TECHNOLOGY ADVANTAGES
 

1. EXTREMELY RUGGED CONSTRUCTION.

2. IMPERVIOUS TO EXPOSED OUTDOOR
ENVIRONMENTS.


3. EASE OF INTEGRATION IN HARSH ENVIRONMENTS.

4. CONTROLLED TOUCH SENSITIVITY.

5. DIAGNOSTICS AND "SOFT" FAILURES.

6. CONTINUOUS SIGNAL WHEN TOUCHED.

7. ENHANCED TACTILE RESPONSE.

8. ADVANTAGES FOR MISSION CRITICAL APPLICATIONS: "SOFT" FAILURES, FAILURE PREDICTION AND FAILURE REPORTING.

NEMA 4X Touch Display
Designed by Touch Controls for use on Coast Guard vessels in Communication/Navigation systems. “Modular” stainless steel ActiveMetal™ switches are mounted in the stainless steel housing around the perimeter of the display.
 

1) EXTREMELY RUGGED CONSTRUCTION.
Solid metal construction and our proprietary sensing techniques allow us to fabricate the most vandal proof, outdoor compatible, rugged products on the market. ActiveMetal™ Switches actually sense touch through solid metal. There is no thin metal overlay as in piezo technology that is vulnerable to being pierced with a screwdriver or dented with a hammer. These products are explosion proof and insensitive to vibration and impact.

2) IMPERVIOUS TO EXPOSED OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS.
Products for this application must operate reliably in rainstorms, freezing rain, tropical heat, and dust storms. We have been successful in meeting these challenging environments principally because the switches are impervious to water and operate over a wide temperature range. Standard specification is -40 to +85 Celsius. When wider temperature range components are used, the switches function at a minimum of between -60 and +125 Celsius.

We have discovered a proprietary trapped ultrasonic mode that is insensitive to all water conditions, but senses fingers and any kind of glove pressure. This mode functions while completely submerged underwater to extreme depths.

3) EASE OF INTEGRATION IN HARSH ENVIRONMENTS.
Sealing is a critical issue in harsh environments. Our switches operate in virtually any metal, so any enclosure, panel or bezel can have switch positions defined from the rear surface. No need to drill holes or any additional sealing steps. The switches sense touch through metal and therefore do not affect the integrity and rating of an enclosure.

4) CONTROLLED TOUCH SENSITIVITY.
Touch sensitivity is microprocessor controlled and the touch detect circuit is inherently tolerant to electronic noise from nearby circuitry. This means that the switch responds reliably and consistently to a light touch from any kind of glove. The switch is insensitive to the rate of activation, no need to poke at it. It can also sense multiple levels of touch pressure; for example, one touch pressure level for select and a greater pressure to activate.

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5) DIAGNOSTICS AND 'SOFT' FAILURES.
Touch sensing is continuous and under microprocessor control which will indicate if a switch is working or not in real time. Using firmware algorithms it is very straightforward to report out failures and anticipated failures for each switch position. This is particularly useful for mission critical and remote applications and also enables us to replace a switch with either a standby or less mission critical position. When the switches are part of an integrated display bezel for example, switch functions can be indicated on the periphery of the display or with back lighting so that changes in switch position can be highlighted.

6) CONTINUOUS SIGNAL WHEN TOUCHED.
Every switch position gives a continuous signal when the switch threshold has been exceeded. This means the switch can be inexpensively multiplexed directly to the microprocessor. No need for a circuit at each position to store charge. Keyboards and keypads that require multiple switch positions are easily multiplexed. Each switch is sensed so quickly, (less than 200 microseconds per switch) that even a 130 position keyboard circuit is a very simple design.

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7) ENHANCED TACTILE RESPONSE.
Texzec switches have no moving parts and are fabricated in solid robust materials. This greatly increases reliability compared to any other existing switch products but requires a different approach to tactile feedback. We take advantage of the solid plate material by arranging for the back of the plate to be struck whenever a switch is activated. This gives an audible and vibratory response that is very effective. Contouring the front surface to give a finger a positive fit is an additional feature. This technology is well suited for use with inexpensive overlays that provide a conventional keyboard response but can be discarded or removed for aggressive sterilization. Applications such as food processing and pharmaceuticals can now have an input device that is insensitive to liquid spills and other contaminants but has a familiar tactile feel.

8) ADVANTAGES FOR MISSION CRITICAL APPLICATIONS: "SOFT" FAILURES, FAILURE PREDICTION AND FAILURE REPORTING:
Texzec's switches are a natural choice for Mission Critical applications. Due to their construction and absence of moving parts these components are very reliable. However, it's possible for any piece of equipment to fail, so in addition to high reliability, we offer the following unique options:

(a) Continuously reporting switch status. Three states are possible: Switch is good, Switch has failed, and Switch is about to fail.
(b) Switching a mission critical function to a known good device in the event of a switch failure (known as a soft failure).
(c) Predicting imminent failure.

See the Technology page for "How we do it"!

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