Advantages of Working with a Turn-key Manufacturer

What do you think of when you hear the term “Turn-key”? In the manufacturing industry, it means that a product is built, supplied, or installed complete and ready to operate. Products built this way can provide distinct advantages over products built using multiple suppliers. Here is why you should consider working with a turn-key manufacturer.

General Advantages

Custom Capacitive Touch Controller

Custom capacitive touch control for wine cellar cooling system.

  • Greater design support
  • Competitive pricing
  • Assistance with product certifications
  • A single team to work with

Designing a product always comes with some challenges, and this can be especially true if you’re building a product for the first time. By using a turn-key manufacturer you can streamline processes to get products to your customers in a timely manner. Wilson-Hurd, a Division of Nelson Miller has been able to help customers with both new and existing products by providing turn-key manufacturing solutions. Here are a few engineering advantages we can provide.

  • Can incorporate multiple switching technologies
  • Handle all software and firmware interface requirements
  • Capable of supplying specialized testing
  • Provide specific packaging requirements

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Looking for a quote or additional details on our turn-key manufacturing capabilities? Check out our website at or fill out the contact us form below.





How the Internet of Things (IoT) will change Manufacturing

The best way to explain the integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) to manufacturing is by the saying “the writing is on the wall.” While IoT technology may still be in the preliminary stages, it has become clear it will be a part of the future of manufacturing. What the Internet of Things will provide is a gateway to greater data collection, increased production capabilities and more efficient manufacturing.

In 1913, Henry Ford established the first manufacturing assembly line for an automobile. That process for building a vehicle would become the standard throughout the industry, due to the increase in efficiency. Using Ford’s innovation, the time it took to build one car was reduced from 12 hours down to 2 hour and 30 minutes. This type of improved efficiency and forward thinking is exactly what the integration of IoT technology will bring to the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing today is still seen by many to be working with your hands doing physical labor. In reality many manufacturers have become early adopters for some of the most advanced technological systems. Companies all throughout the world have factories where all or several of their products are built by robots or employee operated machines, some of which have already begun using IoT systems. ¹According to Joshua Bloom, vice-president at GE Digital, 50 billion industrial IoT devices are expected to be deployed by 2020. That number of devices would place the manufacturing industry at or near the top in overall spending on IoT.

With large amounts of resources allocated towards IoT, companies making these investments will expect to see great results. The main initiatives for most companies using IoT is to reduce their spending and increase their level of production. IoT systems are designed to do so by having machines communicate with each other to provide important information used in making key decisions. One resource being utilized by companies now is machine systems that alert you to repairs before a machine becomes inoperable. This allows for scheduled maintenance during hours in which the machine will not be operating. This is just the beginning of what IoT systems hope to accomplish.

Lastly, manufacturing companies that begin using IoT will have a major effect on job markets in that area. Having more of these advanced systems in place will require employees to receive higher level training. That would also mean more employers will require a training certification or degree before considered a job candidate. In the end, the industry is advancing forward and companies will need to advance with it.

¹ Tan, Aaron. “How machine learning is applied in industrial IoT.”, 18 Dec. 2017,

Touchscreen Usage on the Rise

How often are you using a touchscreen? The answer may shock you! According to Tubular Insights, 87 percent of millennials are never without their smartphones, but they also use an average of three screens a day and 92 percent of them actively browse on second screens such as smartphones and other mobile devices while watching TV programs¹. This goes to show just how much touchscreens have become a part of our everyday life, especially for younger generations. So what affect is this having on businesses?

One of the latest trends within the touchscreen industry is stores and fast-food restaurants going to touchscreen kiosks. Macy’s, a department store with locations throughout the United States, has implemented kiosks in order to limit in-store inventory and provide an “endless aisle” experience over all the stores product lines. This is advantageous since they’re mainly located in malls with limited space for inventory. Fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Panera Bread and Wendy’s have also gone a similar route by having customers in certain cities order using touchscreen kiosks. This process of ordering has lowered the average amount of time per order and allowed for employees, who used to take orders, to be moved into customer service roles, which involve waiting tables and helping customers place their orders.

