Braille overlays for ticket vending machine

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By Teresa Synakowski | Dec 15, 2020
Braille overlays for TVM

INIT, a leader in the public transit industry, was redesigning their ticket vending machine and wanted to revamp their current labeling system. Installed in transit stations throughout the country, the ticket machine contained eight separate recessed sections that provided important information on user inputs in both printed text and braille format.

The labeling system that they were previously using consisted of separate stainless-steel overlays affixed to the front of the ticket vending machine. While these were durable, they were expensive to manufacture and difficult to mount. Ideally, the customer wanted to maintain the same durability while cutting down on production costs.

As the machines were located across different bus and train stations, the overlays needed to be durable enough to withstand frequent interactions from hurried passengers, varied weather conditions, and other outdoor elements. The size and thickness of each part was also highly specified, as each overlay needed to fit precisely into a recess on the machine.

After experimenting with a few different materials, GMN’s experts concluded that constructing the eight separate overlays in polyester would be the best approach. Autotex polyester was not only available in the required thickness to fit the recessed sections on the machine, but also was a very durable material that could handle the outdoor environment. Each overlay was die-cut to the exact size required to fit the corresponding recess. A custom Lexan die-cut spacer was added to the rear side, along with two layers of 3M’s 467 and 468 adhesives for additional thickness and durability.

Once the material and adhesives were determined, the next challenge was figuring out the best way to print the text and braille characters. Due to the inclusion of braille, the printed characters had to comply with the strict standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in terms of reaching a certain height and maintaining adequate spacing and proportions.

GMN employed a unique digital printing process to create the raised characters to specification. As opposed to raising the characters via embossing, which can stretch the substrate and make it less durable, this specialized printing technique prints the letters with the deposition of solid ink. The use of this printing method not only raised and shaped the characters to precise proportions but also made them robust enough to endure outdoor conditions. After successfully passing several environmental tests, the new overlays made their way onto the ticket machines in transit stations across the United States.

Ultimately, GMN leveraged its labeling, die-cutting, and digital printing capabilities to deliver a custom solution that met all the project requirements. The durable and cost-effective overlays are currently in production in a few different colors and styles, with more variations in development. To learn more about GMN’s vertically integrated capabilities, visit our website here or schedule a free consultation with our technical experts here.

Pronto TVM with braille overlays