Front panel integration & bonding

When designing the ideal display for your device, the available technologies can seem overwhelming. At GMN, we take the guesswork out of display integration with one-stop service that delivers many integration options, a seamless development process, and a capable supplier network, saving you time and resources. GMN helps our clients consider important factors such as cost, longevity, readability in bright light, impact resistance, and performance in extreme environments.

Front panel integration capabilities

  • Bonding and integration
  • Touchscreen selection and sourcing
  • Display enhancement shielding and films
  • Gasketing and sealing
  • Display enclosures and bezels
  • Value-added assembly
  • Front panel performance testing  

Bonding technologies

The type of bonding technology you choose for your device can have a major impact on both performance and cost. We’ll work hand-in-hand with your product development team to offer custom design solutions and produce display assemblies to fit your unique requirements.

 

Bonding options from GMN

Liquid Optically Clear Adhesive Bonding

Liquid optically clear adhesive (LOCA)

LOCA offers the most robust and best overall performance of any bonding technology.  Handheld devices such as tablets and laptops have led the way using LOCA in display integration. Other industries such as agriculture, military and avionics have incorporated LOCA because of its durability. GMN is a licensed converter of DuPont's Vertak® bonding technology, which allows us to provide customers with the latest in LOCA display enhancement technology. GMN's LOCA is also a popular option because it is reworkable.  

Optically clear adhesive (OCA)

OCA is commonly used on touchscreens, LCD flat panel displays, transparent graphic overlays and other devices requiring an optically clear bond. OCA’s thin, consistent thickness makes it an ideal choice for flexible to rigid bonding and tight tolerance bonding situations. OCA is classified as a dry film, pressure-sensitive adhesive and there are different versions depending on the application and substrate to which it will be applied.

Optically Clear Adhesive Bonding
Air gap construction

Air gap

Economical and lightweight, an air gap display construction is more common in lower-resolution, immobile, price-conscious products such as point-of-sale equipment and vending machines. The layers are integrated with a gasket leaving behind a small air gap.  This method lacks support between the screen and LCD, can be difficult to read in bright light, and can be prone to parallax issues, breakage, and moisture condensation. 

Display integration options

Our engineering team is here to help you develop the ideal display integration stack-up for your project.

Considerations Air gap OCA LOCA
Optical quality Good Best Best
Impact resistance Good Better Best
Typical thickness .005” - .040” ± 10% [0.13mm – 1.00mm] .002” - .010” ± 10% [0.05mm – 0.25mm] .015” - .040” ± 70% [0.38mm – 1.00mm]
Application notes
  • Rigid material to flexible material
  • Rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to flexible material
  • LCD to rigid material bonding
  • Rigid material to flexible material
  • Rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to flexible material (if no LCD frame)
  • LCD to rigid material (if no LCD frame)
  • Rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to rigid material
  • Reworkable

Integration showdown: LOCA vs. air gap

Video Media
Video Url

Watch our video to see impact resistance testing of LOCA and air gap bonded front panels.  

Touchscreens

GMN brings over 15 years of integration experience working with every major type of touchscreen technology. Our engineering team can help you integrate a custom touchscreen system perfectly suited to your unique application, using our vast network of premier touchscreen manufacturers to provide the best technology for your device.

Touchscreen technologies

Projected capacitive (PCAP)

Commonly used in cell phones, p-cap touchscreens provide three important advantages: high durability (long life), excellent optical performance (high transmissivity), and multi-touch possibilities (controller-dependent). 

4, 5, 8-wire resistive

Resistive technologies work by measuring a direct resistive circuit. Printed spacer dots on the glass layer are used for controlling actuation force and to keep the conductive layers from premature contact. Depending on the configuration, resistive touchscreens can be activated with any type of stylus.

Resistive multi-touch

Unlike a standard touchscreen, the resistive multi-touch touchscreen allows for a gloved touch with multiple touch points at one time. Similar to the functionality of PCAP, this touchscreen technology is capable of pinch, zoom, and rotate type touches. 

Touchscreen options

GMN’s engineering team will guide you through the integration process to ensure that you get the appropriate touchscreen and stack up for the intended use of your device. 