With this advancement in technology, businesses that incorporate touchscreen kiosks into their customer buying experience are able to see the following benefits –

  1. Reduction in costs
  2. Improvement in efficiency
  3. Enhanced customer service
  4. Improved buying experience
  5. Increased sales

How does Wilson-Hurd fit in? We are a company that strives on innovation and providing our customers with industry leading products and service. In a time when touchscreens are becoming a major part of many businesses, wouldn’t you want a product that stands out from your competitors?

Capacitive Touchscreen IllustrationRGB


Resistive Touchscreen Illustration


For our touchscreen product line, Wilson-Hurd provides both capacitive and resistive touchscreens that can be incorporated into several design options. We specialize in providing custom built products that are engineered to meet your customers’ specific needs. One advantage Wilson-Hurd provides is having the capability to incorporate touchscreens within our switching technologies, including membrane or capacitive. This allows keypads, keyboards and other product specific buttons to be incorporated along with a touchscreen. For a more in-depth look at our touchscreen offerings visit Wilson-Hurd’s touchscreen products page.

  1. Steinberg, S. (2017, February 16). Second-screen experiences: The future of media consumption. Retrieved September 27, 2017, from

Embossing vs Debossing – Key Differences To Know When Making Your Selection

Do you want to draw attention to your product’s name?  Or, maybe you want to enhance a certain area of your product?  By adding embossing or debossing to your products you can add a distinguishing touch.  How do you know which one to choose for your product?  To start, you need to know what it means to emboss or deboss.  Embossing and debossing are two techniques used to imprint impressed or depressed images onto a variety of materials, including aluminum, polycarbonate, polyester, vinyl, steel and brass. These imprinted materials can be utilized in many areas, including Point-of-Purchase  displays, electronic control products, nameplates, business cards, and much more.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between embossing and debossing.  “Emboss” simply stated is a raised design.  More specifically, embossing offers a new raised dimension that can be a pattern, logo, or other option.  Special tools, or dies, are used in the embossing process.  These dies are placed underneath a material to apply high pressure and ultimately raise the surface of the area being embossed.

“Deboss” is defined as a deep impression onto the surface of a material.  By using this process, the surface of the area being debossed will be concave, or lowered.  Any area that is debossed will be easily recognizable to the touch, which is advantageous for products that try to distinguish two surfaces from each other.

While embossing and debossing have key differences, both processes offer functional and stylistic advantages.  With our custom fabrication capabilities, Wilson-Hurd offers both embossing and debossing as design options.  Watch the slide show below to view examples of products that feature embossing and debossing.

If you would like to learn more about our product offerings, please visit us at  You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.


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3 Key Steps for Installation of a Membrane Switch

Finding the proper membrane switch for your device isn’t always easy. It’s crucial you take the necessary time to evaluate your product needs. There are many factors to consider from what materials to use, the conditions the switch will be exposed to, what price you’re willing to pay and more.

Membrane Switches 2 -72ppi - small

When applying your membrane switch to your product, here are three key steps to remember.

 Step #1: Handling/Testing

An important step that many times gets overlooked,  you will want to test your membrane switch before starting installation. While handling your membrane switch remember never to press a switch button unless it’s lying flat on a solid surface. Do not bend the switch and make sure to use anti-static wristbands to protect sensitive components from (ESD) electrostatic discharge. We recommend you test all tactile and non-tactile responses of the membrane switch prior to installing it.

Step #2: Mounting Surface

After testing to make sure your switch functions correctly, check the surface you’re mounting the membrane switch against. This surface should be clean and smooth. It must not have rough texture, residue (from adhesive, paint, etc.), burrs, bumps, steps, or hardware protrusions.

Step #3: Installation

During installation, you will want to keep the membrane switch as flat as possible. If the part is bent, it may cause damage to the domes. Starting at one end, fold back a small strip (approximately 1/2 inch wide) of the release liner from the edge. Align the part and stick down the free end, and then remove the rest of the liner. Smooth the part down with a light, slow stroke, working from the starting edge toward the opposite end to prevent air bubbles. Avoid applying extreme pressure or rolling the part down as you’re working across. After the part is on your mounting surface, use a firm but smooth rubbing motion over the entire surface to complete the bonding of the pressure sensitive adhesive. Never use a roller to apply pressure.

