Industrial Computing

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PROVIDING AN APPLIANCE WITH YOUR CYBER SECURITY SOFTWARE SOLUTION

The cyber security marketplace is hot right now and companies that want to position themselves in this market have a tremendous opportunity. A software company or what is often referred to as an ISV (Independent Software Vendor), with a product that is focused for the cyber security market should not divert its attention to anything else except building an exceptional product for the customer. Distractions for a software company include the selecting, acquiring, and selling of a computer or computer platform to complement the software solution. FoxGuard Solutions suggests that software companies would benefit from a partnership with a reputable computing appliance provider to offer a total turnkey solution for the customer.

why should a software company outsource?

The implementation of the cyber security software will need to be completed by either the software company, the end customer, or the outsourced computer appliance supplier who partners with the software company. FoxGuard Solutions can provide an accountable point of contact to ensure the delivery and implementation of the software.   

ISV employee

  1. Who will design and optimize the computing platform (to the software)?
  2. Will it be easier for the end customer to buy a turnkey solution or multiple products? Issue one or multiple purchase orders?
  3. Will a software company or the end customer know how to effectively move from design, to prototyping, to production systems?
  4. Who will manage the product parts setup and lifecycle?
  5. Who will manage the logistics, warehousing, inventory, and installation?
  6. What if the end customer wants the computing platform or appliance integrated with other equipment, such as a computer rack?
  7. What if the target market and customers need multiple form factors in their selection of computer appliances?
  8. What about warranty, failure rates, and support?
  9. How does the software company promote their brand?
  10. Would it be helpful if the computer was branded for the software company?

production rack integration

As this list implies, there is a lot to worry about from the software company’s perspective when they need to be devoting their time and energy to having the best software and support possible. Sure, the software company could simply tell the end customer that they (the end customer) can provide the computer, but the risk there is that the software may not perform optimally because the customer did not select the recommended and optimal hardware solution. This could cause startup problems and put a bad taste in the end customer’s mouth of the software company.

hardware production floor

The cyber security market is estimated to grow to $170 billion (USD) annually by 2020, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to a report from Markets and Markets. The aerospace, defense, and intelligence vertical continues to be the largest contributor to cyber security solutions. If you are a software company or ISV and you are trying to take advantage of this great growth opportunity, take a good look at partnering with a computing appliance supplier. The FoxGuard Solutions team would be happy to consult with you and help you assess whether this would be a good direction for your firm. These are very competitive times and also times where markets are moving to a heavy focus on software. The software companies who can put their focus and attention on their software and not on other distractions could be the ones who will win with the customer in the end.

What’s Behind that Document?

FoxGuard Solutions’ Regulatory Compliance program is designed to ensure that each order shipped meets the regulatory requirements of the order’s destination. 

Our services cover the following areas of regulatory compliance for over 36 worldwide locations:

  • Safety
  • eWaste
  • Telecom
  • Low Voltage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Country of Origin
  • EMC
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Multilingual Labeling
  • Battery Requirements
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Document Translation

Regulatory Compliance Map

“Behind the scenes” of the regulatory document packages uploaded to customer support sites lies daily research into new and changing legislation surrounding IT equipment design and import, investigative reviews into compliance of potential new inventory components, and a database of over 40,000 regulatory certificates and reports covering thousands of parts, from adapters to industrial computers and peripherals!

Our document database is monitored to ensure expiring documents are renewed and certificates with superseded standards are retired.  One change in a national or regional standard, such as CE, can mean replacement of hundreds of component certificates!

FoxGuard’s Regulatory Compliance Team maintains a network with over 250 manufacturers and suppliers.  In addition to collaborating with these associates to assess compliance of specific components and produce proper documentation, FoxGuard issues periodic Regulatory Bulletins alerting manufacturers and suppliers of upcoming legislative changes and new documentation requirements.

The custom regulatory document packages provided to customer-specified sites are the result of design and pre-BOM reviews, quote reviews, and an additional line-by-line review before an order is released for planning.

In addition to the support provided on an order-by-order basis, FoxGuard’s Regulatory Compliance Team works with Customer Account Representatives, suppliers, and customer compliance professionals to explore and coordinate special requests, such as additional product certifications. 

The result of these extensive “behind the scenes” services is successful import to international destinations and proper documentation to back up every regulatory mark on a system component.  On those occasions when a customs office requires additional information to clear a shipment, FoxGuard’s Regulatory Compliance staff works closely with customer and customs associates to provide the information requested in a timely manner.

Customer Care Center

Last but not least, FoxGuard’s Customer Care Center (CCC) offers pass-fail results on regulatory compliance pre-submittal inquiries.  If you need log-in information or instructions on the use of the CCC, please contact your FoxGuard Customer Account Representative or e-mail customerservice@foxguardsolutions.com.

Top 5 Touch Screen Interfaces

Touch screens have a very commonplace in our daily lives: cell phones, ATM’s, kiosks, ticket vending machines, and more. They all use touch panels to enable the user to interact with a computer or device, without the use of a keyboard or mouse. But did you know there are several different types of touch screens? The five most common types of touch screens are 5-wire resistive, surface capacitive, projected capacitive, surface acoustic wave (SAW), and infrared.

