Heavy duty sensor technology brings advanced touch interaction

Zytronic’s patented Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT) has received another significant endorsement with the company’s innovative, highly durable touch sensors being chosen by leading Australian kiosk manufacturer FM Scanu for inclusion in systems deployed with mining giant BHP Billiton.

Designed to aid the management of mine personnel, the ruggedized kiosks, which each integrate a 17-inch (431.8mm) ZYPOS touch sensor, will be used by BHP Billiton miners to supply occupational health and safety information in a busy mine environment. It was absolutely crucial in such a demanding environment that the touchscreen was capable of reliable operation in areas where it would be constantly exposed to coal dust, grit, moisture and heavy use. It also needed to be able to function when touched by gloved or dirty hands, without risk of damage or impaired performance.

The proprietary PCT touch sensing mechanism developed by Zytronic comprises a matrix of micro-fine copper capacitors embedded within a laminated substrate and detects the lightest touch through a proprietary form of projected capacitive touch sensing based on frequency modulation. As a result of this high level of sensitivity, the sensor can be constructed from very thick glass or even placed safely behind and operated through a thick protective overlay of glass, plastic or other non-conductive material. This means the sensor and its operation is effectively impervious to extreme climatic conditions, liquids, severe scratches, vibration, or the build-up of dirt – factors likely to stifle the performance of almost all other touch sensing technologies, such as resistive or surface capacitive. Also, unlike infrared, optical or acoustic touch sensor techniques, PCT is not prone to drift over time and can be completely sealed into IP67 enclosures, making it highly optimised for demanding industrial, outdoor and/ or public-use touch interactivity. ZYPOS is part of Zytronic’s range of standard off-the-shelf projected capacitive touch sensors available in sizes between 7-inches and 20.1-inches.

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