding built onto the touch screen, but were unable to go through the same supplier.

Challenges:

TI identified several potential barriers to market, which included:

  1. Supplier issues
  2. The touch screen design was several layers thick, reducing optical clarity.
  3. Interference from the touch screen or LCD with other surgical equipment

Since the unit was for cosmetic surgery procedures, it was imperative that the system be the best on the market, while adhering to medical regulations. Some of the medical requirements included:

  1. Using shatterproof glass
  2. Using glass with a strong tolerance to cleaning agents
  3. The ability for the touch screen to work with latex gloves

Solution: 

After examining the customer’s needs and requirements, Touch International designed a custom 10.1” projected capacitive touch screen with a cover layer, button cutout, and curved edges for seamless integration. Some of the components selected for this design included:

  1. Projected capacitive technology because it has the ability to work forever, which is important since medical devices are often used for 8-10 years.
  2. An all-glass stack-up with our OpTIvu technology to maximize optical clarity.
  3. An EMI gasket to prevent noise or interference.
  4. The touch screen was optically bonded to the LCD to enhance readability under any light condition and ruggedize the display.

Additionally, we simplified the installation process by mounting the customer’s metal face plate to the display. Because display enhancements and other value-added services are offered in-house, we were able to save the customer money and reduce the overall amount of time spent in production.

Instrumentation Panel for Watercraft

Customer:  Off-road Instrumentation Systems Manufacturer

Project:  Industrial instrumentation display for watercraft.

Background: 

The customer wanted to develop an advanced, on-board interactive control system for specialty watercraft that would allow the user to monitor the status and control of all boat systems with one finger.

Challenges:

Because the display would be exposed to a multitude of elements, it was especially important for Touch International to consider the display’s environment. Some of the issues to consider included:

  1. Optimizing the display for sunlight readability
  2. Making sure the touch screen worked with water spray
  3. Sealing the unit for water resistance
  4. Securing the display for impact resistance

Solution: 

After considering the customer’s vision and the display’s environment, Touch International designed a 6.5” multi-touch solution that included:

  1. Our MulTI-Touch projected capacitive technology to work with water spray.
  2. A glass/glass construction to optimize optical clarity and long-term durability.
  3. An anti-reflection coating to reduce surface reflections.
  4. An anti-smudge coating for easier cleaning and readability when wet.
  5. A touchscreen-to-LCD optical bond to ruggedize the display and maximize sunlight readability.
  6. Cover glass with black custom printing for seamless integration.

By offering a multi-touch technology that works with water spray, we were able to provide the customer with a solution that will not be quickly outdated, and more importantly, will be highly functional in a marine environment for years to come. Additionally, by providing optical bonding and display enhancements in-house, we were able to reduce manufacturing time and ensure the project’s success.

Retail Interactive and Point-of-Sale

Customer:  Retail Technology Systems & Integration Provider

Project:  Touch displays for point-of-sale and customer interactivity.

Background: 

The customer wanted an interactive solution that tied retail customer input from in-store interactive displays to the checkout process.  The final solution needed to be durable.

Challenges

The application called for two different touch displays.  First, they needed a large format public-use terminal where customers could select options for their purchases in real time.  This needed to be resistant to harsh cleaning chemicals and daily abuse.  For the point-of-sale terminal, signature capture and PCI-compliance for payment processing were required.  The customer wanted both touch displays to be bezel-free and sleek with multi-touch.

Project details:

  • Bezel-Free, Multi-touch PCAP.
  • Accurate signature capture with PCI Compliance for payment processing for POS terminal.
  • Durable for public use, aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Anti-glare, anti-fingerprint surface treatment.
  • HD graphics capability on large format.

Solution

Combining experience in both retail and digital signage applications, Touch International was able to deliver projected capacitive (PCAP) solutions for both devices.

The large format in-store interactive display solution:

  • 46” NEC P-Series professional grade display.
  • Integrated expansion slot for OPS device to drive stores content.
  • Vandal-resistant PCAP touch panel with anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.
  • Sleek bezel-free and durable aluminum housing for the aesthetically pleasing “smartphone look.”
  • Easy mounting options for both enclosure and kiosk mount.
  • 24/7 operation with a 3 year warranty.

