“Industrial” grade versus “Consumer/Commercial” grade LCD products

Many “industrial-grade” product manufacturers sell on solely on ‘price’ and in doing so they must compete in terms of selling prices with other less-costly “industrial-grade” product manufacturers. How do they sell so cheaply? It’s simple….most repackage consumer grade off-the-shelf LCD monitors. They extract the LCD and electronics, reassemble them in cheaply made metal housings and call them Industrial Grade.

Certainly, AbraxSys could purchase these types of consumer grade products from the same distribution channels and repackage them in similar housings and enter the “cheaply made industrial grade LCD” marketplace. But AbraxSys’ business model is different and as such an alternate path was chosen in terms of engineering high-quality, innovative rugged computer systems and LCD products.

In order to effectively combat 24/7/365 usage, high humidity environments, extended operational temperature applications, DC power spikes, etc., during the initial product design stages AbraxSys carefully considers each component to be utilized within a specific design so as to ensure that the finished product can withstand such harsh treatment.

The weakest electrical component within an “industrial” grade system dictates how effective the overall product will be in demanding applications. Use the cheapest integrated circuits, liquid crystal displays, power supplies, high-voltage inverters and you’ll have a product destined for problems. AbraxSys selects only the highest grade ‘parts’. The ruggedness of these internal components and their inherent tolerance to harsh environments provide a display instrument with truly “industrial” capabilities.

In contrast, other manufacturers jockeying for price must utilize the cheapest cost components available in order to maintain a competitive price advantage in the “cheaply made industrial grade LCD” marketplace. This includes the use of low-to-mid-level LCD panels, controller boards, critical power components, etc.

Often the “budget-grade industrial” LCD company has no idea who even actually manufactured the most critical internal system components within “their” monitor as they simply purchased a plastic-desktop LCD, removed the plastic housing and transferred the LCD and existing electronics housing into their enclosure. There’s been no thought given to graphics chipsets, end-of-life (EOL) time-frames for components, integrated circuit quality, power supply and inverter reliability data, grade level of LCD panel, etc. AbraxSys, on the other hand, can explain in detail every component, its performance characteristics, EOL, etc.

Varying operational temperature extremes will have a negative impact on electronics. So, AbraxSys utilizes a number of unique thermal management systems which makes the displays fit for the harshest temperature environments. Some of AbraxSys’ models can even operate effectively for long periods of time at -40°C / -40°F MIL-STD-810F to +70°C / +160°F MIL-STD-810F. “Budget” type products certainly don’t offer such safeguards.

As devices for displaying various types of information and images in many diverse environments, customers are demanding greater sophistication and diversity from displays. To meet the growing demand for higher image quality, greater energy efficiency, and improved environmental performance such as greater resistance to shock and vibration and operational temperature capabilities, AbraxSys selects only the highest quality LCD modules. The results are easily seen in outstanding image reproduction, vivid images in any ambient light environment, wider viewing angles, greater color gamut and much, much more. Original Equipment Manufacturers of amorphous-silicon color thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) modules take into account the special needs of the industrial market and leverage cutting edge technology and cultivated know-how that it then uses in the design of their advanced true “Industrial Grade” LCD modules.

Here again in contrast, the low-end ‘industrial’ display “manufacturers” must purchase only cheaply made office/home grade LCD panels.  We truly do build top-end systems and do not try to compete with the cheaply made units often coming out of Asia and/or local “repackaging” companies.  And, we offer an exceptional THREE YEAR WARRANTY for most models.

What does half-life mean in terms of an LCDs backlights?

