Everything You Need To Know About Membrane Switches

What are Membrane Switches?

A membrane switch is a user interface device that is made up of several layers and used as a switch to turn a device on or off. Unlike mechanical switches, which are generally constructed with copper and plastics, membrane switches are printed circuits on film.

 

How do Membrane Switches Work?

The design behind most membrane switches is simple: when an operator presses a button, a contact is made activating the circuit. When the operator releases the button the contact ends deactivating the circuit.

 

How are Membrane Switches Made?

The design and manufacturing process behind membrane switches is one e2ip technologies  handles with much care and creativity. Membrane switches are made by printing a carbon or silver ink onto various substrates. A customized graphic overlay is then applied to the film. At e2ip technologies , we offer a wide range of graphic layer material, including polyester, antimicrobial polyester, polycarbonate, blends, and silicone. These pliable, durable materials are where “membrane” switches get their name.

Where are Membrane Switches Used?

Membrane switches are used in a number of applications, including in medical, aerospace, defense, industrial, and transport industries. They are often used for keypads, control panels in aircrafts, touch screen phones, and kidney dialysis machines—just to name a few.

Membrane switches are revered for their durability and flexibility, especially in high or low-temperature environments. They are also known for their reliability and high conductivity.

Types of Membrane Switches

There are two main types of membrane switches, each performing different functions on the circuit board

Tactile. Tactile switches are designed to provide a response when pressed by an actuator or finger. An overlay over the switch has symbols or letters used to designate the function of each switch. Generally, these switches are designed using metal domes. When pressed, the metal dome pushes against a conductive footprint, causing an action to happen.

Non-tactile. This type of switch operates with the same concept as a tactile switch but does not elicit a tactile response. With the bottom of the overlay connecting to a conductive pad, non-tactile switches are self-contained units.

At e2ip technologies, we provide a variety of membrane switches for applications in the medical, aerospace, defense, industrial, and transport industries. Our engineering and design teams are committed to providing you with a durable, reliable, and eco-friendly product, guaranteed to improve efficiency within your business. Contact us today for more information about our products.

Achieve Your Design Goals with Novel Backlighting Solutions

As the demand for enriched user experiences and sleeker technology shows no signs of abating, engineering and design teams, across a range of industries, are requiring thinner and more advanced lighting solutions to meet their design needs.

Although existing LED light products are often used, today’s design requirements require backlighting solutions that offer greater design possibilities. The result is that companies are always on the lookout for new backlighting solutions that can provide their products with a competitive edge.

From reigning in the cost of development to permitting new design possibilities and other benefits, Lumifilm® technology has set itself apart from traditional backlighting solutions to usher in a new era of design freedom. Whether the application relates to human machine interfaces, membrane switches, retail displays, decoration, signage, smart-touch surfaces or other electromechanical systems, Lumifilm® ensures even illumination through uniform backlighting that avoids hot spots and shadowed areas.

What is Lumifilm®?

Based on the principle of light guide film, this technology enables the creation of ultra-thin backlighting systems. Light is injected inside a thin film by a light-emitting diode (LED) source which is attached to the edge of the film.

The surface of the film contains printed dot patterns, which are obtained through a screen printing process. When the light diffuses across the surface and hits the printed dots pattern, it creates an illumination effect optimized in a way that ensures a uniform light output. This helps the light sheet avoid problems, such as hot spots and shadowed areas.

What Sets Lumifilm® Apart From Other Light Guide Films?

Unlike the traditional light guide technology that is often used in combination with translucent material, Lumifilm® overcomes the usual challenges of hot spots, light leaks and shadows through a unique, proprietary solution.

In Lumifilm® applications, light is injected by a LED source inside a thin film and is then conducted via Total Internal Reflection (TIR) and extracted locally with printed dots. What sets Lumifilm® apart is the use of e2ip’s proprietary algorithm that has been specifically created for light optimization. n. In addition, e2ip’s design of the dot pattern provides bright and consistent light output.

Lumifilm® is an innovative material that takes LED lighting and design to the next level, and it can be used in any number of applications or applied to custom shapes. Specifically engineered to be integrated into the thinnest application, Lumifilm® offers greater design freedom and lighting solution possibilities than other options on the market, and works well even when the space between components may be highly limited.

What’s best, non-recurring engineering and production costs are remarkably low when using this kind of light source, which eliminates the need to invest in hard tools, such as molds.​ This kind of next-generation printed LED backlighting is flexible, lightweight, and can satisfy all design needs.

Where can Lumifilm® be used?

Lumifilm® technology permits a wide variety of printed backlighting solutions for applications across a diverse range of sectors. Because this technology can be applied to virtually any backlight solution, Lumifilm® can help create new, improved products for the industries as diverse as aerospace, medical technology, telecommunications, defense and transportation, amongst others.

The LEDs are available in a variety of colors and the backlit surface can be customized into any desirable shape, backlighting anything from molded plastics to translucent materials.

Backlighting Solutions for Diverse Design Needs

As a backlighting source, Lumifilm® is a thin, uniform, versatile and customizable light guide film that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.

If you want to learn more about how Lumifilm® technology, in conjunction with design support from ideation to fabrication, can open up a new world of design possibilities contact e2ip Technologies to speak with a specialist.

Embedded Control, Communications and Human Machine Interface Systems

From medical devices to factory automation, there are many embedded systems all around us that have changed how we interact with the world. Advanced embedded control, communications and human machine interface (HMI) systems are responsible for delivering responsive and elegant user experiences across a wide range of industries.

In this blog post, we will explore embedded systems in modern technology and the features and functionality required of touchscreen HMI modules to create the next generation of devices, with a look towards the design and engineering challenges that have held back many industry stakeholders.

