Application of displays in industry
Whether it’s an industry associated with potentially “dirty” conditions (e.g. fuel and energy industry, metallurgical or mineral industry – mines, refineries, steel mills, etc., production of means of transportation (and other machinery)) or “clean” (e.g., food industry, production of laundry or cosmetic products, pharmaceutical plants), in almost each of these areas there are factors such as pollution (e.g., dust), risk of flooding (not just water) or extremes of low and high temperatures, as well as various types of disturbances, vibrations and oscillations. Nonetheless, as in other areas, the use of electronics, including screen modules, is also becoming more common in industry. Due to the conditions in the environment in which the device will be operated, in this type of applications it is necessary to reach for components with exorbitant parameters, which then need to be properly protected, for example, by placing them in an enclosure with an appropriate level of leakage.
The industry uses a variety of data visualization technologies – often used, for example, are monochrome solutions such as OLED displays, which perform well in extreme conditions. In OLED technology, each pixel is made up of an OLED diode or diodes, so it is an independent source of light, which makes the content presented on this type of screen perfectly readable regardless of the ambient conditions. In addition, OLED displays are capable of operating at extremely low and high temperatures – currently their standard operating temperature range is between -40 and 80°C.
The primary way to protect display modules from, for example, dust or water getting inside them, is to isolate them from potential contamination or flooding by using an appropriate seal. The next step is to place them in an enclosure with the appropriate tightness, which is defined by the IP code. The highest level of waterproofing is hidden under the IP69 designation – these are enclosures that are completely dust- and waterproof. This level is required, among other things. For some equipment used in the food industry.
Touch screens in industry
Tactile solutions are increasingly being used in industrial applications. This is made possible by advanced calibration of the touch sensors. Unisystem’s engineers are able to tune them so that they ensure proper functioning even in the case of, among other things. the use of latex/nitrile or rubber gloves or the presence of water on the screen surface, as well as other substances such as oil or grease. Moreover, if – due to the design of the device – it is necessary to introduce, for example, a button or knob in the design, you do not have to give up the touch function. The protective/decorative glass, which is applied to the touch sensors, can be shaped quite freely, not only in terms of shape; holes can also be cut in it for the required mechanical components.
Displays for HMI control panels
The design of control panels has changed over the years – from solutions with buttons, switches, dials or meters/counters to solutions where screens dominate, including those with touch functionality.
Control panels most often use LCD-TFT displays with appropriately selected parameters. The usual solutions are 5 to 10 inches diagonal. To ensure the best readability of the content, it is worth choosing models with a brightness of up to at least 750 cd/m2 (and even 1,000 cd/m2 for extremely brightly lit spaces). An added advantage will be full viewing angles providing access to the presented content from almost any plane. If the device is intended to operate at extremely low or high temperatures, it is best to use models with the widest possible operating temperature ranges (at least -20~70°C).
Displays for portable measuring devices
From the perspective of the user of a portable measuring device, the most important thing is the accuracy of the measurement taken. However, he will certainly appreciate the ability to efficiently read the data from the screen, and this is conditioned by the selection of appropriate data visualization technology.
OLED displays are popular solutions used in portable measurement devices. Their monochromatic variants are perfect for presenting simple messages, for example, the values achieved for the measurements taken. If the screens will be used to present graphs, for example, LCD-TFT displays with parameters adapted to the environment will be a worthwhile alternative. Models that can find application in such devices are, for example, the several-inch LCD-TFT displays supplied by Winstar. Among them are modules adapted to work in demanding conditions – these include. “high brightness” series variants, with high brightness (as high as 1000 cd/m2) and “wide temperatures,” with wide operating temperature ranges (as low as -30~80/85°C). An undoubted advantage will be the full observation angles, which will make it possible to read data from different planes (this will be important especially when taking measurements in places where access is difficult).