Selecting a Touchscreen for an Industrial Application

Touchscreen monitors are an ideal tool for any industrial, production or manufacturing environment. Some touchscreens are ideal for working in dirty environments as they can tolerate dirt and moisture that would quickly disable a keyboard or a mouse, whilst other varieties of touch screen are incredibly durable able to withstand the most ham-fisted operator.

Touchscreens are incredibly flexible this is because touchscreen monitors are based on numerous different types of technology and the application that the touchscreen display is required for, should govern the type of touchscreen technology employed.

For instance, resistive touchscreens work by using a thin, flexible membrane separated from the glass screen. The surface has a transparent metallic coating that when touched closes an electrical circuit, triggering the Graphical User interface software (GUI the software that recognises the position on the screen.

This makes resistive touchscreens one of the least expensive methods of implementing touchscreen technology. However, resistive touchscreens are easily scratched or damaged which doesn’t make it ideal for industrial use, however, a resistive touch screen does offer high levels of sensitivity.

Capacitive touchscreens on the other hand are ideal for industrial applications. Capacitive touchscreens have no membrane, and as the touch sensitive electrodes at the corners are inside the glass this makes them incredibly durable with even surface scratches not affecting the sensitivity. Many industrial touchscreen monitors work this way.

Other methods of touch screen technology exist including surface acoustic wave; strain-gauge and infra-red although these are less common but are to be found in applications that require the extra durability or extra sensitivity that these other methods can provide.

Following technological advances and the use of touch screen in mobile phones, touch screen is now cheaper and more efficient than ever before. Some argue that it touchscreens are soon to replace the trusty mouse. Whether the mouse survives or not, with the next generation of operating systems such as Windows 7 being designed for touchscreen it is a technology that is here to stay.

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