8 Useful New Features of Wilsonhurd.com

If you have visited Wilson-Hurd’s website sometime in the last 3 months, you might have noticed some major changes. On February 3rd, 2015 we launched our brand new corporate website, adding a variety of new features that are designed to make the product design and ordering process even easier for our customers and prospective clients. Take a look at some of the new things you can do on wilsonhurd.com:

1. Design Guidelines

Wilson-Hurd’s new Design Guidelines have been created by our Engineering department to assist you with the development of your custom Electronic Control Product. Each set of Design Guidelines features:

  • Important things to consider before designing your product
  • Construction details
  • Available materials
  • Tooling options
  • Electrical layout
  • Technical details
  • Word glossary defining important terms, and much more.

Design Guidelines are currently available for capacitive switches, elastomeric keypads, membrane switches, PiezoPanels, and Touchscreens, and can be found on their corresponding product pages.

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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:

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The Top 8 Advantages of Capacitive Switches

How many times a day do you think you use a capacitive switch? Probably more than you would think. For instance, when you touch the mouse on your laptop, change the temperature on your oven or use a smartphone, you are using capacitive switching.

Trends show that more manufacturers are incorporating capacitive switching technology into their new products. Two key reasons for selecting capacitive switching are its ability to withstand the harshest conditions, as well as its ease of maintenance when compared to other mechanical mechanisms.

Capacitive 4

 

What are the advantages?

  • Flexibility in design of product
  • The ability to sense through heavy and thick film materials, making the switch vandal proof
  • Reduced board space requirements
  • Cost-effective alternate to traditional switching technologies
  • A variety of non-conductive overlay materials can be used, including plastic, acrylic and glass
  • Easy integration of multiple functions including LED drivers and back-lighting
  • No mechanical components within switch eliminates potential mechanical failure, and will save you money on repairs and maintenance
  • There are multiple types of interfaces that capacitive switches can be used with, including buttons, sliders, touch-pads, touchscreens and proximity sensing

Where are they used?

  • Vending machines
  • ATMs
  • Smart phones
  • Tablets
  • Household appliances
  • Exercise equipment
  • Digital cameras
  • Industrial equipment
  • Computers
  • Automotive industry

If you would like to learn more about capacitive switches and to see how they operate, view our YouTube video below.

 


 

About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing Company specializes in the production of custom electronic control products including membrane switches, capacitive switches, PiezoPanels, elastomeric keypads, and touchscreens, in addition to medical contract manufacturing, point-of-purchase displays, printed electronics, nameplates, panels, dials, and overlays. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com, and contact us at 1.800.950.5013 or at sales@wilsonhurd.com. 

Four Benefits in Selecting a Contract Manufacturer For Your Medical Device

Hydrogel 2The decision between hiring a contract manufacturer or leaving the production up to your company may seem daunting. There are many factors to consider. Do you have the resources? The skills? The tools? Do you have a compliant manufacturing quality system? Leaving these tasks up to your company may be too much to handle. That’s why choosing a contract manufacturer may be the best decision for developing your medical devices. Here are some reasons why.

The Benefits

Cost Savings

  • Companies do not have to expend capital on facilities and systems.
  • Money can be saved on labor costs such as wages, training and benefits
  • Contract manufacturers may offer cost advantages such as in acquiring raw materials

Experience

  • Contract manufacturers utilize professionals experienced in design and development of all manufacturing processes
  • Experts use their knowledge to assist companies in selecting the right materials and tools for the product
  • Products are manufactured at a much faster rate

Hydrogel 1

Business Focus

  • Companies will focus on their core competencies once they hand the manufacturing of the device over to an outside source
  • Time can be saved on training or hiring of extra employees
  • Responsibility of project production can be placed on the professionals with years of experience

FDA Compliance

  • Guarantees the manufacturer meets all production standards and regulations for producing medical devices
  • ISO 13485 certification establishes a manufacturer’s credibility and commitment to quality
  • Emphasizes the cleanliness and safeness in the production area

INEEDMD Glove

Still wondering if contract manufacturing is right for you? Contact us and we can further discuss how Wilson-Hurd can help with your medical device!


About Wilson-Hurd:  Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, medical contract manufacturing, printed electronics, as well as nameplates & dials, overlays, and panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com, and contact us at 1.800.950.5013 or at sales@wilsonhurd.com

Printed Electronics: Endless Possibilities for Innovation

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you use something electronic in a day? Electronics have become a staple in people’s lives all over the globe, allowing us to communicate instantly with one another, make purchases online or in a store, and even get from Point A to Point B.

A great deal of engineering & design work can go into making these electronics, as well as complicated manufacturing processes. Thanks to advances in technology electronics are getting easier and cheaper to manufacture. One of the most efficient new manufacturing methods is the ability to print an entire electrical device on various substrates, a process resulting in Printed Electronics. Before we get into how these flexible devices can benefit you & your company, let’s first explain how they work.

What are Printed Electronics?

Various printing methods can be used to deposit electrically functional & optical inks onto a substrate. The inks can be deposited in any pattern to suit the type of application it is being made for. The result is a fully functional electronic device that can be thin & flexible, or more durable depending on what it’s for. Widths of traces can vary from super fine to broad.

Materials used for printed electronics can include polyester, polycarbonate, polyimide, and FR-4. Substrates can then be coated to protect the printed pattern. Top-performing inks, coatings, & plating include:

  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Nickel
  • Gold
  • Silver/Carbon

The printed electronic devices can then be molded, cut (laser or die), or formed into any required shape.

Printed Electronics Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

What are the Advantages?

The versatility of printed electronics is a huge draw for all manufacturers and markets. Some common applications for printed electronics include:

  • Antennas (VHF, UHF, RF)
    • Digital TV
    • Wireless
    • Security
  • Disposable Medical Items
  • Flexible Circuits
  • Flexible Pressure & Temperature Sensors
  • Automotive Embedded Circuits
  • Contour-Shaped Products
  • Printed Memory & Batteries
  • Wearable Technology

Printed electronics have also been used for flexible displays, animated posters, smart labels, and even clothing. When you start to think about what could be done in the future with printed electronics and all the different uses that they could serve, a multitude of possibilities open up.

While versatility is one huge benefit of printed electronics, another is low-cost volume fabrication. With the ability to create more electronic devices at a lower cost to you, it is a win-win situation. Some companies have even started to develop disposable printed electronics specifically for the medical industry where sterilization is always a concern. Patients can use the electronic device, and then dispose of it when they are done with it, something you wouldn’t want to do with an expensive circuit board.

Printed Electronics 3 Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

What are the Possibilities?

Every day scientists and engineers are coming up with innovative new ways that printed electronics can be used in all kinds of applications. It could be that someday instead of having to visit your doctor for a check-up, you put on a disposable monitor that can send your health information straight to your doctor’s office over the internet.

Perhaps someday we’ll be able to wear workout clothing that can monitor your heart rate, distance, & number of calories burned during a run, or maybe we’ll be able to wear a t-shirt that uses solar activity to charge our cell phone.

There are an infinite amount of possibilities; your next step is discovering what printed electronics can do for you.

Printed Electronics 1 Copyright Wilson-Hurd 2014

Wilson-Hurd Manufacturing specializes in the production of custom electronic control products, printed electronics, contract medical manufacturing, point-of-purchase displays, and metal & plastic nameplates, overlays, dials & panels. Wilson-Hurd was founded in 1904, and is headquartered in Wausau, WI, with additional locations in Berlin, WI.

For more information on Wilson-Hurd and our capabilities, visit our website at www.wilsonhurd.com, and contact us at 1.800.950.5013 or at sales@wilsonhurd.com

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