What are Embedded Systems?

Embedded systems perform specific tasks with larger machines and devices. There are many types of embedded systems, and they can be found everywhere from industrial machines to  medical equipment to aerospace components.

Industrial embedded systems often have an embedded operating system and embedded software to perform specific monitoring and control functions. Similarly, modern medical equipment contains a wide variety of embedded systems for sensors and control mechanisms.

A basic embedded system is a computing system with its own hardware and software that can interact with various input and output devices. Their hardware and software complexities can vary significantly from application to application, ranging from having no user interface (UI) – for example, on devices designed to perform a single task within a mobile embedded system – to complex graphical user interfaces, such as the smart surfaces found in modern aircraft interior controls.

Embedded System Applications

Embedded systems are required in a wide range of industries, including the food & beverage, energy, medical, manufacturing, instrumentation and white goods sectors. Each of these industries has its own unique needs, but all of them require embedded systems that are reliable, efficient and easy to use.

The food & beverage industry requires embedded systems that can withstand harsh environments and provide accurate measurements. Embedded systems in the energy sector must be able to handle large amounts of data and be highly energy efficient. Medical embedded systems need to be small, lightweight and easy to sterilize. And manufacturing embedded systems must be rugged and able to withstand the rigors of the production line.

No matter the industry, embedded systems must be designed with the user, as much as the application, in mind. The best embedded systems are those that are reliable, easy to use and provide a great user experience.

Embedded Systems in Healthcare

Healthcare devices and equipment, such as diagnostic equipment and imaging systems, rely on embedded control systems. Examples of HMIs and embedded systems working in conjunction include digital flow sensors, magnetic resonance imaging machines, patient monitoring systems, and more medical technology.

Furthermore, the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) presents new opportunities for embedded operating systems in healthcare. For example, future wearables with real-time operating system capabilities may track health data, such as vital signs, and transmit it to healthcare service providers for instantaneous monitoring and diagnosis.

Embedded Systems & Consumer Product Innovation

The world of consumer products has always looked for ways to deliver increased functionality, however, adapting HMI modules to allow for the integration of more advanced assemblies to industry needs and demands has proven to be quite challenging. In order to meet the needs of next-generation products, embedded system design must include elegant human machine interfaces and effective communication technology, especially for the digital data needs of networked embedded systems, and intuitive controls.

Human Machine Interfaces

Human machine interfaces (HMIs) are essential for allowing users to interact with embedded systems. HMIs can take many different forms, including buttons, touchscreens, keyboards and voice-activated controls.

The best HMIs are those that are easy to use and provide a great user experience. When designing an HMI, there are a few key considerations that must be taken into account. First, the HMI must be appropriate for the specific application. For example, a button may be fine for a simple function, but more complex applications call for smarter HMI touch surfaces that are scalable, reusable, connected and secure. Also, the HMI must be durable and able to meet necessary certification standards.

Integrated HMI Modules

 

As the world becomes increasingly connected, the need for advanced HMI designs is also on the rise. These add-on HMI modules allow for the integration of more complex features into your HMI assemblies, such as LCD interface technology, data storage and processing, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and more. This way, you can meet the growing connectivity demands of all modern interfaces and smart surfaces.

These modules are fully integrated into existing systems, allowing for deep and complete embedding into the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) product. With these modules at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create the next generation of truly connected devices.

For example, the a typical touch screen stack-up includes:

  • Front Bezel
  • Sealing Gasket
  • Resistive Touch Panel
  • Mounting Tape
  • LCD Panel and Chassis
  • Touch Screen Controller
  • Metal Shield
  • Rear Housing Display
Embedded systems provide the computing power needed to make devices and machines smarter and more efficient. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, embedded systems will play an even more important role in our lives.

Communication Technology

One of the most important design aspects of any embedded system is its ability to communicate with other computing systems. Communication can take many different forms, including wired, wireless, Bluetooth and WiFi. In order for an embedded system to function properly, it must be designed to communicate with other systems in a variety of ways.

Whether a small scale embedded system with limited communication needs, or medium-scale embedded systems with more comprehensive communication requirements, effective communication should be a cornerstone of embedded system design.

 

Intuitive Controls

Embedded systems are everywhere, from the thermostat in your home to the navigation system in your car. They are designed to control the environment around them in order to function properly. Controls can take many different forms, including sensors, actuators and embedded controllers.

The best embedded systems are those that are easy to use and provide a great user experience. In order to achieve this, developers must have a strong understanding of how users interact with their systems. They must also be able to design controls that are simple and intuitive to use. When done correctly, embedded systems can greatly improve the quality of our lives by changing the way we interact with our environment.

Engineering and Design Challenges

When designing sophisticated embedded systems, engineers need to consider scalability, reusability, security, and connectivity as often embedded systems must communicate with other systems and output devices.

Creating a system that is easy to use and provides a great user experience is one of the biggest challenges when designing embedded systems. In order to create a system that meets this criteria, engineers must clearly understand how the operator will interact with the system’s human machine interface (HMI).

To create a reliable system, engineers must develop technological specifications that meet exacting electrical, mechanical, and environmental certifications imposed by both governments and industries.

Embedded systems are changing the way we interact with our environment. These systems are becoming more sophisticated, yet easier to use. As embedded systems continue to evolve, engineers will face new challenges in designing these systems. But, with careful planning and innovation, these challenges can be overcome.

The Future of Embedded Devices & Systems

Embedded control systems provide numerous benefits, including cost-effectiveness, improved safety and convenience with wide-ranging applications for operational improvements in many sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, communications, defense, and industrial technology.

At e2ip technologies, our team believes that customized embedded systems represent an opportunity to greatly improve the utility and user experience offered by many different types of technology.

