Possibly the most obvious factor when choosing an LCD and something any company is unlikely to forget is the cost. However it is important to remember that the lowest cost does not always equal the best solution. There will always be a supplier out there offering a ‘cheaper’ product, but these may not be legitimate panels from a trusted manufacturer. LCD distributors can usually offer discounted pricing depending on quantities required and the possibility of a future business relationship.
2. Stock availability / Lead times
Most of the large manufacturer’s will have standard lead times for their products and therefore it is vital that purchasers are able to plan their orders to stay within schedule. To assist with schedule planning, if there is an ongoing requirement of certain quantities, some suppliers will order in the stock and organise a call off for the customer. Understandably there are some smaller requirements that cannot be predicted, and a good supplier will have a particular products held in a stock holding.
3. Choosing a manufacturer
A wide range of TFT LCD manufacturers exist in all parts of the world and each of their ranges will target different end users. As an example, AUO mainly produce industrial TFT displays making them ideal for use within the industrial, military and automotive sectors. A decent supplier will source products from a few quality manufacturers such as Tianma NLT, Innolux, Mitsubishi and more. They will also be able to provide the correct product roadmaps to help you pick the best display option. To avoid disappointment, it is advised to purchase from an official distributor rather than the grey market where you may receive an inferior product.
4. Choosing the correct display for your project
In most cases there is a specification to follow when looking for a product to ensure the display has the attributes needed. But, sometimes there are attributes which are overlooked, for example the ambient light available may not be considered when deciding on brightness. As a guide the following factors should be looked at:
• Aspect Ratio
• Viewing Angle
• Operating/Storage Temperature
• Power Consumption
Where possible, speaking to a professional sales person will give you the best guidance for choosing the right TFT display and can also offer you alternatives which may not have been considered.
5. Longevity of supply
With any TFT display product there will always be the possibility of it going obsolete or EOL (End Of Life) in the future. This is important to remember when purchasing, especially if the display is to be integrated into an internal design. A decent supplier will have the expertise to advise not only which manufacturers have the best longevity of supply, but will also be able to assist in finding the next version of the display or where this is not possible a drop replacement. Furthermore, a select few suppliers will have the ability to mechanically modify a product to meet your specific requirements.
6. Supplier Flexibility
Price will always be one of the biggest influences on your choice of supplier, as there are always targets to be met. Of course, it is a good idea to ‘shop around’ by getting quotes from a few of the available suppliers. Usually the best pricing can be achieved by building a relationship with a supplier through repeat orders. Where possible it is useful to give the supplier your target cost so that they have a realistic idea of what kind of price they are aiming for and if this is possible. This saves time for you and for the supplier.
7. Supplier Financial Security
In most cases suppliers will credit check their customers to ensure they are able to pay for their orders. But it is rare that a customer will check their supplier to ensure they have the financial strength to supply an order. Using a tool to credit check a supplier can give you peace of mind that the company you are buying from has a good cash flow and financial status. If you have any doubts or worries for the future, this also gives you the opportunity to address them with the supplier.
8. Supplier Support Products
It is advantageous for suppliers to have a broad range of products to support a TFT display, as the display is usually only part of a design. This is also an added bonus for purchasers because you can find all the support products in one place. The support products you may need include but are not limited to: Interface Cards, TFT Controllers, Power Supplies, Cables and LED Backlight Drivers. Some suppliers will have all the parts you need available as an easy to install kit solution. Purchasing all the parts from one supplier could reduce costs.
9. Supplier Support Services
Choice of supplier may also be influenced by the services they can provide to help value-add to the solution. If you need to integrate a touch screen into your solution but don’t have the facilities to do this in-house, you would want a supplier who can provide a touch screen fitting service. Similarly if you were looking to improve the readability of a display, you would choose a supplier who can optically bond the display for you.
10. Technical Support
No matter what experience you have, it is still important that the supplier you purchase from can offer technical support after purchase if necessary. Therefore it is important to check when purchasing that the supplier has UK based support whether this be over the phone or someone who can attend your site. By going back to the supplier this ensures you are following the correct procedures so as to avoid damaging the panel further. Some suppliers will also offer a Repair and Return (RMA) Service or a Warranty.
For more information or to discuss your project requirements please contact us on +44(0)1634 672755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Display Technology
Display Technology Ltd specialises in TFT-LCD flat panel technologies. We offer a huge selection of TFT-LCD monitors and touch screens, as well as associated support components including in house designed AD boards, a full range of embedded computing, power supplies and single board computers to offer a single source of supply / contact.
Working with a wide range of technology specialists, not limited to but including AUO, Ortustech, Ampire, Tianma, AbonTouch and Zytronic. This ensures we can deliver high quality products, solutions and services. Our services include optical bonding and touch screen fitting, which takes place at our inhouse facilities at our headoffice.
We are proud to be part of the global FORTEC Data Display Group whose experience is in state-of-the-art TFT technologies and system solutions, Display Technology will support all project phases - from simple supply, bespoke design, construction of the metal housing and procurement of specific parts to in-house development of TFT controller boards and touchscreen integration.