December 21, 2011

OLED Displays in Industrial Automation Products

Xavier D’souza here. In the past customers used conventional LED’s, typically Red color Seven Segment types. We all remember in the 80’s this was the only way to display, however, when customers’ needs became more complex and demanding we saw the advent of LCD (Liquid Crystal Display). This was immediately followed by the backlit displays as it was at times difficult to see the displays, especially in direct sunlight. Today, with the advent of newer technologies, both LCD’s and LED’s have taken a quantum leap and in the last couple of years the market has been increasingly flooded with commercial products using the latest Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED’s) and LCD displays.

A typical OLED display is a layer of organic material or polymer between two electrodes, and depending upon the type of organic material used, the color of light will be emitted upon excitation of electrical voltage. Significant improvement in semiconductor technologies has seen the return of the LED’s in the form of OLED, or the Organic LED, with major advantages over its predecessor and other display technologies currently on the market which has many leading manufacturers looking at them again.

Primary benefits include:

  • Ability to withstand lower temperatures – Typically, industrial-designed OLED’s can withstand -55o C, whereas LCD displays can crystallize and leak at these low temperatures. We are seeing newer applications, especially in Arctic drilling, where customers are looking for products to meet a 60o C requirement and this could be an interesting choice for display.
  • Low power consumption – Today we see gadgets all around us – be it the iPad, iPhone, TV, PVR/DVR, etc. – and energy consumption and costs are increasing. Moreover many more devices are being powered in industrial, residential, advertisement media, etc., and it is important to conserve energy to maintain a greener and environment-friendly planet. Low power consumption will go a long way in achieving this goal, moreover these displays do not require backlight thereby further saving power consumption.
  • Wider viewing angles and increased brightness makes the display visible even in bright light – this offers a higher contrast and true black color. Customers are demanding higher resolution and true color picture OLED’s due to their higher brightness, making them capable of achieving incredible true-life pictures.
  • In order for an LCD to achieve the same level of brightness as OLED it must have a “backlight.” The typical backlight of an LCD, which is an LED or CCFL, typically has a life span of 30,000 to 60,000 hours, which gives it a maximum life span of less than seven years. The OLED display utilized by Net Safety Monitoring with our proprietary screen saver technology has an expected life span of 20 years, even when installed in extreme applications.
  • As the world has increasingly moved to a digitally transmitted signal from the hitherto analogue signal, customers are increasingly phasing out their outdated tube-based sets and their power-hungry plasma sets. The volume sales increase will lead to lower prices and vice versa.
  • OLED can be manufactured on flexible surfaces, so the displays no longer have to be on a flat screen. It will be possible to mount the display rolled up or in a circular manner, giving designers a new dimension to design newer products with fresh ideas that can challenge the way we have looked at displays. Moreover, the displays can be made very thin, thereby saving volume and weight, giving the product a more refreshing look and reducing shipping & packing costs. A Japanese company is looking to make T-shirts with an OLED display that would be fun to wear and others to watch.

MILLENNIUM II GAS DETECTOR – Superior Display Capabilities Through OLED Technology
Net Safety Monitoring utilizes an OLED display in our Millennium II Series of gas detection products. This display consists of three full lines of information, with 16 alpha-numeric characters per line, for a total of 48 visible characters on the display. This allows for a wide range of information to be simultaneously displayed and effectively communicated in multiple languages, while being easily read in any lighting condition. This large display combined with the other performance advantages associated with OLED displays makes the Millennium II the preferred choice among operators in the field. To learn more about the Millennium II gas detection package and it’s other advanced features, visit