Finishing Solutions for Backlit Displays

Get the precision needed to ensure the icon on the display is vividly illuminated.


Backlit displays can be found everywhere from airplane cockpits, automobile dashboard, appliances and electronics. They are so common that often times they go unnoticed or seem simple. In fact, the process and technology required to manufacturing these displays is actually quite demanding.



Manufacturing backlit displays is more complicated that it may appear. There is considerable effort and precision needed to ensure the icon on the display is vividly illuminated. 

The plastic parts are first coated with a light semi-transparent paint. Next, a darker color is coated over the first light color coat. To create the icon, a laser is used to etch away the black paint in the shape of the icon. This creates the light and dark contrast which creates the backlit display. 

In this application the surface finish quality is key, especially in high value luxury cars. In addition to this, the coating thickness is also key. If the base color is too thick, the light will not properly shine through. If the darker top color paint coat is too thick, the laser will not properly etch the layer to show the lighter undercoat. If the top coat is too thin, the laser will etch both layers creating an inconsistent display.



Solving this challenge requires the utmost precision. Precision flow rate control, consistent spray gun performance, and fine atomization all work together to ensure an even and uniform surface is created. The ProMix PD2K closed loop control controls the flow rate, while the superior atomization of AirPro EFX ensures this is accomplished. 

This application also requires precise applicator movement typically performed by a robot. The PD2K Applicator Control ensures all paint parameters are managed with one system for easy robotic integration. In applications that require the highest level of performance, Graco’s ProBell delivers the finest particle atomization for maximum coating thickness control.


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