Half Life

In scientific terms, half-life pertains to the amount of time it takes for a substance to decay by half. Similarly, the same term pertains to Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) describing the amount of time before a display’s brightness degrades to half of its original intensity. It may still be viewable at this point, but it won’t be as visually appealing or effective as it was when it was first switched on. So, why is this information important to you, as a consumer? Well, quite simply put, you’ll want a product that is able to withstand the test of time. Owners of any LED sign, no matter the size or shape, will likely be interested in keeping it working for as long as possible. Most LED’s these days maintain a half-life between 60,000 to 80,000 hours, some few systems 100,000 hours (like those from AbraxSys).  What this means for consumers is that with constant un-interrupted use at maximum brightness, an LED will be at half of its original brightness in 7 to 11 years. Granted there are other external forces that can affect sign quality, but many can be avoided with proper maintenance and precautions.

Private Labeling Services

AbraxSys Private Labeling ServicesAbraxSys recognizes the importance of private labeling which many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Value Added Resellers (VAR) and traditional resellers require. Whether it’s one system or 100 units, having the ability to acquire quality products from a reliable company with the assurances of private labeling is an important decision maker.

Your company has established itself with your customers as a reliable source of a unique process, product or service.  And as such, it becomes vitally important to retain product recognition and your established definitive name recognition.  Your customers depend on you to deliver quality products with your label. AbraxSys understands this. We’re here to help.

We can also “drop ship” from our facility directly to your customer with definitive notation of your organization as the ‘shipper’; AbraxSys will not be mentioned.

Contact an AbraxSys associate to discuss your product and labeling needs.

Custom Video Mode Services

With our products being deployed in such a wide range of environments, we understand our customers require customized solutions to fit their exact specifications. Our engineering services are available to give you the expertise you need to customize our products. Whatever the project, AbraxSys has the expertise, supply chain resources and flexible production capacity to deliver cost effective, high quality solutions.

AbraxSys custom video modes services

Our unique controllers have the advacned capabilities of interfacing with a multitude of VESA and non-VESA legacy video formats including CGA and EGA resolutions as well as formats below 30 kHz horizontal scan frequency.  By special development of our own Signal Recognition and Scaling software, and access to an extensive library of older signal timings AbraxSys can support frequencies from 15kHz to 64kHz to UXGA (1600×1200) to full high-definition.

If your project requires specific video format support not typically available through typical channels, let AbraxSys program your video timing specifications into one of our controllers.

For more information please Contact Us.

The Benefits of Conformal Coating

Many chemicals found in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries can consign electronic components to a short life, creating high failure rates and low reliability. Corrosive agents such as H2S gas, hydrocarbons, chlorobenzene, and chemical by-products play havoc with components that control and manage processes, or transport vital data between control centers and remote sites. What is required is a protective coating that can isolate the components from the harsh reality of industrial settings.

AbraxSys Industrial Rugged LCD Monitors and Touch Screen Computers - Conformal Coated ElectronicsConformal coatings, as the name suggests, do just that by conforming to the contours of elements that populate printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other components present in electronic assemblies and systems. Conformal coatings are thin layers of synthetic resins or organic polymers applied to PCBs and electronic components for protection against environmental, mechanical, electrical, and chemical problems including contaminants such as dust, dirt, fungus, moisture, chemicals, thermo mechanical stress, mechanical shock, and vibration. Conformal coating types include urethane, silicone, acrylics, epoxies, and parylene.

A conformal coating service from AbraxSys is offered to protect all internal PCBs and components from dust, moisture, fungus, corrosion and vibration.  The coating can be brushed or sprayed onto the PCB, depending on application needs. A conformal coating can help minimize electromigration between metal conductors. In addition, the use of a conformal coating can protect circuits and components from direct contact that can lead to abrasions or electrical short circuits.

Solution for Preventing Corrosion and Moisture

Coating offers protection of circuitry from moisture, fungus, dust and corrosion caused by extreme environments.

Coating prevents damage from board handling during construction, installation and use, and reduces mechanical stress on components and protects from thermal shock.

Coating resists abrasion in service.

Coating enhances performance and allows greater component density due to increased dielectric strength between conductors.

For more information please Contact Us.


