408-754-4176 | info@reachtech.com

by Reach Technology, a Novanta Company

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Reach Named one of Bay Area’s Top Manufacturers

Reach Technology was named one of the Bay Area’s top manufacturers, by the San Francisco Business Journal. The company landed 73rd on their list with the likes of Tesla and Lam Research. More

Reach Production Moving to Larger Facility

Thanks to your business, we continue to grow. To make room for production, we are moving to a larger, state-of-the-art facility in April 2017. We will share space with NDS Surgical Imaging, also a Novanta company, in San Jose, CA. Our new address will be 5750 Hellyer Ave, San Jose, CA 95138. For a period, our main phone number 510-770-1417 will forward to our new number 408-754-4176. Our email addresses will remain the same. Our Fremont, CA office will be closed Thursday, April 6th, and Friday, April 7th. Orders will begin shipping from San Jose, CA the following week. We will work with you to schedule your orders around these transition dates. Please contact Reach Sales with any questions.

Reach Technology Acquired by Novanta

We are pleased to announce Reach Technology, Inc. is being acquired by Novanta, a leading global supplier of industrial and healthcare technology solutions. 

Reach will continue to provide you with the highest quality products and customer support that continue to be the hallmarks of our business. Novanta shares our standards of service and operations. Our customers will benefit as we leverage their global resources.

Answers to common questions:

  1. Why did Reach sell to Novanta? Reach has grown to the point where additional resources are needed to provide our high level of service to an expanding customer base. Reach management saw the opportunity to join forces with a company that shares the same customer-focused values.
  2. How do I place orders? Your ordering process won’t change. We still support phone, email, web shopping cart, and fax orders. All phone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
  3. Will my sales contact change? No, we are not making any changes; you will continue to contact sales@reachtech.com to place orders.
  4. Will support change? No, Technical and Software Support will continue to be handled from our Oregon office.
  5. Are we still going to be able to get my product? Yes. No changes are being made to the Reach product line, or to our commitment to product longevity.
  6. Will lead times change? No.
  7. Will you still have the same long term support/availability? Yes.
  8. Will products change? All current products will continue to be produced, with new ones as they finish development.

About Novanta
Novanta (formerly GSI Group) is a leading global supplier of core technology solutions that give advanced industrial and healthcare OEMs a competitive advantage. Novanta combines deep expertise at the intersection of photonics and motion with a proven ability to solve complex technical challenges. This enables Novanta to engineer core components and sub-systems that deliver extreme precision and performance, tailored to our customers’ demanding applications. The company delivers highly engineered laser, vision and precision motion solutions to customers around the world. The driving force behind its growth is the team of innovative professionals who share a commitment to innovation and customer success. Novanta’s common shares are quoted on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “NOVT”. Novanta.com

Touch Screen Device Company Named 44th Fastest Growing

touch-screen-deviceLast night it was announced that Reach Technology, a touch screen device company, was named the 44th Fastest Growing Private Company by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

San Francisco Business Times says, “Reach Technology hasn’t lost its touch.” Thanks to our customers, Reach has shown 66 percent growth from 2012 to 2015 and continues to ride the wave of new touch technologies. Read the full article

Long Term Availability

Prospect Question:

My biggest concern is longevity.. my products need to remain viable for a good 10 years (nature of our market). Having designed in displays before I know that about the time I release to production the display is at end of life…I was hoping that the industry had changed a bit…I am concerned that it is difficult to guarantee the longevity I require…that is where my discomfort lies…My other choice is to use more standard buttons and a much less sophisticated these tend to hang around longer. That being said.. is there a display size that tend to remain active the longest?

Reach Answer:

Your longevity concerns are shared by many of our customers. They make products for the medical industry, and changes are painful for them because of the regulatory issues. They require that products do not change over time, or change as little as possible. They also require product availability for 10 years.

The LCD manufacturers are somewhat sensitive to this, and they make “industry standard” sizes (4.3″, 5.7″, 7″, 10.1″, etc.), and they usually try to offer form/fit/function replacements when possible. A current trend among manufacturers is to discontinue their CCFL backlight panels in favor of panels with LED backlight. As they discontinue the CCFL panels, we roll in the replacement LED backlight panel and associated cable and driver board.

Some display module vendors use LCD panels in odd sizes, usually piggy-backing on sizes used by a large manufacturer’s high-volume product, such as a GPS display. This allows the display module vendor to offer inexpensive products, but once the high-volume product changes to a different LCD panel, the display manufacturer is hosed (as are their customers).

Because we only offer industry-standard LCD sizes, we are able to substitute LCD panels into our display modules with little to no impact on our customers. We strive to build any given hardware/software configuration as long as components are available. We have display modules that have been in production over 10 years. This allows customers to design their products without having to worry about unexpected changes in our products.