If the membrane switch has a tail, never bend or pull back the tail to the point where it causes creasing, as this may cause the switch to function intermittently or fail completely.

For Wilson-Hurd’s complete guidelines on handling a membrane switch click on the link provided: Guidelines for Handling a Membrane Switch.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson Hurd’s Electronic Control Products division, please visit our website at You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.

Featured Project: Hunting Scent Control and Elimination Device


Wilson-Hurd was delighted to work with Ozonics with the goal of putting together a functional and well-designed Hunting Scent Control and Elimination Device. This is an instrument which creates ozone for the use of masking the scent of an individual while they are in the woods hunting.


This technology transforms ordinary, ambient oxygen into scent-eradicating ozone. Essentially, an electric charge is passed from the rechargeable battery in the Ozonics unit to an air cell coil. As air passes over the cell, some of the oxygen molecules in the air are fractured by the electricity to create ozone. The fan propels this ozone downwind where it eliminates all trace of the hunter’s scent.


Wilson-Hurd was able to enhance this product by giving the interface an intuitive, straightforward, and functional design.  All buttons in the design are easy to find and differentiate, as well as placed far enough apart to not incidentally push one while meaning to push another.  It was understood that hunters would likely be using this mechanism while hunting in cold weather conditions and therefore buttons and switches were planned out for use of gloved-hands. In order for maximum visibility that would not warn nearby game, the machine is illuminated with the use of green and red utility lights. Furthermore, switches turn on and off silently to make sure that the hunter’s presence is not detected. The device is built to withstand harsh weather conditions and also light-weight for ease of transfer.


The build constituents for the Ozonics membrane switch assembly are as follows:

  • Keypad Assembly with Elastomeric Overlay with Matte Urethane Finish
  • Printed Polyester Circuit with Red and Green LEDs

The achievements we made with this project met each of Ozonics’ goals and we were happy to be able to accommodate our customer’s specific needs.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s Electronic Control Product division and our capabilities click here or fill out and submit the form below:

5 Medical Devices that are Changing the Way We Do Medicine

Development of medical devices continually changes the medical profession and impacts many of us. For instance, many of these innovative medical technologies are evolving the industry by reducing medical costs, providing more accurate readings, diagnoses, and treatments, decreasing the strenuous workload of physicians as well as providing improved patient care all-round.

Wilson-Hurd is very familiar with how medical technologies can create advancement as we offer exemplary medical contract manufacturing services. We provide assistance to medical device companies on every aspect of a project from assembly through packaging to meet the product’s requirements. We hope to keep bringing these dynamic devices to the market to influence continued change.

To give you an idea of what amazing things today’s medical devices are capable of, read on and learn more about 5 medical devices which are influencing change in the health care industry right now.

1. Absorb GT1 Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold System

Medical 1

This medical device is a fully absorbable stent mounted on a balloon dilatation catheter. It is made of an absorbable polymer with a thin coating which contains the drug everolimus. The absorbable stent contains two platinum marker beads, one embedded at each end. This device is placed into a blood vessel during angioplasty to help keep the coronary artery open. The stent dissolves and will be absorbed by the body in approximately three years, leaving behind only the platinum markers.

2. Sorin Perceval Sutureless Heart Valve

Medical 2

This product is a man-made aortic heart valve with the tools needed to put the valve in a heart. It is made of cow tissue and has a frame made of Nitinol (an alloy of nickel and titanium) that expands by itself to the right form. This device can replace a natural or man-made valve that does not work well. Usually, patients need heart valves replaced when their old valves leak or become too narrow. To insert this device into the body, a doctor compresses the valve and puts it on the end of a small tube, called a balloon catheter. A doctor makes a small cut in the patient’s chest and feeds the catheter into the old heart valve. The new valve is released and expands inside the old heart valve. The doctor then takes out the catheter.

3. CyPass® Micro-Stent

Medical 3

This device is a tiny tube that is designed to control eye pressure in patients with glaucoma. This is done by creating a drainage pathway from the inside to the outermost layer of the eye. It is implanted into the eye to help drain the fluid that builds up in individuals with this medical condition. If not treated, pressure builds up inside the eye and eventually can damage the optic nerve, causing blindness. This device is placed in the eye at the time of cataract surgery and consists of a small stent that is pre-loaded into a stent delivery tool.