TFT LCD Modules Feature Replaceable LED Backlights, High Brightness and Low Power Consumption

AbraxSys Solid State LED Backlight for Industrial LCD Flat Panel Monitors TechnologyAbraxSys Corporation, a committed industry leader that collaborates with customers to create breakthrough designs, not long ago began using an advanced color active-matrix thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) module product lineup for most of its industrial applications that incorporates long-life light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting systems.  Developed by AbraxSys, the modules are designed to satisfy the requirements of a broad range of industrial applications, such as test and measuring equipment, medical equipment, portable handheld computing devices, and more, utilizing the latest LED backlighting technology.

The LED-based backlighting systems provide an average backlight lifetime of over 70,000 to 100,000+ hours, or approximately well over 8 years continuous operation, (to half-brightness of the initial luminance specification), which exceeds that of today’s common TFT LCDs for industrial applications utilizing long-life cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlighting systems.  AbraxSys has achieved this by applying long-life LEDs, and by optimizAbraxSys Rugged LED LCD Displaysing the thermal design of the industrial-type LED-based backlighting system based on AbraxSys’ extensive experience in utilizing LED backlighting for rugged TFT displays.  The modules have been designed with a replaceable backlight structure to accommodate the product longevity requirements, and the harsh-usage environments, of industrial, military, and marine applications.  In addition, AbraxSys has added an advacned LED driver circuitry into the electrical interface for the displays.

Compared to CCFL baAbraxSys Industrial LCD Flat Panel with LED Backlightscklit displays, LED-backlit displays feature superior characteristics such as lighter weight, lower electrical noise, lower power consumption, and offer a wider adjustable luminance range.  LED-backlit displays also reduce the environmental impact, in consideration of both material and energy consumption, since they are mercury-free1 and lower in power consumption.  Also, the new LED-backlit displays do not require the high-voltage and high-frequency circuits required to control luminance in CCFL-backlit displays, thus enabling a higher level of flexibility in system design in terms of safety, electro-magnetic interference (EMI) compensation, and system architecture.

For more information on High Brightnes Solutions CLICK HERE.

For more general information please Contact Us.


In-Plane Switching (IPS) Technology

In-Plane Switching (IPS) was one of the first refinements to produce significant gains in the light-transmissive characteristics of TFT panels. Jointly developed by Hosiden and NEC, it is a technology that addresses the two main issues of a standard twisted nematic (TN) TFT display: color and viewing angle.

With IPS, the crystals are aligned horizontally to the screen rather than vertically, and the electrical field is applied between each end of the crystal molecules – termed a lateral electric field. In this way, the crystals are kept parallel to the the electrode pair, and thus the glass substrate of the screen. The liquid crystal molecules are not anchored to the lower glass substrate, so move more freely into the desired alignment.

Comparing TN and IPS Light Flow Through LCD Monitors

In a TN TFT display when one end of the liquid crystal is anchored to the lower glass substrate and a voltage is applied, the crystal compounds untwist, changing the angle of polarisation of the transmitted light. A downside of basic TN technology is that the alignment of molecules of liquid crystal alters the further away they are from the anchored electrode, turning at right angles to the substrates. This impairs the flow of light causing diminishing contrast, brightness and colour definition at wider angles to the screen.

AbraxSys IPS Rugged LCD Flat Panels

IPS improves viewing angles of TFT monitors considerably, but means that two transistors are needed for every pixel, instead of the one needed for a TN TFT display. Using two transistors means that more of the transparent area of the display is blocked from light transmission, so brighter backlights must be used. The increased power consumption can make the displays unsuitable for notebook use, but in higher end industrial displays viewing as a principle purpose IPS screens are employed.

For more information please Contact Us.