Our designers and engineers are familiar with the many environments that would benefit from additional freeform control units, thanks to extensive experience in the aerospace, medical, defense and industrial technology sectors.

Contact us today to learn why we are the ideal partner to produce your custom assembly.

Human Machine Interfaces for Military Applications

User Experience in Defense Industry Applications

In order to be prepared for anything, military equipment requires a ruggedized design that can withstand extreme conditions. More importantly, it must have an interface that facilitates the actions required of personnel.

For personnel on the ground, actions and reaction times can literally have life-or-death consequences. Because the success of any military operation relies on the operator’s ability to make correct decisions, human-machine interfaces (HMIs) can play an integral role in enabling them. This is why HMIs for military or defense applications have particularly rigorous demands.

HMIs must meet the highest standards of ruggedization, but also make use of a holistic design that promotes a more efficient and effective user experience. Well-designed HMIs facilitate decision-making and execution by aligning intentions with actions; they provide a frictionless user experience that enables the full range of potential user actions.

Durable Materials & Robust Specifications for High-Performance HMIs

The technologies used in HMIs reflect the fact that it is now necessary to control and monitor complex systems using a single, versatile interface. Integrating this level of control into a system presents significant design challenges, as a variety of inputs and outputs may be required, and because they must be included without sacrificing ruggedization requirements.

In order to meet these extreme demands, e2ip technologies designs, engineers and manufactures keyboard platforms and reinforced housings for Human Machine Interfaces that meet the highest standards for operability in adverse conditions.

Certified for multiple activations, extreme temperature and pressure ranges, as well as resistance to vibrations, moisture, seawater, sand and dust, our HMI housings and platforms are suitable for critical mission applications, military aircraft cabin or cockpit applications, as well as ground equipment communication systems.

Custom HMIs from E2IP TECHNOLOGIES

Performance can never be compromised by conditions. Our products offer protection against dirt, debris and liquids with excellent high ambient light/sunlight and off-angle readability, as well as offering outstanding night vision.

Our custom assemblies can include optically balanced backlighting (with or without night vision imaging system compatibility), projected capacitive or resistive touch screens, and displays and printed circuit board assemblies with numerous switch options and activation forces protected by machined or cast aluminum housings. They can also include injection-molded plastic housings, with electromagnetic interference / electrostatic discharge shielding as well as hermetic sealing.

Communication Control Panel

Communication selector boxes are a primary user interface for land command support systems, including voice and data services. They improve soldiers’ ability to select and change radio frequency bands in real time, to help provide seamless communications.

Product characteristics:

  • Multiple activations (1M actuations as per ASTM F1578)
  • Operational at high (6H at + 85°C) and low temperatures (4H at -46°C)
  • Storage in very warm (+85°C) and cold (-46°C) environments
  • Moisture-resistant (240H 85%-95% RH @+30°C to +60°C IAW MIL-STD-810F, Method 507.5)
  • Seawater-resistant (10 days IAW MIL-STD-810G, Method 509.5)
  • Sand and dust-resistant (36H IAW MIL-STD-810G, Method 510.5, Procedure I and II)
  • Pressure (13 psi and –2.5 psi @ +21°C)
  • Vibrations (IAW MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6, Procedure I and II)

Integrated Switch Panel

Designed, engineered, and manufactured to meet the challenging demands faced by the defense industry, our integrated switch panels provide great tactile feedback for easy use and are independently sealed for protection from the environment.

Custom Touch Screen Solutions

Back by top-level certifications and years of experience, our ruggedized, weather-resistant custom touch screen solutions can be adapted to suit any defense industry need.

E2IP TECHNOLOGIES -A Trusted Defense Industry Partner

e2ip technologies is a trusted partner of the defense industry, delivering reliable solutions to the most complex, mission-critical challenges.

Enabled by extensive expertise and top-level certifications, including ASTM F1578, IAW MIL-STD-810F, and AS9100C, our keyboard platforms and reinforced housings for human-machine interfaces are designed to withstand high temperatures, extreme vibrations, hard impacts and electrical interference.

With a deep understanding of the reliability and precision requirements of our defense industry partners, we design and deliver world-class solutions for aircraft cabin and cockpit applications, ground vehicle communication systems and other mission-critical applications.

Printed Lighting Solutions: A Promising And Flexible Technology

Printed lighting solutions unite two worlds: printing and technology. These flexible, versatile, and durable products are used in organizations worldwide. The advantages of printed lighting solutions are myriad, ranging from improved performance to flexibility, and to a low ecological footprint.

Definition

Printed lights are like light bulbs in the shape of paper: thin, flat, and pliable. At e2ip technologies, we offer a variety of printed lighting solutions but there is one technology in particular that stands out for its innovative features: PDT (Printed Diffuser Technology). Based on the principle of thin light guides, this technology enables the creation of ultra-thin backlighting systems. The light is sent and reflected in an optical polymer on which diffusing dots are printed. Thanks to our unique solution we are capable of using a lower amount of LEDs, diffuse uniform lighting and enhance product performance.

Printed lighting solutions are extremely thin, and can be applied virtually anywhere, including in the transportation, aerospace, and defense industries. These thin lights are available in a variety of colors and are an efficient light source alternative.

Applications

  • Decorations
  • Backlighting solutions
  • Advertising panels
  • Aircraft cabin lighting
  • Signage
  • Packaging
  • Furniture
  • Keypad backlighting
  • Seat indicators

How Do Printed Lighting Solutions Differ from Standard Lighting Products?

