Explore the Durability and Versatility of Industrial Displays

Displays in Industrial Applications

Explore the world of industrial displays in our latest feature, highlighting their pivotal role as durable human-machine interfaces in various industrial settings. Unlike commercial displays, industrial versions are crafted to endure harsh conditions, offering unparalleled resilience and functionality.

This article outlines the key differences between industrial and commercial displays, emphasizing the specialized features that make industrial displays indispensable in extreme environments. From technical specifications to future developments, discover how these robust interfaces support critical operations across sectors and what innovations lie ahead in making them smarter and more sustainable. A concise overview for those interested in the backbone of modern industrial technology.

Industrial Displays

From Analog to Industry 4.0

Industrial displays have evolved significantly since their introduction to the industrial market, shaped by the demands of both advancing technology and the increasing complexity of industrial processes. The development of these displays can be traced back to simple readouts and control panels, which were once based largely on analog technology. With the advent of digital technology, displays gained the ability to provide more dynamic and interactive feedback, incorporating touchscreens and full-color graphics.
Over the years, as manufacturing processes became more sophisticated, the need for durable and reliable displays became more important. The integration of displays into embedded systems allowed for real-time monitoring and control, a crucial factor in automation and process optimization.

Furthermore, the expansion of displays into various industrial sectors has been key factor. And as industries continue to innovate, the role of industrial displays is expected to grow even further, with developments in areas such as holographic and flexible displays. This opens up new possibilities for how and where human-machine interactions can take place.
Today, they not only facilitate the control and operation of machinery but also serve as the cornerstone for the development of smart factories and Industry 4.0, where interconnectedness and data visualization are key. As we move forward, the advancement of display technology will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in shaping the efficiency and capabilities of industrial operations worldwide.

Industrial display vs. commercial displays

Industrial displays and commercial displays serve different environments and often have very different requirements when it comes to durability. Industrial displays are built for resilience and to handle extreme conditions such as dust, moisture, high and low temperatures, and vibrations.  They are expected to function as required, and you often find them with rugged casing, with higher-grade components and strict quality control to ensure longevity. Other important differences that separates industrial from commercial displays are glove-friendly touch screens, high brightness for better visibility in sunlight, and broad signal compability to ensure that they meet different industrial application needs. Industrial displays are generally produced in smaller quantety and at the same time expected to be available for 5-10 years.

Commercial displays are designed for a far less demanding indoor environment and are more likely to be found in a retail space than on a construction site. Hence, they don’t need to meet the high demands of an industrial display. They typically have plastic casings and focus on aesthetics with high-resolution screens and user-friendly interfaces. While still durable, they’re not designed for the extended service life required in industrial contexts and offer fewer installation options.

Industrial displays also excel in operational performance with industrial-grade motherboards, wide viewing angles, and a variety of power input options. They can withstand severe temperature fluctuations and are customizable to specific operational requirements, including display quality and operating temperature ranges.

Applications and Usage

Industrial displays are essential in a multitude of industries. They are not just confined to embedded systems but extend their usage across a variety of fields and environments.
Embedded within heavy machinery and production lines, industrial displays act as control panels that allow detailed management of manufacturing processes. They’re the eyes and ears on the ground in sectors like oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing, where they monitor and visualize critical process data, enhancing quality control and operational efficiency.

Industrial displays are very common in outdoor applications, such as in the harsh environments of construction sites, marine explorations, and mining operations, where they must endure varying weather and temperatures. Here they can help their users with overlooking machine performance the surrounding environmental conditions, as well as a visualizing tool in data acquisition systems.

In transportation, displays are an essential component. They provide navigational and engine status information for vehicles across rail, air, and marine systems. They also serve a critical function in safety systems within high-risk environments like nuclear facilities and chemical plants, offering real-time alerts to avert potential hazards.
The medical field relies on the precision and dependability of industrial displays in devices for patient monitoring and diagnostic imaging, where clarity and reliability are indispensable.