The point-of-sale payment terminal solution:

  • PCAP glass-front touch panel with custom logo and cover glass decoration.
  • Optically bonded to an industrial grade, newly released display.
  • PCI Compliant controller integration for payment processing.
  • Integrated plastic housing/backer for complete turnkey solution.

By offering a combination of technologies and approaching the customers’ requests from multiple angles, Touch International was able to provide one-stop-shop solutions that will provide years of worry-free operation.  The solutions provided the customer with an easy to use, complete package for their end users, and a platform to enable market growth.

Aerospace In-Flight Entertainment

Customer:  Aerospace In-Flight Entertainment

Project:  Passenger interactive entertainment touch display.

Background: 

The customer wants to have an interactive solution that combines everything from games to movies for airplane passengers.  The solution will mounted primarily in seat backs, and needs to be between 8-10 inches diagonal in size.

Challenges: 

The application requires multi-touch for game play and excellent optics and video resolution for movies.  The FAA (and other) regulations have strict requirements for things like flame, smoke, toxicity, head impact, EMI, and more, so standard PCAP touch panels are not an option.   The total weight of the solution is paramount when selecting display and touch panel materials. Project details:

  1. Flush-fit, bezel-free, scratch-resistant, multi-touch sensor.
  2. Highest resolution possible, in the lightest weight display.
  3. Scratch resistant, anti-glare, anti-fingerprint, durable first surface.
  4. Custom cover glass graphic and logo.

Solution: 

Touch International has a proprietary stack-up of materials developed specifically for aerospace applications that meets or exceeds Boeing, Airbus, and FAA requirements.  Combined with the lightest weight, highest resolution industrial 10.1” LCD and perimeter bonded with a UV cured hermetic seal.

  1. 10.1” Industrial wide-temperature display.
  2. UV Cured, hermetic seal perimeter bond.
  3. 10-Point multi-touch P-CAP with proprietary construction that meets HIC, flame, smoke, toxicity, and more aerospace regulations.
  4. Plastic flush-fit bezel and mounting backer
    combination.

By offering a combination of proprietary touch technology, display enhancements, and the latest in displays on the market, Touch International was able to provide a complete solution that was easily certified and installed.

Combined decades of experience in aerospace, military, medical, and other high reliability markets gave Touch International a definite advantage over the competition in developing this solution.

Oil & Gas Production Controls

Customer:  Oil & Gas Production Company

Project:  Control Panel with Multi-Touch Display.

Background: 

Controlling an intricate network of oil and gas controls to keep things running smooth.  The customers aging control panels combined outdated displays with membrane switches that had taken a beating over the years.  They wanted a replacement that was sleek and clean, yet able to survive an industrial environment.

Challenges: 

The application requires indoor/outdoor readability, even in direct sunlight.  The touch screen required multi-touch that was impact resistant. Project details:

  1. Multi-touch, some units will require gloved touch.
  2. Sunlight readable, extended temperature LCD.
  3. Scratch resistant, anti-glare, anti-fingerprint, durable first surface.
  4. Custom cover glass graphics and logo.

Solution: 

Touch International developed a solution to meet the high demands of the oil and gas production environment. From the display to the cover glass, each component was customized for the application and engineered to work together for years to come.

  1. 7” Industrial wide-temperature display.
  2. Full optical bond.
  3. 10-Point multi-touch P-CAP.  A portion of the units featured custom tuning for gloved touch.
  4. Custom 5MM Tempered glass cover plate with multi-color custom graphics and logo.
  5. Anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint coating.
  6. Integrated IR blocker to prevent sunlight heat soak.

Commercial oil and gas operations are massive, requiring an intricate network of controls to keep things running smooth.  Increasingly the oil and gas industry looks to technology to boost efficiency, decrease safety hazards, and create the energy providing operations of tomorrow.  In this case, we helped them do just that.

Combined decades of experience in aerospace, military, medical, and other high reliability markets gave Touch International a definite advantage over the competition in developing this solution.