Any info on flat panel TOUCH screens?

We have some PCs here at work that are connected to production machinery and used to "automate" the control of the unit.
These PCs have flat panel TOUCH screens as monitors so the operator can just point at what command option he wants.
One of the panels has failed and we need a couple of new ones.
I was asked for advice on what 15" flat panel TOUCH screen to buy. Lord only knows why they asked me..... but they did.
Anyone have advice on what touch screens to get? And price IS a consideration.
Thanks!
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http://www.elotouch.com/ is the OEM for many machine builder's touch panels. They are available as either CRT or LCD and can pe purchased with full NEMA 4 sealing for an industrial enviornment. A 15" TFT LCD XGA Nema 4 with serial touch will run around $1500. Jeff
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There are (very) basically two different types of touch screens (with a number of variations) which, one could say, are analogous to digital and analog.
The "digital" type is actually a matrix screen with rows of conductors on one layer and columns of conductors on the other. Where you touch a row and column together corresponds to a specific signal. That is to say if you had a touch screen with 9 columns and 9 rows you could possibly have up to 81 different signals. The on-screen menu "buttons" have to be programmed to correspond to the correct intersection of rows and columns, so that limits what you can do with the screen.
The "analog" type actually translates a level of resistance (i.e., voltage gain) to a position on the screen. And of course that means that programming is easier.
You've got quite a little reverse-engineering job here, because you either have to match a "digital" (row/column) screen with the same widths/heights and number, or match an "analog" with the exact same resistance/voltage gain touch screen, plus (for either type) you have to match the signal on the connector(s) and have the same type of connector. If the touch screen is a matrix ("digital") screen you can probably tell it my looking at it carefully with a magnifier. There will be slight gaps in the rows/columns. A touch screen manufacturer should be able to reverse engineer the unit for you, but don't expect to get away cheaply. Custom screens are expensive. If the screen is "analog" you've really got a problem because you can't ask a touch screen manufacturer to match the gains in a non-functional unit. If you have a FUNCTIONAL unit on another machine the you'll probably have to send THAT off to a manufacturer (and pay through the nose as with the matrix screen). Your best bet is to contact the OEM of the PCs, even if you don't like them. Their "high" prices will still be lower than what you'll pay to match the screen from a different manufacturer.
Mark 'Sporky' Stapleton WaterMark Design, LLC Charlotte, NC http://www.h2omarkdesign.com
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There is at least a third type. Honeywell touch screens have an array of LEDs and receivers across the bottom and top of the screen as well as on the right and left. It senses where in the x-y world a beam is broken. When you withdraw your finger the action is triggered. Absolutely no pressure is required. You should be able to recognize if yours is of this type because the touch feature is a frame around the screen and electronically totally separate from it. It can be added to any type of screen or even to a painting on a wall!
A fourth type works on capacitance. Modicon used to use these but I am not familiar with them.
Walter.

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