4. Axium Neurostimulator System

Medical 4

This is a system that doctors use to help adult patients manage their moderate to severe chronic intractable pain in their lower limbs. The system includes an implanted signal generator, 1-4 implanted leads, and two controllers. This is implanted by having a doctor put the generator and wires through a small cut in a patient’s back. The doctor connects the leads and sets up the device. Patients can then use their controllers to send pulses to nerves in their spinal columns. The pulses help to reduce pain in adult patients who have complex regional pain syndrome types I and II.

5. Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS)

Medical 5

This medical tool contains a one inch-long, self-contained pacemaker that is implanted directly in the right ventricle chamber of the heart. It works like other pacemakers and is meant to control the heartbeat by generating electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract or beat. Once in place, the pacemaker monitors the heart rate and adjusts therapy in response to the patient’s activity level. Unlike other pacemakers, however, the Micra TPS does not have leads. It is a single-chamber pacing system which means that it paces only the right ventricle of the heart.

These are just a few of the medical devices that are making headway in the betterment of medicinal procedures. We anticipate that there are many more to come. These very technologies will compensate for human error as well as amplify the strengths of our medical professionals. Ultimately, there is a great opportunity for the usage of these current medical devices, and many other technologies that are yet to come, to optimize health care.

Here at Wilson Hurd, we plan to continue providing the best in-class Medical Device Contract Manufacturing services including PCB Board assembly, box build, testing, and fulfillment services.  Product categories we specialize in include: disposable printed electrodes for EKG sensor arrays, hydrogel based printed sensors for respiratory monitoring, device assembly and manufacturing, and medical quality cables. Should any of these services be needed by your company, don’t hesitate to contact us to further discuss how we can supply you with a tailored, cost-effective, and quality product that matches your very needs.

Phone: 1.800.950.5013


Featured Projects: Boss Salt Spreader Controller

Boss Controller

It was a pleasure for Wilson Hurd to work with Boss Products to create a controller for the interior of vehicles which are used for snow removal. The purpose of this device is to control the salt spreader positioned at the tailgate of the truck.

Boss Salt Spreader

The original control design was very plain and didn’t have the element of style and allure that Boss was looking for. They were seeking a controller that would reflect the appeal of cutting-edge equipment and technology that would be in line with the rest of the Boss product line. We worked directly with the designers at Boss Products to figure out what should differ in the new controller to attain the desired look. The Boss team liked many of the ideas we presented to them during a visit to our Corporate Headquarters in Wausau. After working out the details of the end-product, the new panel design was created which incorporated the backlit keys and plastic backpanel.

The backlighting and functional elastomeric keypad was perfect for this project as it allowed for drivers to not only see the controller in the dark, but made it easy to the find each of the individual switches and operate the spreader by the feel of the raised keys on the elastomeric panel.

The components of this device are as follows:

  • Membrane Switch Assembly with Metal Domes
  • Elastomeric Overlay with Matte Polyurethane Finish
  • Printed Circuit Board Assembly
  • Plastic Backpanel

Controller Make-up 2

Overall, the project was a success. We were able to find the ideal solution to accommodate for Boss’ specific needs.

Contact us today to discuss custom design ideas for your next electronic control product or for more information on Wilson Hurd’s capabilities.

Phone: 1.800.950.5013



Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at

Gold Mirrored Point-of-Purchase Displays

Wilson-Hurd’s POP division has exhibited their strong creative abilities and aptitude to produce captivating, in-demand merchandise with this gold mirrored stand and sign. Any company looking for something that will pop out and demand attention may find that the process used on these two items may be what they seek in their next point-of-purchase design.  Both of these items were created using a technique where Pantone Matching System was used on aluminum to color-match it with a brown/gold hue.

The two items were made using the components below.

