Human perception is most strongly influenced by sight – which is why the spotlight is on visualisation in the most varied of applications. Currently, the development of new technologies is accelerating with brilliant colours and sharp, focused images
increasingly becoming a sales criterion. Suppliers are therefore faced with the challenge of equipping their existing applications with state-of-the-art displays. Low costs and short development times are therefore a must. A family concept with turnkey kit solutions fulfils both the technological and commercial requirements.
Two contrary approaches can be used to achieve this: The first is platform-independent and therefore extremely flexible. Displays specially developed for this are configured for the same expanded temperature range and the same power supply across all displays.
Thanks to the standardised interface, these are therefore both pin and electrically compatible and the customer has the choice whether to replace or expand each display diagonal with another from the same series. And to do this: Simply reconnect and it’s all done, no other hardware changes are required. The displays can equally be used for RGB applications as for MCU applications and can be connected to practically any existing board. A touchscreen as well as the appropriate controller as chip or finished hardware is also available for each display.
Made-to-measure off the rack
The second approach follows the motto: “Plug and Play”. It comprises a turnkey solution consisting of a display plus a cable set specially adapted for the system, a control board as well as the necessary software with timing parameters for the display.
Such a kit solution can also be configured to support a number of wireless technologies, e.g. WLAN for network connectivity, RFID for access control or identification applications, Bluetooth or proprietary wireless sticks, GSM or GPS. Not only do companies save on their own development, something which is always an important argument when low volumes are involved, but they also benefit from an extremely short time until market readiness.
“We have preconfigured solutions at hand which we have evaluated based on many customer enquiries and our experience,” explains Tobias Zilly, Technical Support Engineer for Displays & Boards at Rutronik.
“Despite this, we consult extensively with the customer at the beginning of each project in order to fulfil the individual requirements of each application. Often only minor adjustments are required, allowing us to keep the development time very short.”
In this way, investment in evaluation, development, the test phase and development of prototypes is as low as possible. However, to ensure that this is not at the expense of quality, Rutronik concentrates on high-quality components from selected manufacturers. In addition, the engineers check all data sheets to ensure that all individual components are optimally coordinated with each other. Market-specific factors are also incorporated, e.g. the required certifications.
“However, in addition to technical data, other factors such as manufacturing quality, delivery reliability of the manufacturer, its product strategy or availability also play a role in the selection of components. Our wide experience gained from many customer projects has stood us in good stead in this respect,” says Displays & Boards expert Zilly.
Flexibility is one of the main advantages of this concept. Within a turnkey solution, sizes of 3.5“ to 7“ as well as RGB and MCU interfaces can be realised. The MCU models may replace existing passive displays which no longer achieve the desired performance.
The optical performance is therefore significantly increased, but the proven control technology remains untouched.
Even the transition to TFT displays will be smooth and cost-effective in this way. Smaller software adjustments to the existing application, such as the import of the display initialisation as well as its parameter transfer are quick and easy to implement.
Different wireless technologies or performance scaling of the control can also be handled in advance so that customers can concentrate on other development priorities, such as the adaptation and programming of software or housing design.
‘All-inclusive’ kit solutions
“Special requirements outside the small sizes of 3.5“ to 7“ are fulfilled with turnkey display solutions which function independently of the family concept,” explains Zilly. “These are also designed in accordance with the ‘Plug and Play’ motto.“
For industrial customers, such a solution could comprise a Tianma 10.4“ display TM104SDH03 LED and a D3003-S1 board from Fujitsu. All the cables required for this are adapted and specifically manufactured according to the customer’s specifications. The display combines a 50,000-hour LED backlight lifetime with a converter integrated into a piece of hardware. This eliminates the need for separate mounting points for the converter as well as the additional backlight cable required for this. The D3003-S1 board in mITX format offers many approaches and connectivity options for the greatest possible creative freedom. In addition to the opportunity to use MSATA flash memory from Apacer as the data carrier, the platform is fitted with a newest generation Atom processor and an LVDS port. A riser card provides even more expansion slots. The combination of the Fujitsu board with the Tianma display thus offers great flexibility with mid-range performance and low energy consumption.
If the performance requirements are higher, the Fujitsu D3003-S3 can be selected with a dualcore Atom CPU.
“The broad portfolio comprising several manufacturers guarantees that we can offer the appropriate hardware for every customer and every application,” says Zilly.
Moreover, the customer can also select additional components, for example one of the touch variants from Hantouch, an additional bar of RAM from Swissbit or a data carrier suitable for its application such as a hard disk, SSD, USB stick or CF card. Rutronik has stored such kits, e.g. for industrial and medical applications, in a database-based system.
“Each individual one is tested and corresponds to the applicable industry standards. This gives the opportunity to draw on many preconfigured solutions,” explains Zilly.
“Most individual customer requirements can be fulfilled cost-effectively, efficiently and quickly with just minor adaptations.“
The data sheets for all the components are cross-checked to ensure that the individual components are perfectly suited to each other. Market-specific factors, such as component certifications, are also taken into account. All this ensures that the customer receives a perfectly customised turnkey solution. Not only does this enable them to benefit from a shorter wait for market readiness but also from planning reliability, flexibility of design and concentration on purchasing.