ASM: Ed Jones
We won a customer form the energy sector, Cimarron Energy Inc., for a vapor recovery product. Gas by-products are released from processing oil, landfill gases, chemicals, etc., and our control keypad goes on the flame igniter that burns the exhaust vapor.
The membrane switch needs to survive 100% outdoor use including direct sunlight/UV exposure. These switches are used outdoors in the oil and gas exploration fields for controls of flare systems, which means they are exposed to sunlight, rain, oil, dirt - you get the picture. And they are used to control critical systems, so the switch has to work every time.
Material knowledge and experience from other outdoor customers, like Gilbarco, allowed us to select and process the proper materials and construction to meet their requirement. We identified a graphic overlay material that offers resistance to UV exposure, and Xymox used a proprietary UV ink for the graphics. This combination allows long switch life in these harsh conditions. We also used a gasket construction for sealing the switch to ensure there is no fluid ingress from the environment to the switch circuitry or to the underlying electronics.
Sharing this information and educating the customer on the difference in suppliers, materials and constructions resulted in the customer deciding on a head-to-head prototype evaluation. Comparing prototypes from Xymox and a competitor, Xymox stood the test. Outdoor UV weather ability tests showed it all - Xymox outperformed the competition on endurance in direct UV exposure.
How to use this information:
What customers are in your region who need a switch that works outdoors, all the time? This is an application area where premium technology and know-how is required to succeed. We are good at this – and there is a ton of value we can provide to our customers with challenging applications outdoors.