California-based SCHURTER Inc now offering in-house production of PCAP touchscreens.
The manufacturing of things like displays has largely moved offshore over the years, so it’s great to be able to tell a different story. For example, SCHURTER Inc has announced the opening of a new, high-end production room in its Santa Rosa, California location. For the first time in 40 years, SCHURTER Inc will be known to its American customers as a manufacturer of projected-capacitive (PCAP) touchscreens in addition to its well-established reputation for distributing electronic components.
The Swiss based global electronic component supplier looks forward to providing its North American customers with locally manufactured, complete PCAP touch solutions from its newly constructed PCAP production suite. In addition to state-of-the-art machines, a well-trained staff will oversee the manufacturing of small to large touchscreens and will be fully equipped to handle the most complex PCAP projects, from prototype to pre-test to finished product.
SCHURTER Inc has enjoyed longstanding success in the design, development, and manufacturing of membrane, resistive, and capacitive input system solutions. Originating in SCHURTER Inc Germany, touchscreen production and sales in Europe evolved to other locations in the region and—more recently—production was implemented in China. Based on these successes, the company decided to expand into the North American market.
Conventional user interfaces are increasingly being replaced by advanced display technologies. Touchscreens are rapidly becoming the preferred technology for interfaces in industries such as medical and industrial automation.
PCAP multi-touch functionality is preferred over other types of touchscreens such as resistive or surface capacitive because it offers superior touch sensitivity, accuracy, and durability. PCAP touchscreens can detect multiple touch points simultaneously and respond quickly to gestures such as swiping, pinching, and zooming. They also have a longer lifespan and are less prone to wear and tear, making them ideal for demanding environments.
In the White Room
To ensure consistency in the quality of finished PCAP touchscreens, compliance with highly exacting processes for assembling the display materials is key. SCHURTER Inc’s PCAP production operates in a standard, dust-free “white room.” Since a dust-free environment is critical at every stage of the production process to prevent contamination of any of the materials used in the process, the production area contains a special tent with an ISO-7 rating that covers and protects the laminator machine from dust particles.
Lamination and autoclave
A special laminator machine is used to assemble the customer-facing part of the display, so aesthetics are critical at this stage. The laminator comes with unique cameras to optimize accuracy in alignment and guarantee that there are no stray dust particles that may have been overlooked.
The next major step is the autoclaving of the laminated display. The heat, combined with the compression system, further solidifies the bonding process to eliminate residual air gaps.
Human + cobot = team
Collaborative robots (cobots) have many functions and are used not only for assembling, loading, and fixing, but also for laminating, potting, and quality inspection. A cobot assists in the assembly to peg the parts together in perfect alignment. With its six or seven axes and intuitive programming, new tasks can be learned quickly, which benefits fast-moving and constantly evolving production conditions.
The integration of cobots into the assembly process leads to an increase in quality, lower tolerances in the positioning of components, constant parameters in processing due to defined press-in forces, and controlled volumes in potting. Extremely short changeover times to produce different customer-specific products are a significant advantage.
Applications and customer successes
PCAP touchscreens for use in ATEX (equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres) environments, outdoor applications, vending and point-of-sales machines, food processing systems, heavy-duty machinery, and medical devices, all fall in the realm of SCHURTER Inc competences.
As one example, a company known for developing medical devices for over fifty years partnered with SCHURTER Inc to develop the world’s first device that can read and program the control unit that communicates with a medical device implanted in a patient in a completely wireless manner using SCHURTER Inc components with low electromagnetic radiation. During the development process, SCHURTER Inc-specific knowledge played an important role in reducing the customer’s production costs. SCHURTER Inc’s support endures with continuous optimization of materials and production processes—a constant feature at SCHURTER Inc as customers iterate their next generation of products.
Another customer turned to SCHURTER Inc for quality and unique innovation in the early stages for a design renewal of their interoperative nerve monitor, where automated and intuitive technologies ensure the highest level of user-friendliness and maximum efficiency in a future-oriented everyday operating environment. Based on the customer’s requirement for an innovation that enables fast and intuitive operation of the device in the operating environment, SCHURTER Inc developed a qualification plan adapted to the specifications. Samples were produced for qualification tests, and the prototype was further developed iteratively until it was set for series production.
Other industry areas of expertise are water-resistant PCAP touchscreens designed to safely withstand liquids that can otherwise cause malfunctions, such as outdoor applications, marine equipment, food automation equipment, medical devices, and sanitary applications.
Working with our team
In close cooperation with our customers, SCHURTER Inc designs and develops optimum solutions that are tuned and programmed to their needs. If you choose to work with SCHURTER Inc, your PCAP touch solution will be a perfect fit in your application. From the outset, you will be assigned a dedicated engineer to work with you to customize your design. Our engineers consider the long-term benefits of every single component selected for your device to anticipate and eliminate product shortcomings, avoid integration roadblocks, and prevent failures down the road.
SCHURTER Inc’s competence and expertise make us the ideal partner for your new human-machine interface (HMI) project. The earlier we are involved in your project, the more value we can add, and the more likely we can help you to avoid problems down the line.