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Zytronic Helps Enhance User Experience With New Tyneside Metro Ticketing System

Ultra-rugged PCT™ touch sensors again chosen by Scheidt & Bachmann for demanding self-service application 

Touch sensor specialist Zytronic has been successful in getting its rugged, self-service touchscreen technology into another challenging application. A 15 inch version of the company’s ZYTOUCH® touch sensor, which relies upon its proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), is being used to provide the user interface in the latest automated ticketing solution developed by Scheidt & Bachmann – a leading manufacturer of fare collection systems for public transit operations worldwide.

With a £25 million modernisation of sixty Metro stations across the UK’s Tyneside region underway, Scheidt & Bachmann has been contracted to replace over 200 ticket machines with new, more sophisticated versions that boast advanced functionality. The new machines are capable of accepting credit/debit card and smartcard payment as well as cash, with support for six different languages helping to enhance the overall user experience. Their touchscreen user interfaces will make the ticket purchasing process faster and more intuitive – thereby maximising each station’s operational efficiency.

Having assessed a variety of solutions, the engineering team at Scheidt & Bachmann selected Zytronic’s PCT sensors as the best candidate because of their reliable touch performance irrespective of weather conditions, bespoke construction and, most importantly, their highly rugged construction. The unique Zytouch PCT sensing mechanism consists of a matrix of 10 micron copper capacitors embedded into a multilayer laminated glass sensor substrate. The Zytouch family of PCT sensors have proven 10 year plus reliability in outdoor, unsupervised, self-service applications, making them ideal for such installations and setting them apart from touchscreen solutions based on conventional surface facing sensing technologies. The sensors can be further enhanced and customised with options such as privacy filters and infra-red blocking layers, to help protect user personal information, and outdoor system thermal management.

“We have been working with Zytronic for a considerable time now and are fully aware of the many favourable attributes that PCT possesses,” said Matthias Augustyniak, Managing Director, Scheidt & Bachmann. “The touchscreen technologies that we used in previous machine designs, such as surface acoustic wave, could not offer the high degree of robustness. This meant units could be subject to downtime, while repairs were carried out.”

“The sensor mechanism for these machines needed to be completely suited to outdoor deployment. It had to be resistant to vandalism and unaffected by rain, snow and other harsh weather conditions,” Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director for Zytronic, explained. “The ZYTOUCH® sensor’s extreme resistance to accidental or deliberate damage, as well as uncompromised touch performance irrespective of environmental conditions, ensures reliable, long term operation, improving the passenger experience.”