1. How Do I Choose the Right HMI Technology for My Project?

We usually start with a brief project briefing with the following information:
• Product end application& functionality
• Anydrawings or specifications
• Is this a new product or a replacement component?
• What type of testing requirements or certifications do you need to meet?
With this briefing (or even before – our team can walk you through the process), contact
one of our sales engineers to schedule a discussion on your product’s HM needs.

2. What Standard Product Sizes or Configurations Do You Have Available?

As the number of potential configurations, sizes and other options are too many, we
don’t offer standard membrane switches or touch foils. We do, however, have amassive
library of previous designs and projects to reference and draw as we build the solution
for your particular needs.

3. How Long Does a Custom Development Project Take?

If client end-use and certification requirements are clear, a product solution can be
designed in 2-3 days. However, more complex products could require additional back
and forth.
While the tooling and sample period are usually short (15-20 days), sample verification
can take one to several months.

4. What Affects Membrane Switch or Touch Foil Cost?

This depends on a variety of factors, but some of the most important are below:
Performance Requirements – tougher environmental, vibration, shock and
other requirements can requiremore expensive materials or components
Purchase Volume – in general, the more you purchase, the lower the price.
Product Enhancements – enhancements such as anti-glare, anti-microbial
materials, EMC filters and others can increase the cost considerably.

5. How Do I Submit an RMA?

In order to submit an RMA, contact your local sales representative or distributor, or send an inquiry through our after-sales service page. Have the details of your product available, including order number, product serial numbers and production date, etc. Our team will then contact you to provide the necessary documentation and guidelines for the RMA procedure.

6. Touchscreen Handling

Touchscreens, being made of glass, are vulnerable to breakage, scratching and other damage. Care should always be taken when handling them to prevent injury to either the item or the person handling it. Here are some general guidelines:

• When handling the panel, gloves are recommended to avoid fingerprints, dirt or particles from adhering to the glass and also to avoid injury to from sharp edges.
• When handling the panel, hold it by the edge of the glass with the film facing upwards in order to avoid the film becoming scratched or dirty.
• When assembling the glass panel, do not use excessive force to bend or twist the panel; this may result in the panel becoming deformed.
• When handling the FPC or COF, excessive pulling force, strain or tension must be avoided in order to prevent damage or product defects.
• The tail should not be creased or bent too sharply during assembly. A minimum bending radius of 3mm is suggested. The touch panel must never be held by the FPC or COF.
• Once removed from the original package, touchscreens should not be stacked. The edges may cause scratching.
• Do not stack heavy objects on the touchscreen.

7. Touchscreen Storage

Touchscreens can be vulnerable to electrostatic discharge, extremes of temperature and humidity as well as rough handling. Care should be taken in selecting the location and conditions of a space to store touch screens:

• Touch panels should be stored under controlled environmental conditions of temperature and humidity as specified by the product specification and kept away from chemicals such as acidic or alkaline products, as the damage occurring from contact could affect touch panel function.
• Touch panels should never be stored in a damp environment where condensation could form.
• Do not store touch panels under conditions of exposure to direct sunlight.
• Touchscreens should be stored in original packaging.

8. How to Clean a Touchscreen

This will depend greatly on the type of touchscreen to be cleaned – resistive touchscreens are very vulnerable to damage from detergents or chemicals, while PCAP touchscreens tend to be much more resistant. Product specification documents will have more detailed instructions, but here are some general guidelines for cleaning projected capacitive touchscreens:

• When cleaning the touch panel, refrain from using any kind of strongly acidic, alkaline or organic chemical solvent.
• In case the panel requires cleaning, the use of neutral detergent or isopropyl alcohol is suggested.
• When cleaning the touch panel, always use a soft cloth to avoid abrasions

9. How Long Does a Custom Development Project Take?

This is a tricky one – the answer is it varies widely on customer requirements. One of the first factors is the requirements regarding product performance, certification, etc. If client requirements and end use application needs are clear, a product solution can be designed in 1-2 days. However, if there needs to be extensive consultation about performance needs, enclosure and LCD selection, custom sensor pattern design, etc. then the design phase could last multiple weeks. The second biggest factor is client needs regarding sampling and pilot rounds. While the tooling and sample period can be extremely short (20-30 days), depending on how many rounds of samples or pilot rounds are required, and the testing being conducted, the sample verification period can take several months to nearly a year. This is especially true for medical, industrial and mission critical applications that have more stringent certification and testing requirements.

10. What Standard Product Sizes or Configurations Do You Have Available?

We offer standard product lines for both our PCAP touch panels and our touch display modules; in order to review our lines of standard products, please check the resource section of the website.

11. Which Touchscreen Technology is Best for My Application?

We offer both resistive and projected capacitive technologies, the two most widely used touchscreen technologies in the market, but in general this will depend greatly on the specifics of your application, particularly as it relates to EMI resistance, cost sensitivity, durability, touch performance and other aspects. Resistive technology tends to be used primarily in industrial controls or “mission critical” applications like military and avionics. This is due to its high level of EMI resistance and reliability. It’s also used in some applications like POS units due its ability to register touch from any kind of object, including credit cards, passive styluses, etc. and some handheld electronics, largely due to its low cost. Projected capacitive is the most widely used touch technology today, in large part due to its durability, multitouch and gestural capabilities and its excellent optical quantities. It is less cost effective and EMI resistant than resistive but has been improved considerably in both areas as production volumes and manufacturers ramp-up and make incremental improvements. It’s the clear choice for most applications.

12. How Do I Choose the Right HMI Technology for My Project?

There’s no easy answer, and this is why you should be cautious of the various design guidelines you can get on the internet – there’s simply too many factors, and the technology is changing too quickly for you rely on a static document. The best thing to do is to put together a brief project briefing with some of the following information:

• Product end application
• Drawings or specifications if available
• Desired functionality
• Is this a project from scratch, or does the solution need to be compatible with an existing enclosure, housing, PCB, etc.
• What type of testing requirements or certifications do you need to meet?

After you have a project briefing in hand (or even before – our team can walk you through the process), contact one of our sales engineers to schedule a discussion and walk you through some of the possibilities for upgrading your product’s HMI technology.

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