industrial LCD touchscreen monitors

Industrial LCD Touchscreen Monitors for Self Service

Industrial LCD Touchscreen Monitors for Self Service

 

The use of industrial grade LCD touchscreen monitors have been commonplace for well over a decade, but their appeal and ease-of-use is prompting an even wider expansion of implementation to most everywhere in daily life. In the food and beverage industry, Panera Bread reported in 2016 that 60 percent of its lunchtime transactions are completed on touchscreen terminals, and other big chain restaurants like Wendy’s and McDonald’s are quickly adopting this self serve method at their locations as well. If you visit any Buffalo Wild Wings, you’ll be greeted by a self-service ordering and entertainment kiosk at your table. Allowing customers to order and customize their own meal orders on LCD kiosks without waiting in lines and at their own pace has not only seen improvements in accuracy and satisfaction, but it also allows the retailer to unobtrusively offer additional items to add on to the meal. Having some entertainment built in also keeps customers engaged and happy while they wait on their food.

Most every casino has industrial touchscreen gambling at every seat that isn’t forded by a live dealer, and soon enough, deluxe seats at sporting events will have small kiosks to order from wait staff. We use industrial touchscreen LCD monitors to check in our luggage at the airport, get directions and information in stores, and to fill out forms at doctor’s offices. A Forrester study found that 74 percent of consumers who have used an in-store kiosk reported it was useful to them.

 

These industrial LCD monitors go through unbelievable amounts of wear and tear on a daily basis and are expected to hold up for years of continued twenty four operation. As the technology for sensitivity and accuracy of the touchscreens have improved over the years, so has the effort to create durable, rugged, and long lasting industrial grade LCD monitors to withstand both daily pummeling and environmental or temperature changes. High quality industrial LCD monitors are built with a stainless steel or cast aluminum chassis that is highly protected against any liquid or contaminant intrusion. The enclosures are often rated at an IP66 or higher and can withstand directed sprays of water, spilt drinks on the gambling or dinner table, oils from hundreds of finger touches, and food splatters. The protection on an industrial LCD monitor is also rated at a NEMA 4 or better, ensuring addition protection against corrosion and external formation of ice on the enclosure. The wiles of weather and temperatures are kept at bay by the protected enclosure, offering a range of safe operation from -4 – 140°F (-20 – 60°C).

 

The touchscreen display on an industrial LCD monitor is typically either 4 or 5-Wire resistive touch or PCAP capacitive multi-touch. Different levels of brightness are available on industrial LCD monitors depending on whether it needs to be daylight readable or sunlight readable. When a kiosk is outdoors, it’s extremely important that the screen be readable in the sunlight and that the screen will not experience burning from direct UV sunlight. There’s a lot that goes into the construction of a high quality industrial LCD monitor, but the pace of life and the adoption of kiosks and touchscreens everywhere demands it. As consumers get more and more used to using them, businesses and retailers won’t be able to afford downtime on their computer systems. With something as handled as often as the touchscreen monitors are, cheap alternatives are just not a viable answer.

 

218tangent

Not a Monitor, An All-in-One Touchscreen

At a glance, the Tangent VITA 474 19” panel PC looks just like a nice monitor. Sure, it’s very slim, sleek and unassuming. One could very easily pass it by on a wall or desk and never imagine that it is a powerful, fully featured all-in-one touchscreen panel PC. It even goes beyond just PC features and incorporates popular tablet computer components like a front-facing camera, integrated HD audio, wifi connectivity and Bluetooth wireless. With the Windows 10 app store and android emulators, you can take advantage of the highly responsive touchscreen while running mobile apps. But that’s not to say the Vita is just an oversized tablet. This panel PC is an industrial grade workhorse that can operate 24/7, at extreme temperatures, and has no fan or other moving parts. The front panel is rated at an IP64 level of protection against dust, water on contaminant intrusion.

This panel PC’s hardware setup is customizable to suit the needs of business, be it as an infotainment station for customers and patients, an electronic medical records keeping computer, or as an in-room patient care system. It is offered with an Intel 6th Gen Core i5 or an Intel Celeron processor, an Intel Skylake chipset, up to 32GB of memory, an optional RFID module for easy login, and hard drive/SATA drive options with storage of up to 2TB. The VESA 75/100 mounting bracket and optional stand allows for versatile placement of the panel PC for nearly any desired place: walls, arms, desks, or in-vehicle. The touchscreen is a sensitive, but durable PCAP 10 point multi-touch with a non-glare LED backlit LCD. All these features are packaged up in a flat panel that is only 16lbs.

