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EAO – Your Expert Partner for Human Machine Interfaces

HMI Systems Global Design Manufacturing Support

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Competencies In 1958 our family-run company, EAO, developed its first illuminated pushbutton switch. This product quickly became the cornerstone of the company’s future, combining design excellence and engineering expertise and setting the standard for the entire industry. EAO has built on this reputation and flourished to become a world-leading expert partner for Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). Through experience and innovation, we now design, manufacture and distribute one of the world’s largest ranges of high-reliability HMI components. These strengths have led us to the forefront of HMI system design. Many of the world’s leading companies, in sectors which include machinery, process control, telecoms, medical and transportation now turn to us to develop and manufacture unique interfaces which are individually designed for specific applications. The end-user benefits because we offer tailor-made HMI Systems by listening to our customers and by examining technical, ergonomic and commercial specifications. We align operating equipment to task, to enable users and technologies to work in complete harmony. This results in higher-quality, more functional and easy to use HMIs. If you need Human Machine Interfaces, you need to talk to EAO. Let me assure you that today, just as 60 years ago, the same spirit and the same focus on quality and customer orientation that made EAO famous lives on in our enterprise. More than 660 employees, twelve subsidiaries and 38 country agents around the world stand for these virtues - and so do I, representing the founder’s pioneering spirit in the 2nd generation. Kurt Loosli

Chief Executive Officer

International Forum Design

Industrial Design and Ergonomics

Component Manufacturing Expertise

Mechanical and System Design

The starting point for successful HMI solutions is a thorough understanding of best design practices, ergonomics and manufacturing standards. EAO customers use our expertise in these areas to complement their core capabilities for designing and integrating HMI control systems. More than a contract manufacturer, we become an extension of your design team. With EAO as a knowledgeable partner, you gain design capacity and quicker turnaround times.

As a worldwide manufacturer of high-quality HMI components, EAO’s expertise in prototyping, tooling, plastics moulding, plating, electrical design, automation and precision-parts assembly is unsurpassed. EAO components, with their consistent tactile feel, are suitable for multiple uses in large subsystems or control panels where repeatability is critical. To develop innovative, ready-to-use solutions for customers that add significant value to their end products, we offer:

Once specifications have been approved, including components, panel layout and integration, they form the basis for mechanical and system design. EAO works with you to prepare detailed drawings, parts lists, circuit schematics and assembly instructions. Production schedules are agreed upon before manufacturing commences. To communicate with your engineers we use modern design-to-manufacturing methods, such as:

Our expertise includes:



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HMI system design and layout that is functional and intuitive Ability to match overall system appearance – colour, graphics, etc. Knowledge of safety, ergonomic, industry and international standards.

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Depending on your ultimate application, making appropriate design decisions and observing applicable standards ensure that your HMI solution will meet industry criteria. The positioning of components, legend size and colour, emergency-stop switch configuration, protection guards and other ergonomic considerations can affect ease of use, efficiency, safety and cost.


Expert engineers, designers and toolmakers Cost-effective, quality and highly reliable components Environmental protection to IP standards Innovative switch designs and technologies Conformance with CE, UL, CUL, VDE, RoHS, WEEE and other agencies

With EAO on your HMI team, you get a strong, proven, global source of switch control products that meet industry standards and that are manufactured with stringent quality assurance procedures. Our world class components form a solid base for effective HMI system solutions.

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3D CAD/CAM/CAE (Solid Edge, AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks) PCB design & simulation software (P-CAD, Altium) Gerber file generation for PCB manufacturing systems

EAO helps you cut development times using rapid prototyping techniques for plastic components and short-run PCBs. By planning the production sequence with EAO while developing an HMI solution, you will get your product to market faster.

