This project is a great example of how a company called us for just a keypad but realizing our capabilities got their entire control system designed by us. Watson Furniture, a leading furniture maker for call centers contacted us to design a touch keypad for their workstation climate controller.
We explained that the Fast Touch System will require a PCB and a controller. We also further explained that we are a full blown product design house with an in house pick ‘n’ place machine, laser and a 3d-printer. Realizing that we can provide them a complete solution, they contracted us to build a complete control system.
The control system needed to have two main parts. A control unit and a capacitive touch interface. The control unit is capable of turning on/off 3 lights and two personal heaters. Also, it can operate 2 fans at 50% and 100% of its maximum speed. The capacitive touch interface contains 6 backlit buttons and 7 indicator LEDs. The control unit communicates with the capacitive touch interface via an RS232 link to receive button press and release data and transmitting backlight and indicator LED status.
We started the design by providing the client with a requirements document explaining in detail the complete operation of their control system. The state of the keypad and the touch unit during each phase of operation were shown through pictures. The document also listed the possible error conditions and how they were being handled.
Once the client approved it, we went ahead and converted the high level requirements to software, hardware and mechanical requirements. This was then followed by the actual design work. A video of this unit work is shown in this page.
Our control unit also successfully passed all the UL tests.