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Electronics Production | March 01, 2006

3M Touch Screens Deployed in Airbus Production Halls

3M Touch Systems has announced that 200 kiosk terminal systems featuring its capacitive touch screen technology have been installed in the production facilities of the new Airbus Superbird/A380 aircraft family across Germany.
Using these terminals, Airbus engineers benefit from fast, easy and secure access to construction plans, technical data and company-related employee information.

“The majority of employees in production halls do not have access to a PC so these kiosk systems serve as an information hub,” commented Nick Hughes, European Marketing Executive, 3M Touch Systems UK. “Capacitive touch screens are ideally suited for use in tough working environments such as this. Not only are they inherently robust, but they also eliminate the need for a keyboard or mouse and maintenance requirements are low owing to their intuitive and intelligent user interface.”

The Airbus information terminals, designed and developed by Werkstation GmbH, have been commissioned under strict guidelines and specifications concerning the flexibility, robustness and resilience of the system and all of its components, including the touch screen technology. For this reason, Werkstation decided in favour of a 19” LCD monitor with integrated MicroTouch(TM) ClearTek(TM) capacitive touch screen.

Frank Nägele, Managing Director of Werkstation said, “We decided in favour of the 3M touch screens as we have had repeatedly good experiences with these extremely robust and reliable products. It was also important that they provided support for the Mac world. They are ideally suited for this particular application due to their excellent contrast and calibration capabilities.”

The threat of industry espionage or intelligence transfer was a further, critical reason for Airbus to change to kiosk systems in its production halls. The terminals offer access to technical information on the screen but the user cannot print the documents, therefore avoiding the danger of confidential data falling into the wrong hands.

According to the high security standards set by Airbus, employees must identify themselves via a card reader and unique PIN. Depending on the access level, an employee is only authorised to view plans and construction details which concern him or her. Airbus is able to keep track of when an
employee viewed which content at any time of the day.

System navigation is achieved using the monitor with integrated 3M touch screen, which offers easy and intuitive user guidance. Airbus employees also benefit from extremely fast reaction times, a well legible monitor, a high-contrast display and excellent light transmission. The touch screen's
transparent overcoat guarantees bright and clear viewing of plans and drawings without reflections and safeguards against surface contaminants. For quick call-up of numbered plans, additional keyboards are available in protected metal cases.

A further advantage is that the display and/or the touch monitor unit can be exchanged separately without any problem. For production environments this means no unnecessary delays or outage time resulting from unproductive equipment modification. In addition, 3M offers a warranty of five years on all touch components.

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