2 December 2021. When developing a new field controller for its fuel management system, Banlaw, the premium supplier for off-road liquid transfer, measurement, and control solutions, wanted a user interface that could thrive in harsh industrial work environments anywhere in the world, such as remote mines and quarries. The developers also wanted a touchscreen that would work with gloved hands, provide reliable, year-round, low maintenance operation, and be readable in both direct sunlight and the middle of the night. As a result, they chose a high-brightness industrial-grade display fitted with a rugged, custom-designed Zytronic ZyBrid® touch sensor and a bespoke serial touch controller.
The Banlaw Xpress Field Controller is the central component in a complete fuel management system and is built to withstand harsh operating environments, provide ease of use, and deliver secure fuel inventory monitoring and control. The compact unit manages user and equipment identification, pump control, ball-valve control, and flow metering for up to four refuelling nozzles. It also provides precise, real-time tank gauging for four fuel tanks.
Banlaw wished to collaboratively develop a fluid asset management product to satisfy customer needs. "Component pricing and the expected longevity were important when deployed on industrial worksites," says Sebastian Hoppe, Engineering & Development Manager, Banlaw. "However, a supplier with the subject matter expertise to help us achieve better together was more important, which is why we chose to work with JEA Technologies and Zytronic."
Working closely with JEA, Zytronic designed a bespoke, printed glass 7" ZyBrid® projected capacitive touch sensor incorporating UV and IR filters to aid system thermal management and protect the underlying display from damaging exposure to sunlight. A 6mm thick, thermally toughened antiglare etched glass was chosen, ensuring optimum impact resistance, and reducing sunlight reflection in the frequently scorching weather experienced by Banlaw's customers in Australia, Africa, the Americas, and beyond.
In addition to the dynamically changeable touchscreen, a fixed keypad was also required to allow frequently used information such as driver secure PIN codes, truck mileage or odometer readings to be quickly entered into the Banlaw Xpress Controller. Consequently, working closely with JEA and Banlaw's engineers, Zytronic designed the rugged touchscreen from a larger piece of glass and then printed the required viewable area together with 'hard coded' capacitive keys and an RFID reading point beneath a 10.2" touch active zone. In addition, Zytronic modified its standard ZXY100™ serial controller to incorporate both dynamic touch and fixed keys managed through the same device. The overall benefit was to reduce the complexity of integrating multiple components and the size of the high brightness industrial-grade display required, and therefore overall system cost.
"This combination and integration of a projected capacitive keypad together with a touchscreen in a single user interface really helped our product development process," adds Hoppe. "Furthermore, liaising with JEA Technology and Zytronic throughout was excellent. Both organisations added their specialist expertise, yielding fast responses and collaborative solutions for creating this new Xpress fluid asset control technology."
Utilising Zytronic's complete in-house "ownership" of touch control electronics coupled with its ability to quickly design and manufacture highly customised touchscreen designs, even in low quantities, Banlaw and its technology partners have already completed the first 20 Xpress deployments. These implementations have predominantly been for mines and quarries, and the company expects to build around 170 in the coming year. The Xpress Controller also meets the needs of many agriculture, road transport, rail, construction, and liquid food production operations. The affordability of Banlaw's new Xpress solution is expected to drive uptake by these other industries that historically have struggled to invest in enterprise-class fluid asset management processes.
"I wish all my suppliers were as forthcoming and collaborative as JEA Technologies and Zytronic," concludes Hoppe.
If you would like to discuss your latest project needs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us an enquiry to find out more about our touchscreen technology. For more information about Zytronic's touch sensor technology, please visit: www.zytronic.co.uk/technology/single-touch/
About JEA Technologies
JEA Technologies Pty Ltd was established in 2003 as a specialist distributor of electronic peripherals covering Australia and New Zealand. The company JEA specialises in touch screens, touch monitors, commercial and industrial LCDs, cash and cashless payment products, computer products and thermal printers for kiosks, providing in-depth technical, commercial and logistics support to customers on these products. For further information, visit: https://jeatech.com.au/
As pioneers in fluid asset management, Banlaw helps mines, ports, quarries, construction, defence, railway and transport industries improve efficiency and enhance environmental and safety performance in every aspect of their hydrocarbon and fluid management. The company's technology is used daily in the harshest work environments worldwide and is designed and built for reliability and performance. The company is committed to long-term customer relationships and excellence and is certified to ISO 9001, ISO 45001, and ISO 14001 standards. For further information, visit: https://www.banlaw.com/
Zytronic Displays Ltd internationally award-winning touch sensors are used globally in ATMs, digital signage, self-service kiosks and gaming machines as well as by industrial and medical OEMs. The company's success rests on its patented and highly durable touch sensing technologies, which can be provided in custom designs of 85" and beyond. These touchscreens are supplied under registered trademarks such as Zypos®, Zybrid®, Zytouch®, Zyfilm® and Zyprofilm®.
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