Versatile. Printed lighting is designed using ultra-thin film that is pliable and lightweight. The product can be used in many environments, including outdoors, and can be designed with a high-resolution graphic overlay. At e2ip technologies, printed lighting can be designed in extremely flat, or in narrow wire-like shapes. The light intensity can also be adjusted.

Sustainable. Compared to LED screens, printed lighting uses a fraction of energy. The printed film does not emit heat and is reusable.

Flexible. Unlike conventional light bulbs, which are fragile and give off significant heat, printed lighting materials are thin, lightweight, and can form to any surface. This flexibility allows them to be applied in a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical, defense, industrial, and transport.

Easy to Use. Printed lighting solutions are easy to install, and require little to no maintenance. In addition, printed lighting solutions take up little space.

Economical. Printed lights are one of the most efficient lighting solutions on the market. Their innovative design allows for little to no heat to escape, significantly cutting electricity costs.

Where Can You Get Printed Lighting Solutions

Printed lighting solutions are an economically friendly, versatile, and durable alternative to standard lighting. At e2ip technologies, our flexible printed solutions are designed with leading-edge equipment using innovative materials and manufacturing processes. For more information about our printed lighting solutions, get in touch with us today.

Why You Should Switch To A PTC Printed Heater

About PTC Heaters

Conventional heaters can be heavy to transport, take up space, and often fail because of faulty wires or coils. A solution, using printed electronics has been developed to account for these deficiencies. PTC printed heaters are now widely used  in various industries to deliver heat in a more efficient way.

What is a PTC Printed Heater?

A PTC printed heater is a circuit that is printed on a substrate .. PTC stands for “positive temperature coefficient”, and  is a conductive ink that can be printed to be used to generate heat as opposed to wires and coils. PTC ink is printed on a thin, flexible substrate with a polymer base, and various PTC inks can be used depending on the application and the temperature required. The main feature of a printed heater is its self-regulating capability, which is a particularity of the PTC ink formula.

Safety risks, hot spots, and the need for external diagnostic controls can all be eliminated due to the self-regulating feature of a PTC heater.

Designed to deliver uniform heat, PTC printed heaters also provide heat in a short amount of time and consume less energy compared to conventional heaters. e2ip technologies  is environmentally aware and seeks to minimize its ecological footprint wherever possible.

A PTC printed heater is made to withstand repeated use and because it has a protective layer, it won’t absorb liquids and chemicals or wear away from mechanical friction.

To summarize, PTC printed heaters offer the following advantages:

  • Inherently safe
  • lightweight
  • multi-functional
  • self-regulated
  • efficient
  • reliable
  • cost-effective

Where Can You Use It?

Many industries have already begun to adopt the PTC printed heater, including transportation, aerospace, and medical. e2ip technologies specializes in smart surface solutions, and we ensure that our products are user-friendly, shock-resistant, and long-lasting. The PTC printed heater can be used for:

  • wing heating and de-icing
  • display heating and anti-condensing
  • seat and bed heating
  • food and beverage warming
  • IV bag heating

The demand for thinner, faster, and portable electronics is increasing with each passing day to accommodate safety, comfort, and wellbeing. e2ip technologies customizes designs to suit their customer’s needs.

Where Can You Get A Ptc Printed Heater?

e2ip technologies  has over 30 years in advancing smart surface solutions and printed electronics technologies and is still going strong with a lean mindset in manufacturing, design, and engineering. By valuing innovation, we are continually expanding our products, services, and overall quality. Contact us today to learn more about printed electronics and our PTC printed heaters, or get a custom quote today! Our HMI specialists are standing by to assist you.

What You Didn’t Know About Printed Electronics, Conductive Inks & More

Printed electronics are part of a rapidly evolving industry. At e2ip, we offer a variety of printed electronic technologies with applications in industries like aerospace, medical, defense, transport, and industrial.

To give you a better understanding of how printed electronics work, here is some useful information:

What are Printed Electronic Technologies?

Printed electronic technologies refer to electronics combined with  various printing techniques, including screen printing,  rotogravure printing, flexographie, spin-coating, vacuum evaporation, Offset, roll-to-roll and inkjet printing. Printed electronics is the umbrella term used to describe the process of printing circuits on a variety of flexible substrates to create electronic solutions.

As the demand for faster, thinner, lighter and more flexible electronics increases, printed electronics are reaching more and more industries and are becoming the must-have technology for various applications.

Where are Printer Electronics Used?

There are endless innovative applications where printed electronics can be integrated. Some typical examples are:

  • Smart Molded Parts Smart Molded Parts also called In-Mold Electronics are a great example of widely used printed electronics. The printed circuit is integrated and molded in the unit and it allows for greater design freedom. This is the most innovative application of printed electronics as the thermoforming process creates new possibilities and can transform traditional control panels into smart curved surfaces.
  • Lighting. Printed lighting solutions enable ultra-thin and light backlighting for keypads, annunciators, signage, seat indicators, ambience lighting and more. They offer amazing flexibility and the option to customize.
  • Heaters. Lightweight, thin, and low energy consumption printed heaters can be applied to a wide range of surfaces, like food and beverage warming, heating IV bags, wing heating and de-icing, and seat, bed, wall and floor heaters
  • Printed Sensors Printed electronics have proven to be an effective technology in creating thinner and more flexible sensors. They include various innovative features and respond to users’ demand for lighter and more interactive products. The printed sensors incorporate a printed conductive sensor which can detect signals and send direct feedback to the end user. This property is an essential element to data driven applications.
  • Printed 5G Smart Surfaces. Also called Engineered Electromagnetic Surfaces (EES), are a printed electronics technology that reshapes electromagnetic propagation and enhances 5G wireless network by filtering, blocking or diffusing radiofrequency (RF) signals.

What are the Benefits of Printed Electronics?