For the flat piece with edge banding:

  • Clear acrylic on top a digital print, multi-layered wood grain surface
  • Gold Lettering – Laser cut “Wilson Hurd” applied to Printed Acrylic with pressure sensitive adhesive
  • Gold Edge Banding made from Cosmetic Brite aluminum which is coated and die cut to size, then secured to the border

For the stand piece:

  • Laser cut gold mirror base
  • Laser cut gold mirror letters “Wilson Hurd” adhered to aluminum
  • Clear laser cut acrylic solvent bonded for standoff and structure
  • Cosmetic bright aluminum with 1 screen pass for color and folded into shape of display
  • Black styrene attached to aluminum to stiffen and build thicker edge

All the parts of the displays were assembled in a manner that creates a free standing look of the aluminum floating.



Contact us today to order your brand’s exclusive gold mirrored display, or for more information on Wilson Hurd’s Point-of-Purchase capabilities.



Are you a current customer of Wilson-Hurd? If you would like your company’s project to be featured on the homepage of our website in our “Featured Projects” section, please e-mail us at


Wilson Hurd has been in the Point of Purchase display business, often referred to as “POP” in the retail world, for a great deal of time. In this day and age, technology is being introduced into the POP market, so Wilson Hurd’s goal is to push the boundaries, and continuously find new ways to conceive dynamic POP displays custom-made to our customers’ liking.

It’s hard to be indifferent to the fact that an effective POP display can have a dramatic impact on sales for a particular product category or brand. After all, according to a research study conducted in 2012 by the Point of Purchase Advertising International, also known as POPAI, an estimated 70% of purchase decisions are made within the retail store itself. The business savvy would seek to capitalize on this by creating a point-of-purchase display that heavily influences buyer impulse.

Static signs have typically paved the way, but the point-of-purchase display industry has seen a great amount of transition toward the world of the technical by adding electrical components to the design structure. There are many ways that POP can incorporate technology, resulting in an evolution of the display, allowing it to stimulate an even greater interest as a promotional piece.

By integrating elements of lighting, sound, or even a motion sensing video screen, a POP display can be brought to life and the result is attention being drawn to the product that it is aiming to promote. Using these very technologies can assist to encapsulate the attention of the consumer in an environment that is busy or readily distracting. The following examples demonstrate a few ways of how technology has been used in Wilson Hurd’s POP displays to make the overall statement more impactful.

Guitar Illumination - With Caption

One of Wilson Hurd’s attractive lighted pieces is a Jack Daniels guitar that combines an already engaging guitar design as well as moving fluorescent lighting which spans the length of the guitar’s neck up and down.

Another example of how illumination can be incorporated into a POP display is by using backlighting. One of the common instances where Wilson Hurd has used backlighting is on a stand which will present an alcoholic product to the consumer as shown below.

Using this technique allows for a fresh dimension to the appearance of the product and helps catch the eye of the customer.

Bottle with caption

To break into another realm of technology, one of the POP counter displays that we have produced in the past has the ability to hold and display a portable speaker which allows you to demo music and its crisp, clean sound directly from the display itself at the push of a button. What is so impressive about this particular item is that the stand is perfectly angled to show the speaker to the consumer so that they are able to see the face as well as all the sides of the object. This does not only present it’s exact size and shape to the buyer, but it also creates a perfectly-positioned piece so as to not interfere with or distort the quality of sound the speaker produces. As you can see by the picture below, the signage is also informational, giving the buyer the opportunity to read about the products unique capabilities.

Speaker Deck with caption

Another recent POP display that Wilson Hurd integrated with technology is our Video Display. Not only did this item have LED lighting capabilities, but it also has a motion-sensing screen that signals for a video to begin playing when nearby presence is detected. This creation combines many of Wilson Hurd’s competencies as well as sets us apart from many other POP display providers who simply do not have the propensity to build the display in it’s entirety under one roof as we do.

POP Video Display with Caption

As you can see, there are a number of options that can be used for your next display. Whether you are looking to make your display rotate to give a 360 degree enhanced appeal or you would like for your product’s display to contain interactive and dynamic features, such as a software that allows for near real-time content updates, Wilson Hurd can custom-make it for you from start to finish. We encompass the vital design and manufacturing tools to optimize the success of your point-of-purchase display.

If you would like to learn more about Wilson Hurd’s Point-of-Purchase division, please visit our website at You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.