Specifications Resistive Resistive multi-touch (RMTS) Projected capacitive (PCAP)
Versions 4-, 5- or 8-wire interfaces Full industrial grade 10 point multi-touch solution Multi-touch support: 2, 4 or 10 point gesturing
Temperature range -40°C to +80°C -40°C to +80°C -40°C to +80°C
Sizes Up to 21.5“ Up to 21.5" Up to 24.5"
Surfaces Clear, anti-reflectance (AR), anti-glare (AG), anti-smudge (AS), AG-AR Clear, AR, AG, AS, AG-AR Clear, AG, AR, AS, AG-AR
Enhancements Graphic overlays, glass-film-glass layer (G/F/G), sunlight readable, EMI shielding G/F/G, sunlight readable, EMI shielding Cover glass shaping, color printing, logos, drill holes, light pipes, sunlight readable
Transmission Typical Typical Typical
Input Pressure-activated input: finger, stylus & gloved hand Pressure-activated input: finger, stylus & gloved hand Sensing inputs: finger, conductive stylus & gloved hand
Operating systems WINXP functionality WIN7, WIN8, WIN10, Linux, or Android functionality WINXP, WIN7, WIN8, WIN10, Linux, or Android functionality
Interface USB separate controller available USB separate controller available Interface I2C, SPI & USB, chip on flex (COF) designs standard
Ruggedization Customization available Customization available Customization available

Display enhancements

Liquid optical bonding LOCA sunlight readability

Display enhancements offer more options for optimizing device performance. From bright light to no light, cold temperatures or user input via a touchscreen, GMN surface treatments and films adapt your device to any environment for optimal performance. We’re a licensed user of 3M films and coatings to provide our customers the highest quality products and superior protection.

  • Anti-glare (AG)
  • Anti-reflective (AR)
  • Anti-smudge (AS)
  • EMI/RFI Shielding
  • Night vision filters
  • Heating elements
  • Privacy layers
  • Enhanced sunlight readability
  • Surface protection

Display cover glass and overlays

The experts at GMN can help you select a plastic or glass cover that offers the protection and functionality you need, along with the option for custom decoration. GMN’s glass customization capabilities can provide superior protection for your display while offering the options to add custom borders or logos. Learn more about our overlay capabilities and options.

Gasketing and sealing

Gasketing and sealing make up the critical layers between parts of your device for proper function in environments such as medical applications, industrial controls and heavy equipment. We offer a range of materials and methods to ensure you get the right solution for your design challenges. Our experts can also create a custom component that meets IP, UL or NEMA standards. Gasketing and sealing methods include:

  • Die-cut
  • Formed-in-place
  • Injection molding
Custom dispensing for gaskets

Display bezels and enclosures

Display Enclosures

Display enclosures

Beyond aesthetics, display housing provides protection against moisture, impact, dust and other environmental elements. No matter your bezel needs, GMN has the in-house capabilities and expertise to offer design solutions for a new device or retrofit. We offer a variety of decorating options, and can incorporate assembly services into any step of the project.

Plastic bezels

Economical, durable, and available in a wide array of shapes and colors, plastic bezels offer the most flexibility for your design. Molded components offer diverse design options, resistance to harsh environmental conditions and crisp edges and shapes for both front and rear-assembled fixtures. 

Learn more

Plastic bezel display enclosures
Machine-bezel display enclosure prototypes

Machined bezels

Depending on the requirements, plastic and metal machining can provide a significant cost savings over using a tool. Machining allows you to modify an existing part, remove the gate from a tooled part or build a part out of a block of plastic or metal. It’s a great option for small production quantities.

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Bezel-less displays

From smartphones to tablets, an increasing number of devices feature a glass surface and backside bezel for a streamlined appearance. Our technology integration experts can help you develop a bezel-less display to achieve the look you want with the functionality you need. 

Bezel-less display enclosure with LOCA bonding

Display characterization and testing

GMN has advanced display analysis capabilities and can examine and characterize any number of displays and integration solutions. We can compare technologies and test how they affect functionality, output quality, performance and cost.

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