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Dan Swanson, GMN
By Dan Swanson | Jun 14, 2016
Microban antimicrobial film

Frequently used work surfaces often become dirty quickly. GM Nameplate often uses Microban®, an antimicrobial film covering that helps maintain more sanitary work surfaces between cleanings. GMN applies the film on various overlays, medical and scientific labels, control surfaces, and user interfaces.  

Bacterial growth is a constant concern for facilities that require high standards of sanitation and cleanliness. Microban ® destroys bacteria, mold, and mildew, making it a beneficial product for hospitals, restaurants, cruise ships, and fitness equipment, among other businesses. When bacteria come into contact with Microban®, the bacterial growth is suppressed. The built-in antimicrobial coating is applied to the product during the manufacturing process, protecting the product against unnecessary deterioration from bacteria, mold, or mildew. Example applications include user interfaces and labels.

Autotex® AM is a substrate that uses Microban® Antimicrobial Technology. The Autotex® AM polyester film has overlapping particles combined with Microban® technology, creating a barrier and protection against harmful microbes, thereby reducing the risk of spreading infections. Since the antimicrobial protection is done during the manufacturing process, the Autotex® AM will not wear down with prolonged use and will be effective during the full product life cycle. The Autotex® AM is also scratch and chemical resistant, ensuring a long lasting, durable product.

Microban® provides protection against bacteria, thereby creating an easier cleaning experience. While maintaining a cleaner surface, products with Microban® Antimicrobial protections still require cleaning. Under certain conditions without Microban®, microbe counts could double every 20 minutes. Microban® will help maintain a cleaner product work surface and keep surfaces better protected between cleanings.

At GMN, we are using Microban® Antimicrobial Technology to help solve our customer’s needs and business requirements. Currently, we are designing and creating nameplates for a fitness equipment company. The company required materials that would address the pressing bacterial problems of typical fitness products. GMN used Microban® to create a product that reduces, suppresses, and destroys the reproduction capabilities of bacteria, mold, and mildew, while still maintaining the integrity of the brand. We provide antimicrobial film coverings for user interfaces and overlays, medical and scientific labels, and control surfaces.   

By Steve Baker | Jan 13, 2016
Capacitive switch technology

When evaluating capacitive switch technology, it is important to consider the different design options available.  At GM Nameplate, we offer capacitive switch technologies that take advantage of both self and mutual capacitive touch sensor designs. Each sensor design approach has unique advantages depending on the intended application and target industry.

Self capacitive touch sensors require a single pin on the touch controller, which is linked to a single touch sensitive location on your product. This type of design is well suited for backlit touch switches with large lit regions, which is a very popular design option today. These sensors often allow for simplified circuit layouts, which can also help reduce manufacturing costs.  In many cases, they also require less space for circuit routing, which is an important factor for space limited designs.

When compared to mutual capacitive designs, self capacitive designs can be less effective when used in environments where standing moisture is present.  They can also be more difficult to tune for sensitive touch applications.

Mutual capacitive touch sensors are linked to two pins on the touch controller.  This can allow for matrixing of touch sensors to reduce the overall pin count on designs with a large number of touch sensitive zones.  Sensors with mutual capacitive design structures can be easier to tune for optimal performance on a variety of touch surface thicknesses and in some cases they may provide reduced signal noise for products in operating environments with EMI noise sources. 

When compared to self capacitive switches, mutual capacitive designs are also better suited to handle moist environments or applications requiring gloved hands.

Click here to learn more about the evolution of tactile feedback technology in user interface devices.