Zytronic Provides Touch Functionality to APC Technology's Hazardous Location Industrial Computer Solution Enabling the Deployment of Advanced Human-Machine Interfaces, in Zone 1 Classified Environments

Zytronic has, via its Australian distributor JEA Technologies, once again been able to show the effectiveness of its Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT(TM)) touch sensors in the most severe applications. A bespoke 15-inch version of the company's ZYTOUCH® product has been specified by APC Technology, a leading producer of industrial computing systems, for inclusion in its latest ultra-robust platform.

The installation of electrical equipment in heavy processing facilities, such as oil refineries and chemical plants, can be very hazardous. In such demanding settings, flammable gases are likely to be present, so it is vital that every possible precaution is taken to ensure any sparks caused by electrical switching activity or fault conditions do not ignite these gases. To address this problem, APC Technology has developed an industrial PC with an enclosure which ensures that there is no possibility of an internal spark triggering an external explosion. The resultant enclosure/touchscreen design was then certified to the Exd (flameproof/explosion proof) standard.

APC Technology's solution had to provide extreme ruggedness, while at the same time possessing a high degree of use-ability. A touchscreen interface was a logical choice, but the specification was certain to prove a challenge, as the front surface had to be very thick and completely sealed so that isolation was kept in line with IEC 60079.0/1 certifications and an IP66/67 moisture/humidity protection rating was maintained. Modeling and testing at APC Technology and Zytronic indicated that the sensor would have to be greater than any previously designed and manufactured thickened laminated and toughened glass to pass the stipulated pressure/explosion ratings. Furthermore, due to the nature of applications in which this enclosure would be deployed, the touchscreen specified also had to have the ability to be used by plant operatives wearing gloves.

Zytronic's PCT touch sensors utilize a matrix of micro-fine capacitors embedded within a laminated substrate that can be located behind a protective overlay (usually made of glass) that safeguards against damage from external forces. This makes them highly optimized for use in difficult settings. They also support gloved operation. However, until now few applications had called for sensitivity through such thick glass.

"The design of this anti-explosion enclosure required a customized touchscreen which could perform to the highest standards while still enduring subjection to the uncompromising and potentially dangerous conditions found in industrial locations," Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director at Zytronic explains. "This project has shown Zytronic's ability to push the envelope in terms of touch performance - consolidating our lead in providing sensor solutions in self-service, public access and industrial sectors."

"We have worked successfully with Zytronic on the fulfillment of a number of customized designs in the past. They have delivered technology to us that we were not able to get anywhere else and were therefore the natural choice for this latest, highly ambitious venture," states Scott Begbie, Managing Director of APC Technology. "During the design and prototyping phases our two companies worked closely together to give the enclosure a heavy duty user interface that could deal with the most of exacting performance demands. Zytronic's engineering team provided all the support we required to achieve our goals."

About Zytronic

Zytronic designs and manufactures a range of technologies that optimize the performance of electronic display applications. The company's principle products include award-winning touch sensor technologies, optical filters for enhanced performance and protection, and special filters to minimize electromagnetic emissions. In addition, the company can offer complex shaped glass composites for specialized applications.

Zytronic products are used in electronic displays for information kiosks, web phones, ATMs and gaming machines, as well as by military, computer, telecommunications, medical and lighting OEMs, and are available from its network of worldwide distributors.

The company has its headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Blaydon, Tyne & Wear in the UK. In addition to ISO-approved manufacturing, these facilities are home to Zytronic's team of lamination, material science and electronics specialists.

For more company information, visit Zytronic's web site at www.zytronic.co.uk or find us on

About APC Technology

APC Technology is a leading supplier of computing solutions for your rugged environment. Our comprehensive range of solutions includes touchscreen displays and Panel PCs, rugged laptop/PDA mobile solutions, components and motherboards, AITECH VME products, keyboards and pointing devices.

Since 1984 APC Technology has provided specialist computer systems for applications in some of the most severe environments on earth. APC Technology designs and manufactures state of the art computer/control technology packages for industrial and military clients who have critical applications where failure is not an option. APC's heritage of engineering excellence is found in new, innovative products that are solving real-life challenges for customers and end-users.

For more company information, visit APC Technology's web site at www.apctechnology.com.au

Contact details for editorial enquiries:

Sheila Dean, Zytronic

Whiteley Road, Blaydon on Tyne, Tyne &Wear, NE21 5NJ, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 191 414 5511

Fax: +44 (0) 191 414 0545

Email: sheila.dean@zytronic.co.uk

Contact details for other reason:
Americas - www.zytronic.co.uk/how-to-buy/sales-channel-partners/americas/

Contact details for APC Technology:

Scott Begbie, Managing Director

40 Stepney Street, Stepney, Australia 5069.

Tel: +61 (0) 8 8363 0400

Fax: +61 (0) 8 8363 1736

Email: sbegbie@apctechnology.com.au

Contact details for JEA Technologies:

George Grochowski

44-48 Rocco Drive, Scoresby, Australia 3179

Tel: +61 3 9757 5060

Fax: +61 3 9757 5061

Email: georgeg@jeatech.com.au

Ref: ZY140/A

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