  • They replace bulky electronics components by making the final product thinner and more innovative
  • Easy to integrate into multiple applications and components
  • Attractive and customizable design
  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight

Printed electronics are part of a rapidly evolving, fast-paced industry. Choosing which printed electronic technology works best for you depends on what kind of application you will need it for.

e2ip’s printable electronic solutions are engineered using leading-edge materials and processes. They are integrated into OEM products to meet or improve specific requirements.

What is Screen Printing and Conductive Inks?

Screen printing is a printing technique of creating a picture or a pattern by forcing ink or conductive ink onto a surface through a screen of fine material. This technique is common for the printing of components related to printed electronics, such as the visual (commonly known as the Graphic Layer) and the conductive layer (commonly known as the Circuit Layer).

Conductive Ink

In the process of manufacturing printed electronics, the printing of the conductive ink is an essential component to the functionality of the products. Conductive inks such as our MINK are special inks designed to conduct electricity. They are used to print flexible printed electronic circuits on various types of materials and make objects more communicative or capable of storing information.

If you have any questions about printed electronic technologies, conductive inks, or screen printing, the professionals at e2ip can help.

Contact us today.

Versatile Human Machine Interface Solutions for Diverse Transportation Needs

The transportation industry is full of complex and evolving challenges that can only be met through the union of holistic design and innovative technology. This is true for everything from small components to entire systems, but this need is drawn into relief at the interaction point between users and vehicle systems.

The human-machine interface (HMI) is the lynchpin of effective solutions, as even the most sophisticated systems are of no use if they cannot be deployed or implemented effectively.

 

HMIs for Rail Systems

Rail travel is currently seeing a resurgence in markets across the world. More and more people are choosing trains over planes for leisure and business travel, and new light rail systems have become an increasingly popular choice for municipalities seeking to address travel and congestion issues in urban and suburban areas.

In order for operators and manufacturers to make the most of these trends, special attention must be paid to the railway passenger experience, as it is key to long-term customer retention. In this regard, human-machine interfaces (HMIs) have an important role to play.

HMIs ensure that the railway experience meets or exceeds traveler expectations. But HMIs are also an important consideration for operators and manufacturers, as they can help address complex daily challenges of operations and ultimately deliver efficiency gains and cost savings.

Ergonomic Interfaces

Improved HMIs also have an important role to play for the business and leisure travel market, as customers expect intuitive and ergonomic interfaces for things such as lighting and entertainment control, similar to those found in modern aircraft. Well-designed, passenger-facing HMIs are a source of significant added value to the overall travel experience.

For manufacturers, the benefits of modern HMIs are not limited to the travel experience of passengers, as they can play important roles in improving operational efficiency and safety. When used to control rail car systems, such as power distribution, lighting, communication or security features, intuitive and durable HMIs can reduce operator errors and facilitate regular operations.

The HMI has become an increasingly important design element to address the unique technical and environmental considerations of railway travel.

Emergency Vehicles Needs

Emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks, rescue and law enforcement vehicles, must be regularly modernized to keep pace with evolving best practices and customized to suit operator needs. The HMIs within these vehicle types must be exceptionally intuitive and rugged to facilitate emergency response efforts because errors or delays can have potentially disastrous consequences.

 

First responders face unpredictable, and sometimes extreme, challenges, so every aspect of their vehicle’s systems, and their HMIs, must uphold the highest standards for functionality and durability.

 

Operating safely and efficiently requires HMIs that will withstand the accumulated wear and tear from countless shocks and vibrations over time. Whether for communication needs, light or siren control, or accessing specialized vehicle functions, effective, efficient and intuitive HMIs make a vital contribution to emergency response efforts.

Custom HMIs from E2IP TECHNOLOGIES

To meet the unique challenges faced in various areas of the transportation sector, HMIs must provide long-lasting durability and versatile functionality in all conditions. To help transport industry stakeholders meet this need, e2ip technologies creates customized, user-friendly HMIs, built to the highest standards of ruggedization.

With the ability to integrate optically balanced backlighting, project capacitive or resistive touch screens, diverse switch options and activation forces and customized graphics with compression molded silicone parts, our HMIs can be built around any end-user considerations.

Housed in machined or cast aluminum or injection-molded plastic housings with the possibility of electromagnetic interference and electrostatic discharge shielding, as well as hermetic sealing, our HMIs are built to meet the most extreme demands.

Discover how e2ip technologies can help your team members become more efficient, no matter what kind of vehicle they operate.

Train Control Panel

This train control panel can be adapted to various light rail applications, including as airport trains, sky trains, commuter trains, and others.

Developed entirely by e2ip, including industrial, electrical, software and backlighting design, software certification, reliability and environmental response testing, every aspect of our products conforms to industry standards.

These lightweight, low-cost assemblies feature individual switches, backlighting and tactile response feedback.

Emergency Vehicle Control Panel

In order to find a robust solution to respond to emergency vehicle operator needs, e2ip oversaw the project management and was responsible for the electrical and mechanical designs of these emergency vehicle control panels.

Offering high-brightness backlighting, these robust panels were made to withstand the rigours of the road and provide first responders with all the functionality they need through customizable windows and high-tactile forces.

Other characteristics:

  • PCB
  • Diffuser plates
  • Silicone
  • LED backlighting
  • Customizable window
  • High tactile force
  • Resistant to various operating conditions

Custom Touch Screen Solutions

 

Our custom touch screen solutions are reliable, ruggedized, weather-resistant and durable, making them easy to adapt to virtually any transportation application.

Learn more

E2IP TECHNOLOGIES -Meeting the Evolving Requirement of the Transportation Sector

At e2ip, we have a deep understanding of these industry challenges, thanks to years of success in the design, manufacturing, and assembly of human-machine interfaces for customers in various transportation industry niches.

