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Keeping things going around the metering world

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Jul 29, 2019

Historically, within the industrial meters and controls industry, the test and measurement equipment displays and dials have been circular. Obviously, within this high reliability market the need for crystal clear readability, as well as easy to operate functionality, drives the demand for the way the display should look and feel.

The challenge

One of our strategic customers within the household utilities industry, an established brand name (whom we cannot disclose as we respect our clients NDA), came to our engineering team as they wanted to transition from their traditional mechanical dials, whilst still keeping their radial layout. Having partnered with this customer for over 20 years, we understood their need to evolve from their current form factor, to a more user-friendly design, whilst keeping the original product integrity to perform within a robust and often harsh environment.

The project

Our customer has had a long-standing relationship with Anders. It is an account that is project managed on a day-to-day basis to develop and deliver as per their previous product generation. It was natural for this customer’s R&D team to turn to the Anders design and engineering team, who understood the product application requirements, but could also offer advice on the technologies and innovations that have entered into the market since our customer last changed their product configuration. For example, they had only ever used toughened/reinforced plastic as their cover, moving to a glass coverlens naturally gave them cause for concern.

The solution

The target market for this product is very familiar with the circular format, therefore we were always going to maintain this style. The application is outdoors, and the device can be exposed to harsh weather conditions and treatment and couldn’t discount vandalism, for example.

With this in mind, our design and engineering team walked our clients through the benefits that Optical Bonding provides. Having only ever worked with plastic enclosures, our customer wasn’t aware of the options open to them, or of Optical Bonding.

Optical bonding is a process that injects optically clear adhesive between the surface of the display and coverlens to improve display readability by preventing reflection of ambient light between the 2 surfaces, especially beneficial when installed in varying climates and outdoor environments.

Benefits to the customer

Our customer understands their market and the application of their product very well, they are the leader and the expert. They came to Anders, as we are the leader and the expert for display and embedded technologies. Our customer was able to transition from an outdated model, to a more up-to-date and user-friendly device. The clarity of the screen was their number one priority. This is why we introduced them to Optical Bonding. If we had presented a conventional display, there would have been a number of factors that would have affected readability when used in an outdoor environment. Robustness and product protection were their other concerns. Again, Optical Bonding offers a protective layer, designed to withstand force.

A hidden benefit, one that our customer did not ask for, but that we were able to deliver is intelligence. By upgrading their product design, they are now able to gather valuable consumption data.

Benefits to Anders

  • This project opened up a historical customer to Anders full scope of services e.g. design, engineering, development, and global distribution.
  • Allowed us to showcase not only our design for development and manufacturing core competencies, but also our market know-how, innovation, and engineering skill
  • Widened our circular display portfolio, a format of display that is growing as brand innovators look to differentiate themselves in the markets that they serve.

The happy outcome

  • Our customer will offer innovative products with up-to-date technology that is fit for function.
  • We enjoy our long-standing relationship with our customer as we continue to support both generations of their products, until the new product design totally supersedes the old.
  • We will both always have an eye to the future, now that we appreciate how to successfully transition.

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