Boeing's 777: A Touch of Class
One of the most eagerly anticipated days in aviation history was the day when executives from Boeing and United Airlines rolled out the first Boeing 777, an aircraft that has set new standards for production, performance and partnership. Elo TouchSystems Round Rock is proud to have played a role.
As he handed a symbolic ignition key to United Airlines chairman Gerald Greenwald, Boeing chairman Frank Schrontz said, "Our goal was to create a reliable, service-ready airplane, with market flexibility, speed and comfort -- an airplane that will fully meet the demands of our airline customers and also delight the passenger."
When Boeing began developing the "triple seven," the world's largest twin engine plane with a capacity of 418 passengers (single class) and a wingspan half as long as a football field, a key part of the 777 development process was the active partnership of leading suppliers from throughout the world.
Elo Round Rock provided infrared touchscreen assemblies for the 777's innovative cabin management system. Linked to a computerized Cabin System Control Panel built to include Sharp liquid crystal displays, the Cabin Management System assists cabin crews with many tasks and allows airlines to provide new services for passengers. For example, the system configures lighting in the passenger compartments and manages distribution of video and audio.
The system also manages the software required in other parts of the passenger areas, where flight attendants access the control systems through two cabin area control panels, which incorporate CarrollTouch scanning infrared technology.
The decision to select CarrollTouch scanning infrared technology was based on its compatibility with the Sharp display screen and its ability to meet rigorous electromagnetic interference requirements, both in terms of susceptibility to interference and radiation emission, according to Dereck Campbell, Boeing's hardware design team leader for the Cabin Management System panels.
"We worked closely with Elo Round Rock to optimize the touchscreen capability," said Campbell. "This included finding innovative ways to shield the bezel as well as special indium tin oxide coating for the touchscreen glass." Campbell said the touchscreen performance has met all expectations.
"Being part of the 777 team is a privilege, and we take a great deal of pride in the fact that the cabin management system on the 777 is the absolute state-of-the-art in systems and processes," said David Martin, general manager of Elo Round Rock. In fact, the passenger cabin of the new 777 jetliner won a 1992 Industrial Excellence award, the first time the Industrial Designers' Society of America has honored an airplane interior.
As with other Boeing airplanes, the 777 will grow into a family of aircraft. The company has committed to a longer-range, higher weight version, and even higher performance and capacity platforms are in development for the future.