3M Touch Systems incorporates the reliable and durable 3M surface capacitive touch technology in to an array of touch enabled monitors for use in Retail, Industrial, Healthcare and Transportation applications.
With over 150 patents related to touch technologies, 3M Touch Systems expertise in this industry is extensive and ever increasing.
Surface capacitive touch technology
Surface capacitive touch technology is one of the most established touch interfaces available today. Pioneered by MicroTouch Systems in the mid-1980s, surface capacitive technology is the preferred solution for public-access applications in contaminant-prone environments.
One of 3M Touch Systems core capabilities are the coatings used to create MicroTouch ClearTek II touch sensors. These coatings provide surface durability, anti-glare optics, and scratch resistance.
The 3M MicroTouch ClearTek hard coat was formulated by 3M Touch Systems chemical engineers and is chemically bonded to the touch sensor's glass substrate to provide premium protection of the scratch-prone ITO conductive coating. The ClearTek coat also provides anti-glare characteristics and enhances the light transmission value to 91.5%.
3M Touch Systems applies a top coat to each ClearTek II touch sensor that fills in the relatively rough surface of the glass substrate. This top coat reduces the surface energy of the touch surface which reduces the likelihood of sharp objects scratching the ClearTek hard coat and the ITO conductive coating. Also, the lower surface energy makes the surface easier to clean, minimizes contaminants adhering to the surface and liquids tend to bead up and flow easier off the screen.
3M's expertise in adhesive chemistry has created a conductive adhesive tail bond unmatched in the industry, which completely removes the need for traditional soldering and provides a robust electrical/mechanical connection.
The 3M MicroTouch ClearTek hard coat was formulated by 3M Touch Systems chemical engineers and is chemically bonded to the touch sensor's glass substrate to provide premium protection of the ITO conductive coating. The ClearTek coat also provides anti-glare characteristics and enhances the light transmission value to 91.5%.
3M is well known for its manufacturing expertise and 3M Touch Systems applies that expertise to producing world-class touch products.
Surface Capacitive Sensors
The 3M™ MicroTouch™ Sensor SCT3250 product line is produced by a flexible, high volume, vertically-integrated manufacturing process:
Large glass sheets are converted at the 3M glass processing facility into individual glass panels to meet customer size and quantity requirements. This is a key component for 3M's manufacturing flexibility, production volume scalability and reduced lead times.
Glass panels are printed with 3M's proprietary pattern which supplies current to the four corners of the sensor to generate the uniform, capacitive field for touch accuracy.
Proprietary hard coat is applied for industry-leading surface protection and embedded anti-glare characteristics.
Scratch-resistant top coat is applied over hard coat to improve surface scratch resistance (achieves 7 Mohs rating) and to create low surface energy which improves dragging/drawing capabilities.
Flex tail is conductively bonded to the glass sensor without solder points for optimal bezel seal-ability and to minimize electrical connection damage during integration.
Flex tail is reinforced to the glass sensor at three points for optimal integration reliability.
All touch sensors are inspected and tested for aesthetics and accuracy.
Completed SCT3250 sensor is linearized with mated EX II controller and carefully packaged for shipment to customer.
3M is known worldwide as a volume product manufacturer and this applies to manufacturing touch systems as well. Customers who require tens of thousands of touch screens delivered to forecasted dates rely on 3M Touch Systems to keep their product lines rolling to meet their customer's needs. Due to its in-house glass processing facility and continuous-flow production line, 3M Touch Systems is able to scale up from prototypes to volume quantities effortlessly.