UK-based Stadium IGT is one of Europe’s most successful suppliers of HMI (Human Machine Interface) systems. Since its foundation in 1987 the company has grown from a specialist manufacturer of membrane keyboards to a leading HMI solutions provider now offering high-level, multi-technology interface units for a wide range of industries and applications.
In the transport sector Stadium IGT has unparalleled experience in meeting the demanding technical and environmental requirements of the rail, marine and aviation industries.
This wealth of knowledge allows Stadium IGT to make a significant contribution to its customers’ new product development programmes, contributing design and manufacturing expertise to reduce development time, minimising non-recurring engineering charges and supplying fully tested ‘ready to run’ complete interface assemblies.
Stadium IGT first became involved with Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM-R) communications systems some 15 years ago when it provided a complete ‘build to print’ project after a customer had been let down by an existing supplier. From supplying a simple membrane keyboard mounted on a customer specific panel the relationship grew and Stadium IGT was able to make an increasingly important contribution to the design process of further generations of the GSM-R equipment.
Increasing the level of integration and functionality of the MMI/HMI assemblies offered cost reductions, a reduced vendor base and fully tested and ready to run delivered products.
Operating in a rugged environment
The rail industry has developed demanding specifications to meet the rugged operating environment which ensures equipment used on rolling-stock is fit for purpose.
Specific standards include; EN50155:2001 – Electronic Equipment to be used on Rolling Stock, BS EN 61373:1999 – Railway Applications, Rolling Stock Equipment, Shock and Vibration Tests and EN 50121-3-2:2000 – Railway Applications, Electromagnetic Compatibility – Part 3-2 Rolling Stock, Apparatus. Stadium IGT ensure the sub-assemblies it manufactures conform to all relevant standards requirement.
Stadium IGT GSM-R units are manufactured under supply partnership agreements with Siemens Mobility for Network Rail and Netherlands Rail; they are used on other European, Scandinavian and Middle Eastern railway networks and are designed to be used in extreme temperature and harsh environments.
Stadium IGT offers an unparalleled range of HMI expertise to its customers who may include in their systems integrated touch screens, with tactile and non-tactile keyboards, joysticks, roller-balls and glide pads and flexible backlighting options. The company offers complete design, prototyping, volume manufacture and test of high-level modular sub-assemblies.
Backlighting offers cost savings
Backlighting is particularly important in transport applications where rapidly changing ambient light levels require fast-response automatic adjustment of panel illumination. Stadium IGT offer a very flexible and patented ‘Thin-Film’ LED backlighting option on its capacitive switching modules. At just 1mm thick the ‘Thin-Film’ backlighting offers weight and cost savings and can be embedded in an assembly as part of a multi-technology hybrid interface unit which could also employ conventional membrane switching, capacitive keypad and slider areas, electro-mechanical switches, display and other options.
The ‘Thin-Film’ backlighting technology is not constrained by having to be mounted on a flat surface. It can be designed to follow complex contours and assembled on to non-conductive material. The ultra-thin colour segmented backlit interface panels offer good display uniformity and independent illumination of closely spaced icons. In heavy use environments, such as railway communications, the interface can be protected by mounting it below a robust substrate. Stadium IGT capacitive switches can operate reliably through 13mm thick glass if necessary.
Stadium IGT’s capacitive switching technology is compatible with most non-conductive materials including, glass, plastic, wood and ceramic and offers designers complete freedom in the design and layout of any Human-Machine-Interface. This flexibility offers many benefits to designers of customer information systems for use on trains and platforms.