Coronavirus - Current situation at DATA MODUL and continuation of operations

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Versatile hygienic operating options of DATA MODUL products

The ability to operate display based HMI devices hygienically is essential in both consumer and industrial applications. This has become increasingly important in the current pandemic-era. Hygiene requirements are especially relevant to medical products. DATA MODUL has always addressed the critical requirements of medical applications in its product development processes. Customer requirements play a crucial role in selecting the suitable components and production process steps right from the beginning of the manufacturing process in order to create a suitable hygiene-sensitive product.

Hygienic input by touch

Hygienic input by touch often represents a particular challenge. In order to implement customer wishes and at the same time comply with the legal requirements for hygienic applications, a variety of options for a touch-free or special input method of display applications can be used.

Operating with gloves

hygienic operation with gloves

Gloves are mandatory in many industrial applications, especially in the medical sector, and also provide a simple means of protecting against contamination, infection or the transfer of diseases and germs. In order to ensure that a touch screen could be operated normally even when wearing gloves, the “Projective Capacitive Touch Technology” (PCAP) had to be further developed so that now - depending on the model – these screens can be operated perfectly with both heavy work gloves and, for instance, medical nitrile or latex gloves.

Thanks to the continuous development of its PCAP controllers, DATA MODUL has been able to improve responsiveness to such an extent that touch performance with gloves is comparable to normal operation with a finger. In addition, thanks to new setting tools, touch sensors can be set so that even conductive liquids, e.g. water, disinfectant, blood and sweat, do not affect operation and the system can still be handled reliably.

Touch pen

Another indirect method for touch operation is the use of a touch pen (stylus). On the one hand, this allows very precise input with many types of touch screen and at the same time enables operation without any direct contact between the skin and the touch display. This method guarantees germ-free operation without any loss of performance.

 

Contactless entry by eye tracking and gesture control

In view of higher hygiene standards and increased safety requirements, completely contactless alternatives, such as eye tracking and gesture control, are particularly interesting. Even though these “hands-free” methods will not completely replace standard touch screens, they are ideally suited for special applications in many areas where touch and potential surface contamination must be avoided. Moreover, when the user’s hands are supposed to concentrate on the actual work, for instance in the medical field or specific manufacturing applications, gesture control and eye tracking represent useful additions to standard input methods.

Eye-Tracking

The basic requirement for eye tracking is a system with an integrated camera. Here eye movements are recorded via an integrated camera using an “eye tracker”, then analyzed by the system and the focuses of attention identified are linked with actions, such as selection of a field. Mobile eye tracking systems are already used in HMI interactions to increase the usability and user experience of the respective applications.

Gesture control

Gesture control, which is more common in game consoles or the automotive area, has found its way into other applications. It has undergone continuous development to improve its features and capabilities. For the industry, gesture control opens up new, far-reaching development potentials and fields of application: complex actions, such as zooming or swiping and rotating, can be understood and carried out by the system via gestures without touching the screen. Especially, in the medical field, conventional input devices may often not be used to operate an application in sterile environments. Thanks to contactless interaction, these applications can be used or information called up without leaving the sterile area and disinfect again.

Components in the manufacturing process

Besides the various input methods, components must be carefully selected in the manufacturing process in order to comply with today’s hygiene standards. For example, in its manufacturing processes, DATA MODUL uses specially prepared cover glasses with properties that, due to their surface treatment, enable a reduction in surface contamination by viruses and bacteria. This complies in particular with the strict requirements of modern medical display products.

Another aspect to guarantee maximum sterility is the sealing of cover glasses to the monitor housing. Thus gap-filling is, for instance, particularly important for medical touch devices. This means that the gap between the cover glass and frame created as a result of the production method is sealed, preventing the penetration of bacteria or contamination. In order to guarantee the best production quality, at DATA MODUL this process is fully automated and carried out under clean room conditions.

DATA MODUL offers various cover glass versions which fulfill the system requirements and customer demands – especially in the medical sector.

Hyclean TEC

The specially developed glass impedes the settlement of bacteria thanks to a special surface coating and easy cleaning. At the same time the glass is resistant to chemical and mechanical influences as well as UV radiation. Even after long periods of use, the glass retains its full transparency and guarantees protection of the units underneath

Antimicrobial glass

This special glass contains ions in the upper layers which kill up to 99% of viruses and bacteria on the glass surface and is known to withstand long and repeated usage. When the germs come into contact with the ions, their metabolism and thus the division mechanism is blocked and both viruses and bacteria die off. In addition, the coating prevents reproduction of fungi, especially in humid, warm conditions.

Conclusion

Requirements for hygienic operation are more important than ever in the industry. Thanks to the latest technologies and materials development, these requirements can now be met efficiently and effectively. Performance is not only affected by the selection of input methods but also by the components selected in the production process.
DATA MODUL, with its diverse portfolio, offers a suitable method of operation for every industry or requirement and manufactures all products in-house under the strictest hygiene standards.

22.07.2020
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DATA MODUL Inc.

West Coast Office 8215 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Rd Suite 200 Tualatin
OR 97062

Phone: +1 503 885 1165

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