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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Wilson-Hurd: Serving customers for over 100 years

When Wilson-Hurd was established in 1904, nobody had heard of a POP Display, or a Membrane Switch. Surely neither George Wilson nor Arthur Hurd would have imagined that these were the products their company would someday be providing to customers. Although the company, the clientele, the products themselves, and our employees’ fashion sense may have evolved over the years, one factor has always remained the same, and that is quality; the quality of our products, and the quality of our service.

In 1904 Wilson-Hurd was but a small factory located in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin manufacturing a patented bag holder that was designed for agricultural and industrial purposes. Almost 110 years later, Wilson-Hurd has 3 manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin. There is one manufacturing facility still in Wausau, although quite a bit larger than the former, along with 2 facilities in Berlin, Wisconsin. The company went from supplying bag holders, remembrance advertising and nameplates to producing Electronic Control Products, POP Displays, Medical Devices and Custom Metal & Plastic products.

Then and Now

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While initially the bag holder was Wilson-Hurd’s specialty, in 1919 the company decided to delve into the Remembrance Advertising market, producing blotter covers, thermometers, whiskbroom holders and hand held fans. 9 years later in 1928, Wilson-Hurd began to print and fabricate aluminum nameplates, which is something that we still specialize in today. Plastic was added to this division in 1979 when Wilson-Hurd began screen-printing and printing on plastic. As technology progressed, other opportunities arose for Wilson-Hurd. In 1993 the company’s Electronic Control Product division was established, kicking off a division of the company that would soon become one of its driving forces. With this new division, Wilson-Hurd began offering customized engineering solutions for data input devices.

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Wilson-Hurd’s Electronic Control Product division, or ECP for short, produces a wide variety of the highest quality customized electrical components including membrane switches, elastomeric, metal & plastic keypads, capacitive touch switches and PiezoPanels, along with Engineered solutions that are created specifically to meet the customer’s needs. Today, the ECP division has grown to include electronics for medical devices and machines such as hospital beds, and insulin pumps. Recently, Wilson-Hurd has started a Medical Contract Manufacturing division. This division focuses on developing monitoring, diagnostic, and therapeutic devices. In developing these products, we utilize modern materials and processes including conductive inks and medically approved substrates, to produce disposable hydrogel-based sensors for leading edge medical device owners.

While our ECP and Medical divisions were taking off, we also established our POP Division that creates a variety of POP display components including risers, signage, formed bases, unique logo plates, trim, electronic displays as well as appliqués for cosmetic packaging. Every single component that is created is custom designed to meet our customers’ needs. Over the years many new and exciting processes have become available for our POP Division customers including custom color matching, die-cutting, digital, screen and litho printing, large-format printing, laser cutting and more.

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In 2004 Wilson-Hurd celebrated 100 years of service. Although we  may no longer make bag holders, we do take pride in the quality of our POP Displays, Nameplates, Electronics and Medical Devices that we are able to create for our customers, many of which have been with us for decades. If we have not yet had the pleasure of doing business with you, we welcome you to take a look around our website, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn, or even sign up for our E-Newsletter, to learn more about us and the things we are capable of. Who knows… maybe you’ll decide to stick with us for the next 100 years!

Wilson-Hurd is headquartered in Wausau, WI with additional facilities in Berlin, WI. For more information on our company and what we can do for you, give us a call at 800-950-5013, or visit our websites; www.wilsonhurd.com; www.wilsonhurdelectronics.com; www.wilsonhurdpop.com

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