Sunlight Readable LCD Technology – The AbraxSys Way

Behind the LCD
Since many of our flat panel display systems and LCD computers are used in uncontrolled lighting environments, we add a number of passive enhancements to maximize the readability of the touchscreen control interface. The touchscreen itself incorporates an anti-glare coating on its face, as well as an anti-reflective coating on the back and front of the LCD. The LCD also has a transflective backlight enhancement film. These coatings match the index of refraction to reduce light reflecting back at the viewer which increases the contrast ratio and enhances overall readability in bright lighting conditions. (See figure below)

A normal LCD will turn black when exposed to sunlight and UV radiation. Design innovations allow the LCD to operate in direct sunlight. Through the use of these special coatings, films, and filters, the unit obtains sunlight readability without additional backlights. The end result is 1000+ nit equivalent viewing without the additional power draw and heat generation of more backlights. Consequently, our flat panel display systems have longer life, better processor performance, and wider operating temperature range.

AbraxSys High Brightness Sunlight Readable Rugged Industrial LCD Flat Panel Displays Technology

Then we integrate our enhanced backlight technology increasing the overall luminace performance of the LCD’s light source. AbraxSys uses both LED and CCFL backlighting to achieve brightness. LED backlighting creates an amazingly bright LCD display as does CCFL but with low power consumption and without increased heat usually AbraxSys Backlight Enhancement Technologyassociated with higher wattage CCFL backlights. Standard color LCDs are often unable to provide sufficient luminance for viewing under bright, outdoor environments; the result is poor image quality. AbraxSys’ high brightness LCD monitors & computers deliver a radically higher level of brightness, resulting in unparalleled picture sharpness. Our high-performance products are ideal for use under any high ambient light condition, and will give you the intensity and brilliance your application requires.

Then we add our unique Optical Bonding procedure:

Improved contrast. Faster perception. Higher performance.

Increase TFT AMLCD readability-at-a glance capability by specifying an optically bonded TFT display from AbraxSys. Combine LED backlight enhancement, optical coatings, or touchscreens to meet your human interface requirements. AbraxSys’ optical bonding facility provides proven quality systems, extensive in-house optical test verification capabilities, a certified clean room and other environmental controls.

Key Benefits
• Improves contrast by eliminating mismatched reflective layers
• Improves readability without increasing backlight wattage
• Strengthens the overall integrity of the LCD
• Eliminates the “Greenhouse” effect and going isotropic
• Optical coatings reduce specular and diffuse reflections
• Less power required for battery powered devices while attaining
excellent readability
• Certified clean room and environmental controls
• Fast, responsive manufacturing in U.S.A.

Standard LCD displays are fine for most indoor applications, but they are challenged in outdoor, rugged or environmentally extreme applications. For these applications, commercial displays are all but useless. The choice are either make the display washout less, or make the display brighter; and in some cases, both options. The OEM display manufacturers are not focused on these extreme markets and applications. This is where AbraxSys helps the display customer. AbraxSys’ line of high performance optically bonded displays are ideal for outdoor or rudded environments where top performance is required.

AbraxSys Optical Bonding Image

The high brightness solution is to use LED light bar in replacement of CCFL as the backlight source, and coupled with optic films, advanced reflection patterns design on light guide bottom, and special radiation technology to achieve high brightness and low power backlight source. Brightness is important because it affects readability. The high brightness solution increases day-time and night-time visibility and offers a good choice of sunlight readable solution. Related applications covers from ATM, the in-vehicle satellite television, the telephone booth, and the outdoor displays.

In order to satisfy the application market for high brightness displays, Advantech develops our in-house high brightness technology positively, which is guaranteed to meet your application needs. A standard LCD monitor is generally 300 ~ 500nits. Advantech high brightness solution at the moment can help enhance the LCD brightness up to 2,000nits and meanwhile increase the color saturation and the contrast. Moreover, our high brightness solution requires low power consumption, resulting in displays that run cooler with minimal stress but maximum reliability.