Having developed products for the railway, construction, agricultural, and emergency intervention sectors, our experience, and expertise is what allow us to provide transportation industry solutions that meet customer requirements while respecting timeline and budget considerations.

Embedded Control, Communications and Human Machine Interface Systems

From medical devices to factory automation, there are many embedded systems all around us that have changed how we interact with the world. Advanced embedded control, communications and human machine interface (HMI) systems are responsible for delivering responsive and elegant user experiences across a wide range of industries.

In this blog post, we will explore embedded systems in modern technology and the features and functionality required of touchscreen HMI modules to create the next generation of devices, with a look towards the design and engineering challenges that have held back many industry stakeholders.

What are embedded systems?

Embedded systems perform specific tasks with larger machines and devices. There are many types of embedded systems, and they can be found everywhere from industrial machines to medical equipment to aerospace components.

Industrial embedded systems often have an embedded operating system and embedded software to perform specific monitoring and control functions. Similarly, modern medical equipment contains a wide variety of embedded systems for sensors and control mechanisms.

A basic embedded system is a computing system with its own hardware and software that can interact with various input and output devices. Their hardware and software complexities can vary significantly from application to application, ranging from having no user interface (UI) – for example, on devices designed to perform a single task within a mobile embedded system – to complex graphical user interfaces, such as the smart surfaces found in modern aircraft interior controls.

Embedded System Applications

Embedded systems are required in a wide range of industries, including the food & beverage, energy, medical, manufacturing, instrumentation and white goods sectors. Each of these industries has its own unique needs, but all of them require embedded systems that are reliable, efficient and easy to use.

The food & beverage industry requires embedded systems that can withstand harsh environments and provide accurate measurements. Embedded systems in the energy sector must be able to handle large amounts of data and be highly energy efficient. Medical embedded systems need to be small, lightweight and easy to sterilize. And manufacturing embedded systems must be rugged and able to withstand the rigors of the production line.

No matter the industry, embedded systems must be designed with the user, as much as the application, in mind. The best embedded systems are those that are reliable, easy to use and provide a great user experience.

Embedded Systems in Healthcare

Healthcare devices and equipment, such as diagnostic equipment and imaging systems, rely on embedded control systems. Examples of HMI modules and embedded systems working in conjunction include digital flow sensors, magnetic resonance imaging machines, patient monitoring systems, and many more medical devices.

Furthermore, the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) presents new opportunities for embedded operating systems in healthcare. For example, future wearables with real-time operating system capabilities may track health data, such as vital signs, and transmit it to healthcare service providers for instantaneous monitoring and diagnosis.

Embedded Systems & Consumer Product Innovation

The world of consumer products has always looked for ways to deliver increased functionality, however, adapting HMI modules to allow for the integration of more advanced assemblies to industry needs and demands has proven to be quite challenging. In order to meet the needs of next-generation products, embedded system design must include elegant human machine interfaces and effective communication technology, especially for the digital data needs of networked embedded systems, and intuitive controls.

Human Machine Interfaces

Human machine interfaces (HMIs) are essential for allowing users to interact with embedded systems. HMIs can take many different forms, including buttons, touchscreens, keyboards and voice-activated controls.

The best HMIs are those that are easy to use and provide a great user experience. When designing an HMI, there are a few key considerations that must be taken into account. First, the HMI must be appropriate for the specific application. For example, a button may be fine for a simple function, but more complex applications call for smarter HMI touch surfaces that are scalable, reusable, connected and secure. Also, the HMI must be durable and able to meet necessary certification standards.

Integrated HMI Modules

As the world becomes increasingly connected, the need for advanced HMI designs is also on the rise. These advanced HMI modules allow for the integration of more complex features into your HMI assemblies, such as LCD interface technology, data storage and processing, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and more. This way, you can meet the growing connectivity demands of all modern interfaces and smart surfaces.

These advanced HMI modules are fully integrated into existing systems, allowing for deep and complete embedding into the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) product. With these modules at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create the next generation of truly connected devices.

Embedded systems provide the computing power needed to make devices and machines smarter and more efficient. As the world becomes increasingly digitized, embedded systems will play an even more important role in our lives.

Communication Technology

One of the most important design aspects of any embedded system is its ability to communicate with other computing systems. Communication and network connectivity can take many different forms, including Wi-Fi, BT5, Ethernet, and RS485. For an embedded system to function properly, it must be designed to communicate with other systems in a variety of ways.

Whether a small-scale embedded system with limited communication needs, or medium-scale embedded systems with more comprehensive communication requirements, effective communication should be a cornerstone of embedded system design.

Intuitive Controls

Embedded systems are everywhere, from the thermostat in your home to the navigation system in your car. They are designed to control the environment around them in order to function properly. Controls can take many different forms, including sensors, actuators and embedded controllers.

The best embedded systems are those that are easy to use and provide a great user experience. In order to achieve this, developers must have a strong understanding of how users interact with their systems. They must also be able to design controls that are simple and intuitive to use. When done correctly, embedded systems can greatly improve the quality of our lives by changing the way we interact with our environment.

Engineering and Design Challenges

When designing sophisticated embedded systems, engineers need to consider scalability, reusability, security, and connectivity as often embedded systems must communicate with other systems and output devices.

Creating a system that is easy to use and provides a great user experience is one of the biggest challenges when designing embedded systems. To create a system that meets these criteria, engineers must clearly understand how the operator will interact with the systems human machine interface (HMI).

To create a reliable system, engineers must develop technological specifications that meet exacting electrical, mechanical, and environmental certifications imposed by both governments and industries.

