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Epec's Blog | Electronics Manufacturing Solutions


Three Options to Adding a Cable to a Rigid PCB Front Panel HMI

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on July 31, 2020 at 9:23 AM

Front panels, bezels, and other types of human to machine interface equipment use several circuit technologies to operate. These circuit types usually involve some form of printed or etched traces using conductive materials like copper and conductive ink. These custom layouts are routed across insulating sheets and films, eventually becoming circuit boards and flex circuits. Dome switches, LEDs, and touchscreens can be added to these everyday circuit boards, bringing them to life as a high-technology HMI solution.

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Incorporating Transparent Capacitive Touch Switches

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on April 13, 2020 at 9:21 AM

The use of capacitive touch switch technology is widespread and becoming more frequent each day. Capacitive touch switches are common on thousands of everyday devices including gas station pumps, smartphones, lamps, automobile dashboards, and even the smart speaker in your home.

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5 Tips to Operate LCD Displays in Cold Environments

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on March 12, 2020 at 10:57 AM

The use of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in user interface assemblies is widespread across nearly all industries, locations, and operating environments. Over the last 20 years, the cost of LCD displays has significantly dropped, allowing for this technology to be incorporated into many of the everyday devices we rely on.

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The Many Layers of HMIs and What They Do

Written by Michael Concepcion
Posted on November 6, 2019 at 9:20 AM

As a premier supplier of human-machine interface (HMI) solutions, our engineers work with and design several types of membrane switches. From tactile and non-tactile response switches to the emerging technology of capacitive touch switches, we have provided proven quality for our customers depending on their needs.

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Understanding the Actuation Force of Your Keypad

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on March 19, 2019 at 12:03 PM

Keypads that utilize dome switches, silicone elastomer keys, or tactile switches rely on actuation force as a critical feature to define how much load is required to close the normally open switch. In this context, force is a vector acting normal to the keypad surface and is usually defined in grams (g) or pound force (lbf).

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The Many Variations and Uses of Keypads

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on February 13, 2019 at 1:20 PM

If you were to ask 5 separate people to explain the definition of keypad, likely you would receive 5 completely different answers that all center around the same basic concept. According to Wikipedia a keypad is a set of buttons arranged in a block or "pad" which bear digits, symbols or alphabetical letters (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keypad). While this definition is correct, when communicating to a potential user interface supplier the term keypad requires further elaboration.

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How-to Guide For Capacitive Touch Switches [Video]

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on August 10, 2018 at 11:10 AM

In this blog post you can view two videos that go into detail about the functionality of the human-machine interface (HMI) product sample and an overview of how capacitive touch membrane switches work. The transcription of both videos is also provided below. Take note that the transcriptions have been edited for better readability.

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Capacitive Touch HMI Overlay and Materials

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on July 17, 2018 at 6:00 AM

As capacitive touch human machine interface (HMI) assemblies become more popular, both designers and users are becoming more familiar with the technology as it replaces traditional mechanical HMI products. These capacitive touch HMIs can be used in extreme environments, with users wearing gloves, and can operate reliably for years.

Just as a mechanical HMI (membrane switches, tactile switches, etc.) relies on the overlay material properties to determine system function, capacitive touch HMIs rely on the overlay material properties to drive capacitive touch sensitivity and overall system performance.

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Firmware Development Basics For SMART HMIs

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on July 9, 2018 at 1:36 PM

When our customers are in the preliminary stages of launching a new SMART HMI project, they typically reach out seeking advice on the best way to start. With what can amount to a near infinite number of HMI design options and system feature combinations, brainstorming an embedded firmware project can quickly become overwhelming. Where does one begin? How does the firmware work? What level of detail is required now?

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The Right Way to Keep Costs Down For High Reliability HMI Devices

Written by Steven J Goodman
Posted on November 16, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Recently I spent the weekend at a family member’s home and experienced two failures of everyday human-machine interfaces (HMI) devices that truly perplexed me. One was a collapsed dome switch on a spa controller; the other was a graphical display error on a touchscreen coffee maker.

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