Dec 18 2023

How Touchscreens Bring Powerful Capabilities to Industry 4.0

Advanced displays have become an essential element for IoT success.

Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are helping industrial organizations to get smarter by creating connections between their IT and operational technology (OT) environments. Touch screens, as interactive digital tools that are capable of integrating with industrial machinery, have emerged as powerful tools in these environments.

Click the banner below to find out how cost, durability and IoT are driving touch-screen adoption.

Here are five common questions that business and IT leaders have about touch-enabled displays in industrial environments:

1. How Do Touch Screens Fit into Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 refers to the digitization of manufacturing through disruptive technologies, including data analytics, IoT and robotics. Touch screens live on the edge of this transformation, offering a seamless, intuitive way to facilitate the human-machine interaction that is the lifeblood of the industrial sector.

Advancements in touch screens in recent years — particularly advancements in durability — have allowed the devices to make their way into more demanding environments, and the displays can even be integrated directly with industrial machinery to give users real-time control and visibility into their operations.

2. What Challenges Exist When Implementing Touchscreen Displays?

Business and IT leaders express several common concerns about touch screens. These include how to finance their touch-screen investments and how to ensure that the devices will effectively operate in their environments. They also face challenges around software and security integration issues with touch screens, as well as in training employees to use the new displays.

RELATED: How CDW and Elo Touchscreens can support your business.

3. How Can Organizations Overcome These Challenges?

It’s important to carefully evaluate the organization-specific challenges and opportunities of an industrial touch-screen deployment and to establish a comprehensive implementation plan. When looking at finances, for instance, we’ve found that many organizations can achieve a full return on their investment in as little as two to five years due to the automation and efficiency benefits of touch-enabled displays.

The answers to questions about software, security and ruggedness often lie in simply selecting the vendor and product that meets an organization’s unique environmental and integration needs. And a lack of internal expertise can often be addressed through third-party services, such as adoption and training engagements.

Cara Headrick
Touch screens live on the edge of this transformation, offering a seamless, intuitive way to facilitate the human-machine interaction that is the lifeblood of the industrial sector.”

Cara Headrick Program Manager, POS and Connected Devices, CDW

4. What Capabilities and Use Cases Do Touch-Screen Displays Unlock?

In many cases, we’re seeing factories use ruggedized touch screens to replace physical switches and buttons in control rooms. This isn’t just change for the sake of change; unlike physical control panels, touch-enabled displays can be rapidly reconfigured to adapt to new processes, helping organizations to keep up with an increasingly rapid pace of change.

Touch screens also help manufacturers to implement production line automation, interact with digital twins and streamline auto-replenishment of pack-and-ship consumables — saving time and keeping production on track. 

DISCOVER: Refine your digital transformation strategy with IoT and connected devices.

5. What Services Help Organizations' Use of Touch-Screen Displays?

At CDW, our consultants have the expertise necessary to evaluate existing systems and processes, and then make vendor-agnostic recommendations about appropriate touchscreen hardware and software to meet an organization’s specific business needs. As touchscreens continue to evolve, business and IT leaders will have even more opportunities to create efficient, responsive and interconnected manufacturing environments.

Services such as implementation, training and other engagements from a trusted partner like CDW can help organizations manage costs, ease adoption and accelerate their journey to Industry 4.0.

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