Embedded systems are changing the way we interact with our environment. These systems are becoming more sophisticated, yet easier to use. As embedded systems continue to evolve, engineers will face new challenges in designing these systems. But, with careful planning and innovation, these challenges can be

overcome.

The Future of Embedded Devices & Systems

Embedded control systems provide numerous benefits, including cost-effectiveness, improved safety and convenience with wide-ranging applications for operational improvements in many sectors, including consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, communications, defense, and industrial technology.

At e2ip technologies, our team believes that customized embedded systems represent an opportunity to greatly improve the utility and user experience in many industry applications.

Our designers and engineers are familiar with HMI control units that would benefit from modern, responsive and elegant designs thanks to our extensive experience in the aerospace, medical, defense and industrial technology sectors.

Contact us today to learn why we are the ideal partner to produce your custom assembly.

How to Secure a Successful Career in Electronics Manufacturing

What’s something that sectors as diverse as education, healthcare, retail, and politics have in common? They’ve all rapidly embraced digital transformation following the COVID-19 pandemic. This has proven to be a silver lining for the electronics manufacturing industry since the need for printed electronics and components has understandably soared.

In fact, since 2020, reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the number of electronic product manufacturing establishments has increased by 4,000. As the demand for IoT devices and wearable technology continues to increase, the need for professionals in this field will continue to grow accordingly.

However, to flourish in this ever-evolving industry, you do need to have a good mix of skills and assets in your professional arsenal. Here are a few of them:

Licenses relevant to the field

Having relevant licenses not only adds credibility to your name but also makes you privy to the advanced training and knowledge that governing societies have. This is a very important asset in a field like printed electronics where advancements and discoveries are made regularly. As explained in Maryville University’s post on electrical engineering, the Professional Engineering (PE) license and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) certification are among the most valuable that a professional in this field can acquire. This is because these licenses are considered a sign of your skill and educational attainment. As mentioned earlier, these licenses can even give you access to special resources like the latest in printed electronics technical literature. If you’re already employed but have yet to pursue these licenses, you can consider asking your team leader as they may help cover any fees required. This shows initiative on your end, which many employers look for.

An understanding of industry trends

It’s never enough to simply be well versed in your own projects. This will only limit your view and prevent you from keeping up with the massive shifts happening in the industry. As such, try to be updated on the trends emerging worldwide. For instance, one of the major tech trends is eco-awareness. In Aarhus University’s review of printed electronics, their team even suggests that non-rigid, flexible electronics may soon need to be biodegradable. Given that plastic and electronic waste are a big factor in global pollution, it will do well for you to familiarize yourself with this pressing concept. By doing so, not only are you addressing an important ecological concern, but you’re also keeping yourself compliant with the preferences of regulators and consumers who are similarly leaning towards more green practices in tech.

Strong communication and collaboration skills

Every day, this industry requires you to create complex elements like PCBs, where even the smallest error in communications can create a massive setback. Unfortunately, a survey by HR Technologist reveals that 57% of employees are not given clear direction and 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating in general. To prevent this, it’s important for you to strengthen soft skills like communication and collaboration. This means knowing how to speak respectfully, how to explain clearly, and how to listen honestly. By doing so, you’re effectively optimizing a group into a team with a shared goal. What’s more, when you’re able to work well with others, you can gain invaluable insight that you may not have picked up alone. Regardless of whether you’re an entry-level employee or a team leader, having such soft skills will prime you for bigger responsibilities that come with career growth.

Genuine passion for creation

Last but certainly not least, you must have a true passion for your craft. Printed electronics can be a demanding industry, especially since it caters to essential services like healthcare and defense. Without an interest in the industry, your work can get overwhelming. Conversely, a genuine passion can fuel your drive and creativity. This is how we at e2ip are able to create printable electronic solutions like In-Mold Electronics (IME) that are timely and versatile. If you’re just in the industry for the prestige or the money, that will only get your career so far.

At the end of the day, printed electronics manufacturing is poised to become one of the most bustling industries of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While many will want to pursue a career in this industry, those who understand that a holistic and well-rounded skillset is just as important as technical skills are the ones who will truly stand out. If you have any more questions about printed electronic technologies, e2ip can help.

 

Rédigé par Rhealyn Janean pour e2ip.com

What is HeatSeal™?

What is HeatSeal™ Technology?

In the manufacturing process of human machine interfaces (HMI) and smart surfaces, the methods used to bond materials and components play a critical role by ensuring that the final assembly is protected from environmental factors, such as water, moisture, and chemical ingress. Protection from these environmental factors is essential to maximize the reliability, durability and lifespan of any form of printed electronics.

Traditional, pressure-sensitive adhesives leave a lot to be desired in this regard, as they have been repeatedly shown to lack the lamination and seal strength to withstand common environmental factors.

To overcome these challenges, e2ip technologies drew on its expertise in industrial adhesives for HMI assemblies, including pressure-sensitive adhesives and electrically conductive adhesives, to develop its own proprietary heat sealing adhesive solution: the HeatSeal™ protective barrier.

HeatSeal™ can be applied to almost every Smart Surface solution. Here are a few examples:

Features and Benefits of Heat Sealed Electronics

  • Ingress Protection
  • Moisture Migration Protection
  • Environmental Robustness
  • Permanent seal from outside environment
  • Various thicknesses available
  • Compatible with a wide variety of plastics
  • Various window and graphic options
  • Crack-resistant, blocking silver migration between circuits
  • Chemical-resistant against gasoline, skin oil, and soaps
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent resistant
  • Electrical insulation resistance
  • Rigorously tested
  • Safest method of lamination
  • Able to withstand high pressure variations
  • Salt fog tested
  • Reduces the need for external venting

About HeatSeal™ Technology

Although the name might evoke a flexible packaging industry solution, HeatSeal™ Technology is used for HMIs and other types of circuitry for applications with the highest quality and certification standards in the military, aviation, medical, or automotive industries.