5- Wire Resistive

5-wire resistive is the most commonly used touch technology today. A resistive touch screen is composed of a glass panel and film screen, each covered with a thin metallic layer that’s separated by a narrow spacing. When a user touches the screen, the two metallic layers make contact, resulting in an electric flow. The point of contact is detected by this change in voltage.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Can be activated with virtually any object – finger, stylus, gloved hand, pen, etc.
  • Has tactile feel
  • Lowest cost touch technology
  • Low power consumption
  • Resistant to dust, oil, grease, moisture, and other liquids

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Lower image definition compared to other touch technologies
  • Outer polyester film is vulnerable to damage from scratching, poking, and sharp objects

Surface Capacitive

Surface capacitive is the second most popular type of touch screen on the market. In a surface capacitive touch screen, a transparent electrode layer is placed on top of a glass panel and covered by a protective cover. When an exposed finger touches the screen, it reacts to the static electrical capacity of the human body. Some of the electrical charges transfer from the screen to the user. This decrease in capacitance within the screen is detected by sensors located at the four corners of the screen, allowing the controller to determine the touch point. Capacitive touch screens can only be activated by the touch of human skin or a stylus holding an electrical charge.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Better image clarity than resistive touch screens
  • Durable screen
  • Excellent resistance to surface contaminants and liquids- dust, oil, grease, water droplets
  • High scratch resistance

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Requires bare finger or capacitive stylus for activation
  • Sensitivity to Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI)/Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)

Projected Capacitive

Projected capacitive is similar to surface capacitive, but offers two primary advantages. In addition to a bare finger, it can also be activated with surgical gloves or thin cotton gloves. It also enables multi-touch activation (simultaneous input from two fingers). A projected capacitive is composed of a sheet of glass with embedded transparent electrode films and an integrated chip (IC), which creates a three-dimensional electrostatic field. When a finger comes into contact with the screen, the ratios of the electrical currents change, and the computer is able to detect the touch points.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Excellent image clarity
  • More resistant to scratching than surface capacitive touch screens
  • Resistant to surface contaminants and liquids- dust, oil, grease, moisture
  • Multi-touch (two-touch)

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Sensitive to EMI/RFI
  • Must be activated via exposed finger, thin surgical or cotton gloves

Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW)

SAW touch screen monitors utilize a series of piezoelectric transducers and receivers along the sides of the monitor’s glass plate, to create an invisible grid of ultrasonic waves on the surface. When the panel is touched, a portion of the wave is absorbed. This allows the receiving transducer to locate the touch point and send the data to the computer. SAW monitors can be activated by a finger, gloved hand, or soft-tip stylus. SAW monitors offer easy to use and high visibility.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Excellent image clarity
  • Even better scratch resistance than capacitive touch screens
  • High “touch life”

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Will not activate with hard items- pen, credit cards, or fingernails
  • Water droplets may cause false triggering
  • Solid contaminants on the screen can create non-touch areas until removed

Infrared Touch (IR)

Infrared touch screen monitors do not overlay the display with an additional screen or screen sandwich. Instead, infrared monitors use IR emitters and receivers to create an invisible grid of light beams across the screen. This ensures the best possible image quality. When an object interrupts the invisible infrared light beam, the sensors are able to locate the touch point.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Highest image clarity and light transmission of all touch screen technologies
  • Unlimited “touch-life”
  • Impervious to surface scratches

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Accidental activation may occur because infrared beams are actually above the glass surface
  • Dust, oil, or grease buildup on screen or frame could impede light beam causing malfunction
  • Sensitive to water, snow, and rain
  • May be sensitive to ambient light interference
  • Higher cost

Touch Screen For Industrial Environments

All touch screen interfaces have advantages and disadvantages, depending on their application. For industrial use, there typically are requirements and nuances that lend better to certain types of touch screen interfaces. The most advantageous touch screen interface type for industrial and automation environments tends to be resistive touch screens. Since resistive touch screens allow the use of gloves and stylus, the user will not be bothered with having to remove gloves or protective wear in order to use the device. Some industry facilities, like food and beverage, require a strict “no exposed glass” policy. Resistive touch interfaces employ a flexible- polycarbonate in most cases- sheet over top of a glass substrate. Resistive touch screens prevent any exposed glass and allow use in these type of applications. Many types of touch screen interfaces can excel in many environments, so it’s best to research what the application environment will consist of, before choosing the type of touch screen interface that would be ideal for your operations.  

TOUCH SCREEN COMPARISON

 

5-WIRE RESISTIVE

SURFACE CAPACITIVE

PROJECTED CAPACITIVE

SAW

INFRARED

CLARITY

XX XXX XXX XX XXXXX

SENSOR SUBSTRATE (TOP COATING)

Polyester top sheet. Glass substrate with ITO coating Glass with ITO coating Glass with ITO coating Glass with ITO coating Any substrate

EASE OF TOUCH ACTIVATION

XXXXX X XX XXX XXXX

TOUCH SENSITIVITY

XX XXX XXX XXXX XXXXX

CALIBRATION STABILITY

XXX XX XXX XXXXX XXXX

ACCURACY AND REPEATABILITY

XXX XX XXXXX XXXX XXX

SCRATCH RESISTANCE

X XXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX

HUMIDITY SENSITIVITY

XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXX

SENSITIVITY TO RAIN/SNOW

XXXXX XX XXXX XX XXXXX

SENSITIVITY TO CLEANING CHEMICALS

XXX XXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX

SENSITIVITY TO SURFACE CONTAMINANTS

XXXXX XX XXXX XX XX

EMI/RFI SENSITIVITY

XXXXX XX XX XXX XXXXX

VIBRATION SENSITIVITY

XXXXX XXX XXXX XXX XXXX

SENSITIVITY TO AMBIENT LIGHT

XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XX