Human-Machine Interface Design and Development
Epec Engineered Technologies offers complete engineering support for all our HMI solutions. Our Engineering Team provides full design and development of any human-machine interface product from User Interface (UI) design, screen specification, and HMI software.
Our HMI Capabilities Include:
- Mechanical and Electrical Design
- LCD/Touch Screen Integration
- High Tech Light Guide Films
- Interface(HMI) Software and Firmware Development
Electronic Human Machine Control Panel
Mechanical and Electrical Design
Understanding the application requirements allows our team to create a design that will be cost effective and meet all of your requirements. Which could be everything from using a medical grade optically bonded touch panels, a 5-7 year non-obsolescence commitment, with EMI shielding for an operating room device to a low cost combination of a rubber keypad with a specially designed polycarbonate and adhesive stack-up for an industrial cleaning product.
Our in-house engineering teams will work directly with you to solve any design challenges you may face.
Design Challenges May Include:
- HMI designs using the smallest possible footprint
- Designing the interface to be waterproof for wash down applications
- Integrating metal back panels, bezels, or plastic enclosures
LCD/Touch Screen Integration
Traditional user interface manufacturers usually just help you specify LCD or Touch Screen hardware into your device- as long as you give them the make and model number of the touch screen. We focus on working collaboratively to best understand the application in terms of operating environment, viewing angle, ruggedness (does it need to be optically bonded, correct type (capacitive or resistive), the size, and many other factors.
Over the years we have created methods to calculate the correct stack-ups and manage the spacing between protective overlays and the LCD or touch screen. In-experienced designers fail to factor in the proper spacing and place the screen too close or too far away from the protective cover which creates a condition known as "newton's rings" or "aliasing".
Newton's rings are a phenomenon in which an interference pattern is created by the reflection of light between two surfaces. Bright rings are caused by constructive interference between the light rays reflected from both surfaces while the dark rings are caused by destructive interference, in turn causing the display to be illegible.
High Tech Light Guide Films
Using a thin back lighting panel enables clean and isolated visual feedback without adding cost. Back lighting panels can drive lower cost while still providing high durability and easy assembly. Alternate color or icon lighting provides visual verification of the selection and switch operation. It provides a visual cue and operation feedback in packages that are rugged, cleanable, and weatherproof.
The technology of using custom light guide film with side firing LEDs allows us to incorporate different colors to the same area without hot spots. There is also the ability to add motion and programming to the interface all inside of a very thin stack-up.
Interface Software and Firmware Development
Part of the function of a human-machine interface is to communicate operating conditions of the device to trigger an alert or a response from the operator. Not only are we capable of designing and building hardware but we can design and incorporate operating software into the interface.
Software and Firmware Examples:
- User Menu Displays. Everything from start-up/shut down menus, operating instructions or graphical interface commands.
- Managing device inputs to trigger events. Including:
- Serial Input/Output Interface
- Bluetooth and Wireless Communications
- SD Card and USB Communication
- Pressure/Flow Switches
- TDS Meters
- Pressure Transducers
- Temperature Sensors
- Voltage/Current Sensors
- Battery Status
- Temperature/Humidity Sensors
- Valves and Mechanical Switches
- Data logging/Storage – Being able to store historical data within the device in order to retrieve at a later date for warranty or repair purposes.
- Customize the software and displays to provide up to 24 different languages on the display with only one model number. The user can select the language upon startup.
- Managing firmware updates over time to keep your devices current with new technology.
The experience we've had with different Micro Controller platforms allows us to design and customize the most cost effective solutions for all your needs.