Software and ­Interface Design

Production and Supply Chain

Quality Assurance and Testing

Modern HMI solutions, such as control panel assemblies, have embedded interfaces that link them with the larger system through serial communications connections. Software provides a versatile and efficient way to configure and control HMI subsystems. EAO has extensive experience with on-board microcontrollers, real-time operating systems and encryption technology for PIN-protected secure access, as well as a variety of conventional and newer Serial Bus communication protocols, including:

Your headquarters may be in Europe, Asia or the USA, but your vendors and/or markets are likely to be international. EAO, with its worldwide capabilities, can help you take advantage of local production – near your customer – while strengthening your global supply chain. With strong partner alliances and manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and the USA, we have the background and experience to help you with:

EAO has a dynamic Total Quality Management system linked to all aspects of our business. We are certified and managed to the following standards:

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CAN-Bus, CANopen, CAN-J1939, ProfiBus, InterBus, DeviceNet USB, Ethernet, RS-232, RS-485 GUI Touch Screen integration

EAO’s CAN-Bus module connects switch controls, potentiometers, pilot lights and other components as part of an integrated HMI solution. We will help configure your CAN interface to provide a plug-and-play solution. Using a CANBus system reduces wiring, subsystem installation time and simplifies fault identification with on-board diagnostic features.


Qualified vendors worldwide Consistent multi-location processes Integrated supply chain quality measures

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Our products and systems undergo rigorous testing to assure reliability, repeatability and a predictable long service life. Testing capabilities include: ■■ ■■

EAO’s four Global Production Control and Planning Centres support the design and production of HMI products to ISO-9001 and other international standards. They will advise on: ■■ ■■ ■■

PCB design and manufacturing SMT placement, assembly and inspection Cable crimping, cutting, harnessing and assembly

ISO 9001:2000; ISO 14001:2004 ISO/TS 16949:2002 (Automotive) Other industry standards as required by markets we serve

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Laboratory tests with special software, such as LAB View Use of environmental test chambers Checking of adherence to different degrees of protection Optical and X-ray analyses Finite element analysis

Adherence to international standards and extensive product testing makes EAO a trusted, knowledgeable and valued partner in the planning, design and manufacturing of your HMI control system project.

Additionally, our components business provides expertise in machining, surface treatments, sheet metal forming, injection moulding, finishes and imprinting as well as PCB assembly and final integration of complete HMI solutions. 4

Transportation Leading manufacturers of track vehicles, buses, ships, aircrafts and emergency vehicles fit our HMI operating systems. EAO components enable the communication between driver and passengers and they are used in cockpits, door opening and operating systems, emergencycall equipment and passenger information systems. The audible, visual and touchable indicators with their bright illumination and freely programmable acoustic warning signals are unsurpassed. They are extremely reliable and vandal-proof and adhere to the specific requirements of disability regulations.

Machinery Among EAO's customers are many of the leading, global enterprises, covering the different segments of the machinery market. This includes CNC-automation, semiconductor production, laser and x-ray equipment, robotics and quality-assurance. Focusing on miniaturization, EAO is developing and manufacturing compact user-friendly operating systems. The combination of user-friendly panel design and proven technology results in optimised system reliability and higher productivity. 5

Instrumentation EAO’s HMI Systems have gained an excellent reputation among equipment suppliers in medical diagnostics and treatment, laboratory, measuring equipment and general testing. Our systems can be flush mounted and sealed for easy cleaning. In a world in which life sometimes depends on the flawless functioning, our HMI systems are precise and reliable; our E-stop switches are “fool-proof” and dependable. The acoustic signals and the illumination of the lenses and switches transmit critical information fast and efficiently.

Lifting & Moving EAO supports and supplies HMI Systems to a large number of manufacturers in this highly demanding industry. Elevators, forklift trucks, cranes, conveyors, robotics and special ground support equipment all require durable, water and dustproof control systems that function in all environments and resist such stresses as heat, cold, dampness, vibration and, in public environments, vandalism. Large lens surfaces assist less able bodied users or gloved workers.


Audio/Video EAO is one of the leading suppliers of switches and indicators for audio/video, lighting, stage and production equipment. Because of their silent operation and 100% reliability, our HMI Systems can be found in many of the major film and production studios, and in outside broadcast vehicles. User fatigue is a big challenge in this industry, so our components are ergonomically correct and intuitive. Innovative full face and multicolour illumination adds to the utility of our HMI solutions.

Telecommunication EAO offers a complete range of keyboards and keypads for use in the public sector. They are vandal-resistant and virtually indestructible. Manufacturers use EAO operating systems for both indoor and outdoor applications such as banking terminals, kiosks, parking meters and access control. A multitude of illumination techniques and styles are available to meet the growing demands of this dynamic global industry.


EAO – Your Expert Partner for Human Machine Interfaces

Headquarters: EAO AG Tannwaldstrasse 88 4601 Olten, Switzerland

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EAO reserves the right to alter specifications without further notice.