Front panel integration & bonding

When designing the ideal display for your device, the available technologies can seem overwhelming. At GMN, we take the guesswork out of display integration with one-stop service that delivers many options, a seamless development process, and a capable supplier network, saving you time and resources. GMN helps our clients consider important factors such as cost, longevity, readability in bright light, impact resistance, durability and performance in extreme environments.

Display with liquid optically clear adhesive bonding
Display with liquid optically clear adhesive bonding

Front panel integration capabilities

  • Bonding and integration
  • Touchscreen selection and sourcing
  • Display enhancement shielding and films
  • Gasketing and sealing
  • Display enclosures and bezels
  • Value-added assembly
  • Front panel performance testing  

Bonding technologies

The type of bonding technology you choose for your device can have a major impact on both performance and cost. We’ll work hand-in-hand with your product development team to custom-design and produce display assemblies to fit your unique requirements.

 

Bonding options from GMN

LOCA bonding

Liquid optically clear adhesive (LOCA)

LOCA offers the most robust and best overall performance of any bonding technology.  Handheld devices such as tablets and laptops have led the way using LOCA in display integration. Other industries such as agriculture, military and avionics have incorporated LOCA because of its durability. GMN is a licensed converter of DuPont's Vertak® bonding technology, which allows us to provide customers with the latest in LOCA display enhancement technology. GMN's LOCA is also a popular option because it is reworkable.  

Optically clear adhesive (OCA)

OCA is commonly used on touchscreens, LCD flat panel displays, transparent graphic overlays and other devices requiring an optically clear bond.  OCA’s thin, consistent thickness makes it an ideal choice for flexible to rigid bonding and tight tolerance bonding situations.  OCA is classified as a dry film, pressure sensitive adhesive and there are different versions depending on the application and substrate to which it will be applied.

OCA bonding
Air gap construction

Air gap

Economical and lightweight, an air gap display construction is a popular option for personal handheld electronics such as smartphones. The layers are integrated with a gasket leaving behind a small air gap.  This method lacks support between the screen and LCD, can be difficult to read in bright light, and can be prone to parallax issues, breakage and moisture condensation. 

Display integration options

Our engineering team is here to help you develop the ideal display integration stack-up for your project.

ConsiderationsAir gapOCALOCA
Optical qualitygoodbestbest
Impact resistancegoodbetterbest
Typical thickness*.005” - .040” ± 10% [0.13mm – 1.00mm].002” - .010” ± 10% [0.05mm – 0.25mm].015” - .040” ± 70% [0.38mm – 1.00mm]
Application notes
  • rigid material to flexible material
  • rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to flexible material
  • LCD to rigid material bonding
  • rigid material to flexible material
  • rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to flexible material (if no LCD frame)
  • LCD to rigid material (if no LCD frame)
  • rigid material to rigid material
  • LCD to rigid material
  • reworkable

Integration showdown: LOCA vs. air gap

Impact resistance: liquid optically clear adhesive (LOCA) vs. air gap bonding

Watch our video to see impact resistance testing of LOCA and air gap bonded front panels.  

Touchscreens

GMN brings over 15 years of integration experience working with every major type of touchscreen technology. Our engineering team can help you design and integrate a custom touchscreen system perfectly suited to your unique application, using our vast network of premier touchscreen manufacturers to provide the best technology for your device.

Front panel integration for displays
Front panel integration for displays

Touchscreen technologies

Projected capacitive (P-Cap)

Commonly used in cell phones, p-cap touchscreens provide three important advantages: high durability (long life), excellent optical performance (high transmissivity), and unlimited multi-touch possibilities (controller-dependent). 

4, 5, 8-wire resistive

Resistive technologies work by measuring a direct resistive circuit. Printed spacer dots on the glass layer are used for controlling actuation force and to keep the conductive layers from premature contact. Depending on the configuration, resistive touchscreens can provide added durability, cost savings and functionality with gloves.

Resistive multi-touch

Unlike a standard touchscreen, the multi-zone 5-wire touchscreen allows for up to four input zones on a single touchscreen, and all four touches may occur simultaneously leading to four distinct inputs. Allows for a gloved touch with multiple touch points at one time.

