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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

Capacitive

Resistive Touchscreen Illustration

Resistive

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 https://mobilebusinessinsights.com/2017/02/second-screen-experiences-the-future-of-media-consumption/

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 wilsonhurd.com.  You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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 http://www.wilsonhurd.com. You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.

How To Select the Optimum Touchscreen Technology For Your Organization

The use of touchscreen technology is booming in this day and age, and for good reason. Companies across a broad spectrum of industries have successfully harnessed the power of touch for a wide variety of implementations after having realized the value touchscreens could bring to employees and customers alike. Touchscreens can allow for better customer service, thus producing an influx in sales, as well as provide a surge in productivity by employees controlling an industrial process.

If you are considering implementing touchscreens within your company, you must first determine the differences between the two types, resistive and capacitive. Due to the manner and conditions in which the touchscreen will be utilized, you will want to identify which form of the device will better suit your needs. So how do resistive and capacitive touchscreens differ?

Resistive Touchscreen 

The resistive touchscreen is the prevalent form of touchscreen, and, as the name indicates, it relies on resistance to work. It is constructed using two clear layers, such as glass or acrylic substrate, separated by a thin gap. The inside of these two layers are coated in a conductive material, so when the two layers are pressed together, a voltage is passed between them, which produces an accurate measure of where the touch was made on the screen.

Resistive touch screen pic- Matching

 

Capacitive Touchscreen

Surprisingly, capacitive touchscreens were developed prior to the resistive touchscreen. A capacitive touchscreen consists of two spaced layers as well, also coated with a conductor.  Voltage is applied to the corners of a capacitive touchscreen and distributed by a pattern of electrodes located around the touchscreen’s perimeter, which creates a uniform electric field across the conductive surface.  When a conductive object, such as a finger, makes contact with the screen, a small amount of current is drawn from the surface changing the capacitance and allowing for the touch to be registered in that precise location.

So why is it important to know the difference between resistive and capacitive touchscreens? Well, it is due to the fact that the differences in how they work create variances in how they perform and in what manner they must be used in order to work properly. Depending on the differing situations and environments where the touchscreen will operate, one type may be the better option over the other.

So let’s reflect on the distinction between resistive as well as capacitive touchscreens in order to uncover which of the two types may ultimately be the most advantageous for you and your business.

Reasons one may prefer Resistive to Capacitive:

  • Resistive touchscreen technology is more affordable than that of the capacitive touchscreen alternative
  • Resistive touchscreens have higher resolution (4096 x 4096 DPI or higher), providing more accurate touch control
  • Unlike capacitive touchscreens, resistive touchscreen technology can detect a touch by fingers as well as other non-conductive materials such as a stylus or gloved fingers
  • Resistive touchscreens provide higher resistance to water and dust
  • Resistive touchscreens are not affected by Electromagnetic Interference, whereas capacitive touchscreens are susceptible to EMI
  • Due to the fact that capacitive touchscreens are made with a glass panel, they are more likely to require an anti-glare or an anti-reflective coating than a resistive screen if it is to be used in a brightly lit area
  • Resistive touchscreens are the better suited technology for handwriting recognition than the capacitive option

Reasons one may choose the Capacitive option to the Resistive:

  • No physical pressure is required when using capacitive touchscreen technology
  • Capacitive touchscreens are more responsive to touch than a resistive screen
  • Capactive touchscreens support multi-touch
  • Capacitive touchscreens are easier to clean
  • Capacitive touchscreens provide higher resistance to scratches and impacts and, overall, tend to be more durable than its resistive counterpart
  • About 90% of light is transmitted from the display monitor of a capacitive touchscreen, causing better contrast and clarity than resistive touchscreens, which transmit only 75% of light from the display monitor
  • The display on a capacitive touchscreen looks brighter and sharper than the resistive option since the capacitive monitors use a layer of glass rather than plastic
  • Capacitive touchscreens do not require occasional recalibration which is necessary for some resistive touchscreens

 

All in all, you will find that either type of touchscreen enhances and simplifies the user experience, but knowing the difference in the two versions will allow you to determine which is best suited for your particular application. In doing so, you are sure to come away with the touchscreen that will optimize capability as well as productivity when in use.

As might be expected, even when keeping all of the factors which we just covered in mind, there are still other concerns that may come into play when considering your distinct touchscreen needs. With the numerous ways that touchscreens can play a role in day-to-day tasks, it is always in your best interest to consult with your manufacturer for proposals and solutions to the challenges that you may specifically face with touchscreen utilization. Together, we are likely to come up with an appropriate custom touchscreen design to maximize efficiency, affordability, and effectiveness for you.

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

Copyright © 2016 Wilson Hurd, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Wilson Hurd Mfg. Co.
311 Winton St.
Wausau, WI 54402

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Designing a Touchscreen: Where to Begin

Touchscreens are gaining popularity with manufacturers as an alternative to other switching technologies, and it is easy to see why. When it comes to user interfaces, touchscreens have successfully changed the way electronic equipment is used by simplifying the user experience and eliminating the need for buttons or keys. If you are considering incorporating a touchscreen into the design of your product, there are key items that you should consider.

First you should understand the difference between a resistive touchscreen and a capacitive touchscreen.

Resistive TouchscreenResistive Touchscreen Illustration

A resistive touchscreen is constructed using two clear conductive layers (typically a glass or acrylic substrate and a polyester top sheet) that are separated by insulating dots. When the user touches the screen and compresses the top flexible layer, electrical contact occurs between the top and bottom layer.

Capacitive TouchscreenCapacitive Touchscreen IllustrationRGB

Voltage is applied to the corners of a capacitive touchscreen and distributed by a pattern of electrodes located around the touchscreen periphery. This creates a uniform electric field across the conductive surface. When the user touches the screen with a conductive object (such as their finger), they are drawing a minute amount of current from the surface. This change in capacitance is measured at each point on the touchscreen allowing the touch position to be located.

Before you actually sit down and design your touchscreen, there are at least four main considerations you need to take into account:

  1. Environmental conditions
  2. Software requirements
  3. Firmware requirements
  4. Appearance

These will help you determine the materials and types of technology to utilize in your touchscreen. For each consideration there are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself:

Continue reading

Featured Projects: Electronic Theatre Controls

Capacitive 1

Wilson-Hurd has been honored to work with the Middleton, WI-based company Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) on a number of projects, including ETC’s own CEM3 System. The CEM3 System was designed by ETC to help reduce setup time, simplify system backups, and make the process of networking a lighting system run as smoothly as possible. The CEM3 platform provides a simple and risk-free way to control lighting on stages and touring events.

Wilson-Hurd’s engineering team was able to brainstorm and combine the most effective manufacturing capabilities to give the CEM3 System these key features:

  • Capacitive touch wheel for precise lighting controls
  • Extremely tight color control using digital/screen printed combination of graphics
  • Adjustable backlit keys & LEDs for easy viewing in dark control rooms
  • Precisely embossed keys to provide explicit snap action key response
  • Assembly of the keypad to powdered coated metal backpanel

US_Processor_Macro_Blue

For more information on Electronic Theatre Controls, please visit their website here.

To learn more about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities, please contact us at 800.950.5013 or e-mail us at sales@wilsonhurd.com.

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 marketing@wilsonhurd.com.