In the energy sector, monitoring power generation and distribution, especially for renewable sources like wind and solar, is facilitated using industrial displays. And in the food and beverage industry, processing conditions and compliance with health and safety standards are ensured through displays.

Technical Specifications and Types


Today, you can find almost as many variations of industrial displays as there are fields of application, all with their own unique selling point. Now that we have established that industrial displays are a vital part of many modern industrial applications and that they can be found in a variety of industries, let’s look at some of the different types of displays that are more commonly used.

LCD Technology: The use of Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology in industrial settings is prevalent due to its energy efficiency, which can be crucial in reducing operational costs and meeting environmental standards. LCDs utilize a liquid crystal solution sandwiched between two polarizing filters and glass layers, with the crystals aligning to allow varying levels of light to pass through in response to an electric current. This energy-efficient operation is especially beneficial in industrial applications where displays may need to operate continuously.

IPS Panels: In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels are incorporated into industrial displays for their wide viewing angles, which can reach up to 178 degrees horizontally and vertically, ensuring that display colors and images remain consistent, even when viewed from sharp angles. This is particularly important in industrial settings where operators may need to monitor displays from various positions. IPS technology also offers superior color fidelity and better color accuracy, which is crucial for tasks that require precise color differentiation.

Technical Specifications and Types

Specialized Solutions and Future Directions

Outdoor and High-Brightness Environments: For brightly lit or outdoor industrial environments, displays must overcome the challenge of direct sunlight or high ambient light conditions. LED displays are not only bright but can be designed with high-nit outputs, making them readable even in direct sunlight. Additionally, these displays can come with anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings, which reduce the impact of external light sources and improve visibility.

Rugged: These industrial displays are engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, shock, and other challenging conditions. They are often built with rugged casings and are rated according to Ingress Protection (IP) codes, which indicate their level of resistance to dust and water, ensuring reliable performance in various industrial settings.

Customized displays: Custom displays are increasingly becoming more common, providing customers with the exact features they need, such as tailor-made cover glass with unique specifications like special corner radii, varying thickness, hardness, and surface treatments, as well as drilled holes and screen-printed logos; additionally, touch sensors are customized to offer a larger active area in proportion to the external dimensions, ensuring their precise industrial needs are met with precision.

• Emerging Technologies: Looking ahead, emerging technologies such as Organic LED (OLED) and Quantum Dot LED (QLED) are on the horizon for industrial applications. These technologies promise even better color accuracy, contrast ratios, and energy efficiency. With the increasing focus on sustainability, industrial displays are being designed with power-saving features, such as automatic dimming and power-off timers, contributing to lower energy consumption and a reduced carbon footprint.

Industrial Displays

Future and Development

The future of embedded industrial display technology is set to enhance machine-human interaction through more intuitive, responsive systems, and deeper software-hardware integration, improving communication efficiency. Higher resolutions will provide clearer visuals for quick, accurate data interpretation, while advancements will enable wider viewing angles and high contrast, ensuring consistent viewing for multiple users.

Advancements will include higher resolutions for clearer visuals, crucial for quick and accurate data interpretation, and wider viewing angles with high contrast, ensuring consistent viewing experiences for multiple users in industrial settings.

Smart features, enabled by edge computing, will allow displays to visualize, process, and act on information in real-time, significantly enhancing system responsiveness. Innovations such as contactless interactions and vibrating feedback will introduce safer and more intuitive user experiences, addressing hygiene concerns while providing engaging feedback.

Displays will also be designed for extreme environmental resilience, incorporating durable materials and focusing on energy efficiency and sustainable design principles. The integration of advanced connectivity, like 5G and beyond, will facilitate complex applications, including augmented and virtual reality, revolutionizing operator interactions with machinery.

Furthermore, the move towards customizable and flexible display technologies will ensure displays meet specific industry needs, expanding their applications and utility. This condensed overview includes key future trends and innovations, highlighting the significant impact on efficiency and capabilities in industrial operations.

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Do you want to know more about how we work with industrial Displays at Hectronic, or have any questions? Contact us and we’ll answer all your questions.

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