If 19” isn’t quite the size you’re looking for, Tangent offers industrial panel PCs that range from 15” to 24”. Tangent also has lines of panel PCs that are more rugged and sealed for use in harsh or highly sanitized environments. The S-series panel PC has an enclosure that is rated at an incredibly secure IP69k, meaning that it can withstand being washed with jets of high heat water. The F15 panel PC has a cast aluminum chassis that is ruggedized for use outdoors or on vehicles, and has function buttons on the front for one-handed operation. Even with specialized features like these, the panel PCs all still retain the same functionality as all-in-one computers and tablets as to be truly versatile systems.

industrial computer

Industrial Computers, Silent Workhorses

At first blush, a Tangent Rugged industrial computer looks strikingly like a massive CPU with no fan. The familiar heat dispersing fins and it’s diminutive size are quite deceiving in this way, but it truly is a fully featured industrial computer. Many of the PCs in the Rugged line, like the Rugged Tank, are fanless industrial computers that utilize passive cooling technology instead of a fan blowing on hot internal components. Passive cooling happens by way of heat dissipation as air flows over the unique and expertly designed heat sink that transfers warmth away from the internal computer components. This method is excellent for eliminating noise and internal dust build-up, as well as vastly reducing energy consumption.

industrial computer
Rugged Mini Tank

Another factor in noise reduction on these mini industrial computers is the option (and recommendation) for solid state hard drives as opposed to standard hard disc drives with a spinning disc. No fans and no moving disc parts equates to a much greater reliability, durability and service uptime. The lack of moving parts in the Rugged industrial computer also allows it to operate in extreme and fluctuating temperatures with ease. It works equally well in a refrigerated food processing plant or in a desert off-road rally race. That’s no joke either, the Rugged Tank industrial computer has been tested and rated to withstand consistent shock and vibration. It’s ideal for in-vehicle applications such as construction or farming vehicles, news vans, or industrial forklifts.

Being a fanless mini industrial computer doesn’t nearly suggest that it’s a slouch in terms of performance. Depending on one’s requirements, it can be customized to be a daily workhorse or a high powered workstation. Processors offered range from an Intel Celeron Dual-Core to an Intel i7 Quad-Core, and memory is offered at up to 16GB. It is equipped standard with either Windows 7 or Windows 10, and has TPM 1.2 and  RAID support. The petite industrial PC has an abundance of available I/O ports including three video outputs, six COM, six USB inputs, 2 LAN, WLAN, audio, and several others. As the name suggests, this little industrial computer is truly a formidable tank. Tangent’s Rugged mini PCs are powerful and effective in environments experiencing extreme temperature or constant shock and vibration, or spaces that require extreme cleanliness. From the precise and sterile to the dirty and industrial, Tangent has a computer solution to rise to the occasion.

Antimicrobial POS

AntiMicrobial POS Tablets for Restaurants

The American public is no stranger to fast food safety scares and widespread food poisoning events amongst even the most popular restaurants that boast freshness and quality.  Chipotle quickly comes to mind as a repeat offender. The most recent infraction was in August of 2018 when 220 verified reports involving 405 people who were rendered ill from eating at an Ohio Chipotle were submitted to the crowd-sourcing site iwaspoisoned.com. The critical violation was found to be inadequate maintenance of temperature control to prevent the growth of pathogens, mold and harmful bacteria. Proper washing of vegetables and leafy greens was another key factor as they can be a carrier for awful strains of bacteria like E.coli. Cleanliness of workstations and any food surface a worker touches also contributes greatly to a safe environment.

 

I happen to be a fan of Chipotle’s food, but on a few occasions have wondered how safe it was for their staff to handle food and then work the register as well. Computer equipment can be a hotbed of bacteria, especially when handled by several people in a warm environment. How safe are the POS (point of sale) tablets in a fast food restaurant? What other steps can be taken to prevent the spread of contaminants and pathogens?

 

The Tangent P10 industrial POS tablet was designed for the rigors of intensive use and cleaning. The front panel is rated at an IP54 level of protection, meaning that it can withstand low pressure water jets and spray without any damage to the POS tablet. Restaurant staff can wipe down the POS tablet with disinfectant wipes throughout the work day, and then spray it down during cleanup time for a more thorough sanitation. The P10 10” inch POS tablet itself is equipped with a smart card reading slot, a barcode scanner, a five megapixel camera, and triple-track MSR. The accompanying docking station features a wide array of I/O ports in a compact space to attach peripherals like a cash drawer, second monitor, or USB devices.

 

For an even higher level of pathogen protection, Tangent also offers medical grade tablets that can easily be used for POS purposes. The enclosure of the Medix T13 13” tablet is factory treated with an antimicrobial coating that prevents the spread of contamination and infection. Bacteria, mold, and microbial growth is stunted by the antimicrobial additives. The enclosure is also rated at an IP54, allowing it to be sprayed and wiped clean. Like the P10, the T13 medical (POS) tablet has a full-slot smart card reader and barcode reader, but this one also has an optional RFID reader. The T13 has an available desktop charging cradle for added I/O ports. For convenient mobile use, this medical grade tablet can be equipped with a hand strap and integrated stand.

 

There is a lot of responsibility that goes into offering customers a safe dining experience, and part of that is ensuring that restaurant equipment is clean and sanitary, including computer devices. Tangent’s line of industrial and medical grade tablets offer elevated levels of safety for a multitude of uses including POS (point of sale) transactions.