Brightness up to 2,200 nits
Enhanced sunlight readability
High uniformity > 90%.
Increased contrast ratio
Wide dimming 0%~100%
Low power consumption (ex. For 15” LCD, 1,700 nits <30W)
Suitable for operation environment from -30℃ to 80℃
Green process and material
Long backlight half-life, some well over 100,000 hrs

Our Applications Engineers will be happy to discuss how our sunlight readable flat panel display systems can solve your low/high light application requirements.   Contact us for further information.

No Sparkle LCD viewed outdoors

Less glare from external light, combined with improved image clarity, offers better overall picture visibility.

An optical effect called “sparkle” has been a problem throughout the displays community. Visual sparkle becomes obvious as a twinkling of the image displayed on screens with matted scattering anti-glare cover layers (e.g. touch sensitive panels), it becomes especially distinct when the head of the observer is moving with respect to the display. Some computer users even complain about focusing problems and eye-strain caused by such “sparkling”. With increasing resolution of modern display screens, the problem seems to become even more severe. On the other hand, reduction of the reflectance of disturbing ambient light sources becomes very important since such devices are often operated under conditions without direct control of the illumination (e.g. outdoors).

When optimizing display systems with respect to visual performance, control of disturbing sparkling effects is not the only objective. In addition, the reflectance of ambient light sources should be minimized (this is actually the original objective for applications of AG-layers) and distinct images of ambient light-sources should be avoided by adequately tuned scattering. At the same time, the AG-layer should not negatively affect the distinctness of the image content of the display screen. The optimization tasks AbraxSys takes comprises at least the following three aspects:

♦ reduction of reflections from ambient light-sources,
♦ reduction of sparkling effects,
♦ maintenance of image quality of the display screen.

Key benefits:
• The world’s first ultra-strong cover glass with state-of-the-art anti-glare effect
• Significantly reduces glare on high resolution displays, even under adverse viewing conditions (bright sunlight, high ambient lighting)
• Uniform, homogenous surface modification offers improved visibility and smooth touch experience for consumers
• Unique surface structure optimized for easy cleaning and fingerprint resistance
• Flexibility of the novel etching process offers opportunities for custom gloss values
• Both chemical and thermal strengthening are compatible with Cover AG
• Mechanical and strength performance properties of the base glass are not affected by the surface treatment

Industrial LCDs

The technology that goes into liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, far surpasses that of the CRT, cathode ray tube, displays of old. CRTs were the standard of home personal computer and industrial computers for most of the 90’s. Now with the rise of LCD monitors and TVs it is hard to come by the once standard CRT.  With LCD screens came true “industrial” grade LCD screens, these meet standards so far above what a normal screen will ever need to endure. It is interesting to learn that industrial LCD monitors have a longer back-light half-life than a normal LCD and that if they are treated properly, they will outlast a normal LCDs sometimes over 100,000 hours.

Another type of LCD the consumer should know about is the TFT Display, also known as the thin film transistor. The TFT LCD’s are a higher quality image LCD commonly found in TV’s and high end computer monitors.

Laptops were the first computers that came standard with LCD technology and were the reason LCD monitors became a huge success.  Industrial LCD’s are night and day from the LCD you watch movies on or view in an office or home environment.  Industrial LCD’s also rival the quality of regular LCD’s and only the TFT LCD can compete with picture quality.  This may seem like not a big deal, but when these LCD monitors need to survive below zero temperatures (sometimes below -40C, and heats well over +60C degrees. They need to be able to stand being dropped, kicked, stepped on, tossed, be underwater, and sometimes even need to stand being shot since the military uses industrial LCD monitors almost exclusively.

Touch sensitive screens are also more common in the industrial LCD monitor world right next to the sunlight readable monitors. These two options have become more and more common in the military and the aquatic worlds since having to worry about a keyboard and mouse can be tedious and tiring. To decrease the glare for sunlight readable LCD’s some companies have increased the backlight and found this effective. Other companies took this into a whole different world by creating highly reflective backlights therefore increasing the reflection of ambient light. This also eliminates the need for extra energy to cool the LCD as the sun is not impacting the screen as usual.