HeatSeal™ protective barrier properties include exceptional lamination strength and protection from harsh environments because the printed electronic layers are thermally bonded together. For high-reliability applications, printed electronics and membrane switches require far more than the basic protection provided by plastic films or thermoplastic films.

Versatile HeatSeal™ Technology was created with this understanding in mind, so HeatSeal™ can be combined with moisture barrier materials for a completely sealed flexible circuit assembly. By adding multiple HeatSeal™ layers added as adhesives within the circuit layer stack, membrane switches, HMIs and smart surfaces can perform in harsh environments, and the products meet the highest certification standards.

The HeatSeal™ Process – Superior Lamination & Adhesive Bond

Using an innovative, proprietary fabrication process, HeatSeal™ achieves outstanding lamination to aid the performance and durability of all types of user interfaces. With an environmentally friendly manufacturing process and rigorous testing, HeatSeal™ remains cost-effective while making huge advances in addressing a major cause of mechanical failure – inadequate sealing. For applications where a pressure-sensitive adhesive fails to meet standards, HeatSeal™ Technology can meet the challenge at hand.

This liquid HeatSeal™ system is applied with a low-waste additive screening process that eliminates many subtractive converting processes, achieving the unlikely combination of low cost and high reliability when bonding circuit layers. Used in end products by our customers across the aerospace, medical, white goods, industrial control, and automotive industries, HeatSeal™ Technology offers the highest level of environmental protection without sacrificing design freedom.

The HeatSeal™ Process – Superior Lamination & Adhesive Bond

e2ip technologies works with a wide variety of customers to conceive, design and produce innovative smart surface solutions. If you would like to learn how HeatSeal™ can help your company overcome product and design challenges, call 1-866-631-6662 to speak with a specialist or contact us online [email protected]

What is In-Mold Electronics?

In-Mold Electronics expands on existing In-Mold Labeling and In-Mold Decorating processes

Before we discuss In-Mold Electronics (IME), the process that enables the production of E2IP’s Smart Molded Parts, we will recognize two processes that have been around for a while. They are In-Mold Labeling (IML) and In-Mold Decorating (IMD). In-mold labeling is the process that creates colours, textures, and graphics for traditional user interfaces.

This idea was carried forward with In-Mold Decorating, a breakthrough that made it possible to apply graphics to an entire surface of an enclosure, rather than simply a limited area.

The In-Mold Electronics (IME) process from industrial design to finished product is made possible through material and manufacturing process breakthroughs.

 With IME, industrial designers now have the design freedom to create elegant three-dimensional human-machine interfaces that were never before possible. Using the design in a two-dimensional format engineers design and print a circuit on a thin plastic film substrate using formable conductive and non-conductive inks.

The manufacturing process begins with the printing of these circuits. This could be a single layer of film or a stack-up of two layers. The pick and place of components is typically the next step. This could include components such as LED’s, passive components and in some cases microprocessor capabilities. The final steps are the thermoforming of the three-dimensional Smart Molded Part and the injection molding. Once the components and inks are aligned on the film, thermoforming can be done by high pressure forming or vacuum forming. After the circuits are checked the formed films are placed in the mold where the resin is then injected between the films enclosing the components to make one single, lightweight, Smart Molded Part that can be attached by screws, bosses, or clips.

Applications & Benefits of In-Mold Electronics

In-Mold Electronics make a whole new world of functionally enhanced products and interfaces possible. With the ability to integrate decorative graphics, lighting, and a host of other features, these Smart Molded Parts of the future are being designed and manufactured to leverage all the benefits and advantages IME provides, including:

  • Greater design flexibility
  • Improved reliability and durability
  • Significant reduction in space and weight
  • Improved touch performance
  • Ease of assembly
  • Sustainability

Quickly gaining popularity in many industries, IME is becoming a crucial component of the next generation of human-machine interfaces, such as:

  • Passenger control units
  • Remote controls
  • Galley insert control panels
  • Cabin management system interfaces
  • Patient monitor systems
  • Home appliances
  • Home security systems

Printed Electronics for Elevated Function and Intuitive User Interactions

Already a popular choice in premium automotive interiors and aircraft cabins, Smart Molded Parts with IME are also enabling the next generation of white goods, consumer products, and medical technology. IME is a truly transformative technology that will span across industries by seamlessly integrating electronics into sleek and stylized surfaces. IME strips away the mechanical buttons found in traditional electronics, giving designers unprecedented freedom to create elegant user experiences through minimalistic interfaces.

IME makes it possible to create interfaces and devices that not only look alluring but are also lightweight, durable and highly functional. Thanks to fewer moving components, this technology can also reduce manufacturing, assembly, and maintenance costs while reducing the chances of malfunctions or failures.

In-Mold Electronics are suited to wide-ranging applications in aerospace design, medical technology, consumer goods, and more. IME represents the future of human-machine interfaces (HMI).

Want to Learn More About In-Mold Electronics?

At E2IP TECHNOLOGIES, we believe that electronics should not get in the way of design freedom. As a leader in smart molded parts, we can help you realize the transformative potential of In-Mold Electronics for your industry. From ideation to fabrication, we help our partners bring their ideas to life. Our certified manufacturing plants in the USA, Canada, and Morocco, create and deliver cutting-edge products with compliance to the highest industry standards. Our talented, multidisciplinary team goes above and beyond to meet and exceed expectations, every time.

Contact us to learn more.