Touchscreen options

GMN’s engineering team will guide you through the integration process to ensure that you get the appropriate touchscreen and stack up for the intended use of your device. 

SpecificationsResistiveResistive multi-touch (RMTS)Projected capacitive (PCAP)
Versions4-, 5- or 8-wire interfacesfull industrial grade 10 point multi-touch solutionmulti-touch support: 2, 4 or 10 point gesturing
Temperature range-40°C to +80°C-40°C to +80°C-40°C to +80°C
Sizesup to 21.5“up to 21.5"up to 24.5"
Surfacesclear, anti reflectance (AR), anti glare (AG)AG, AR, AG-ARclear, AG or AR
Enhancementsglass-film-glass layer (G/F/G), sunlight readable, EMI class BG/F/G, sunlight readable, EMIcover glass shaping, color printing, logos, drill holes, light pipes
Transmission78-80%78-80%88%
Inputpressure-activated input: finger, stylus & gloved handpressure-activated input: finger, stylus & gloved handsensing inputs: finger, conductive stylus & gloved hand
Operating systemsWINXP functionalityWIN7 or WIN8 functionalityWindows WIN7, linux, all android
InterfaceUSB separate controller availableUSB separate controller availableinterface I2C, SPI & USB, chip on flex (COF) designs standard
Ruggedizationcustomization availablecustomization availablecustomization available

Display enhancements

Liquid optical bonding LOCA sunlight readability

Display enhancements offer more options for optimizing device performance. From bright light to no light, cold temperatures or user input via a touchscreen, GMN surface treatments and films adapt your device to any environment for optimal performance. We’re a licensed user of 3M films and coatings to provide our customers the highest quality products and superior protection.

Display enhancements

  • Anti-glare (AG)
  • Anti-reflective (AR)
  • Anti-smudge (AS)
  • EMI/RFI Shielding
  • Night vision filters
  • Heating elements
  • Privacy layers
  • Enhanced sunlight readability
  • Surface protection

Display cover glass and overlays

The experts at GMN can help you select a plastic or glass cover that offers the protection and functionality you need, along with the option for custom decoration. GMN’s glass customization capabilities can provide superior protection for your display while offering the options to add custom borders or logos. Learn more about our overlay capabilities and options.

Gasketing and sealing

Gasketing and sealing make up the critical layers between parts of your device for proper function in environments such as medical applications, industrial controls and heavy equipment. We offer a range of materials and methods to ensure you get the right solution for your design challenges. Our experts can also create a custom component that meets IP, UL or NEMA standards. Gasketing and sealing methods include:

  • Die-cut
  • Formed-in-place
  • Injection molding

Custom dispensing for gaskets

Display bezels and enclosures

Manufacturing display enclosures

Display enclosures

Beyond aesthetics, display housing provides protection against moisture, impact, dust and other environmental elements. No matter your bezel design needs, GMN has the in-house capabilities and expertise to design a bezel and select a material for a new device design or retrofit. We offer a variety of decorating options, and can incorporate assembly services into any step of the project.

Plastic bezels

Economical, durable, and available in a wide array of shapes and colors, plastic bezels offer the most flexibility for your design. Molded components offer diverse design options, resistance to harsh environmental conditions and crisp edges and shapes for both front and rear-assembled fixtures. 

Learn more

Plastic bezel display enclosures
Machine-bezel display enclosure prototypes

Machined bezels

Depending on the requirements, plastic and metal machining can provide a significant cost savings over using a tool. Machining allows you to modify an existing part, remove the gate from a tooled part or build a part out of a block of plastic or metal. It’s a great option for small production quantities.

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Bezel-less displays

From smartphones to tablets, an increasing number of devices feature a glass surface and backside bezel for a streamlined appearance. Our technology integration experts can help you design a bezel-less display to achieve the look you want with the functionality you need. 

Bezel-less display enclosure with LOCA bonding

Display characterization and testing

GMN has advanced display analysis capabilities and can examine and characterize any number of displays and integration solutions. We can compare technologies and test how they affect functionality, output quality, performance and cost.

Learn more