Regarding which size would remain active the longest, since we only use industry-standard sizes, they are not prone to going obsolete (from a size perspective). The main concern is a technology going obsolete (as in the CCFL issue described above), or with a specific vendor having supply or quality problems. In these cases, we are able to source an alternative panel and keep our display module the same.

Let us know if you would like to talk about the longevity issue in detail. We would be happy to get on the phone and discuss it further.

Range of LCD Module Sizes


Full Transcript

We have a range of LCD sizes we support. The smallest is the 4.3-inch. People sometimes ask for the smaller size, the three point five, which is the old Palm Pilot size. The reason we’ve never done a 3.5-inch screen or module is because once you get to that size, the smaller sizes, the LCDs change because it’s a consumer-based product or a phone-based product. The LCDs themselves change so quickly that we can’t find a panel and a supplier that can guarantee a long-term supply at a reasonable price.

Yes, you can get them from some vendors, but it’s not an attractive enough price. For us, the smallest size we do is 4.3-inch. Then, from 4.3″, we go up to 5.7″, 7″, 8.4″, 10″. You can even drive a 12-inch screen.

Getting Started with a Touchscreen Development Kit

Customers find within a week; they can have something up and running with a development kit.


Full Transcript

The way to get started with the Reach solution is quite simple. It’s a development kit. We provide development kits that have everything you need to get started: the display, the controller, cables, mounted boards, power supply.

Get one of these kits, and it comes with demo software, and it comes with the manual that explains how to do very simple stuff, to begin with.

If you can start with that, just to get a handle on the whole concept of touch control, then if you have any issues moving forward, we have tech support on staff, people you can call in. We say, “If you spend more than 15 minutes scratching your head, give us a call because we can usually help.”

The development kits that we provide have been found very useful by our customers. They find that with the kit, within a week, they can have an application, they can have something up and running.

It’s not a long, drawn-out procedure where you have to spend weeks and weeks or months developing code and developing fancy interfaces or complicated interfaces. In a lot of cases, a simple set of graphics and buttons suffice.

We have lots of customers who are trying to do relatively simple things and want it easy, want to get it done. They want to lower their risk of development by having the user interface part, the color touch part, done as quickly and as easily as possible so they can move on to things that have a higher value.

Why the LCD Market is Different

If you are looking for a display that will be available for a long time, you should watch this video.


Full Transcript

We spent a lot of time looking at different panels and trying to find the right panel that will be available for a long time. Unfortunately, in the LCD business, there are no standards. There’s not … it’s almost like the TV business. When you see TVs first they were 32-inch then 46- then 47-point this; they’re all different numbers. There’s no consistency. There’s no commonality. LCD panels are all made custom for particular uses.

There are very few industry standards. There are no standard groups. Some sizes become standard, and so we spent a lot of time working with vendors. We have direct relationships with Hitachi, Kyocera, NEC, people like that who are in the industrial LCD market. We know which panels have the form factors and the electrical interfaces that are going to be around for a long time and that are truly industrial panels.

Sometimes vendors will show up and say, “Oh, now I want to sell into the industrial market. I’m going to bring some LCDs that were consumer; now I’m going to call them industrial and here use them.” They come in, and then three years later they go out and leave a lot of people high and dry. Knowing how this works, and who to deal with, and who not to, is a big deal.

LCD Controller Features Overview

See display module features in action: on-board proportional fonts, fixed width fonts, parameter macro, label macro, simple math macro, easy-to-use buttons, save/restore drawing state, dynamic labels, text in a box, relative touch, data visualization charts, slider controls (compass, gauge meters), animation, scroll and rotate, and drawing primitives (shapes). Note: No audio.

Expectations of an Embedded Interface

<h3>Full Transcript</h3>

One of the interesting characteristics of embedded interface system is, unlike PCs, we expect them to do the same thing each time. If I go to my microwave and I type in the number of minutes and then say start, and it does this thing each the same way each time that’s great. If I type start, or if I type some buttons and it stuttered, like how a PC does, I think it’s broken.

The embedded world is different than the PC world that’s why Android is great for PC consumer-type of applications where we expect sometimes there’s a lag between pushing a button and seeing a result. Sometimes there’s a delay and the delay may change; that’s we expect with PCs, and maybe with tablets, and maybe with our phones, but with a piece of equipment like a medical device that’s dermatological skin laser, no, you want it to work the same way each time.

The way to guarantee that is to have a simple system, not one with layers and layers of complexity; layers that maybe you don’t even understand. Our system is very simple, which is actually a good thing when you try to make something reliable.