Display Screen: An Important Support For The Intelligentization Of Home Appliances

- Dec 21, 2020-

With the advent of smart life, in recent years, there have been more and more screens on home appliances such as refrigerators, electric ovens, and electric steamers. The traditional home appliance interaction bridge has been upgraded from simple mechanical single-point buttons to the realization of man-machines with the help of screens. Interactive. Under new market opportunities, screen suppliers have made strategic deployments one after another on how to meet the demand for complete equipment, reduce costs, and expand and promote applications.


01

Different supply companies have their own advantages in technology

According to the reporter of "Electrical Appliances", there are currently three main types of companies that supply screens for home appliances: The first type is panel manufacturers. This type of company directly supplies glass panels to major brands with independent research and development capabilities such as Haier and Midea. The machine company applies the screen to the product by itself. Another situation is that the glass panels of these companies are selected by the solution company, and then the third-party foundry will attach the corresponding screen to the complete machine factory; the second category is the screen control solution provider, which has the technology R&D capabilities can directly provide intelligent control solutions for integrated screens to the complete machine factory; the third category is suppliers that span from mobile phone screens to home appliances screens. Such companies have mature application development capabilities.


Shantou Ultrasonic Display Co., Ltd. belongs to the first-class screen supplier. According to Chen Lianxin, the sales representative of Shantou Ultrasonic Display Co., Ltd., established in 1991, Shantou Ultrasound is the earliest manufacturer in China to develop, produce and sell LCD and capacitive touch screens, with a production capacity of approximately 1.5 million pieces per month. In his view, Shantou Ultrasonic’s competitive advantages have two points: one is its rich product types and strong vertical integration capabilities, which can provide customers with one-stop products and services; the other is its high-quality, high-reliability in-vehicle, industrial control And home appliances and other market areas, already have a good technical foundation and brand reputation. Among them, in the field of home appliances, Shantou Ultrasonic screens have been widely used in product categories such as washing machines, water heaters, steaming and roasting machines, electric ovens, range hoods, cooking machines, coffee machines, etc. The cooperative customers include Miele and Karcher , Whirlpool, Ariston, etc.


Optimistic about the application prospects of screens in the field of home appliances, panel manufacturer TCL Huaxing is actively deepening cooperation with strategic suppliers, launching interactive products such as "smart screens", and jointly promoting the demand for high-end displays such as 8K/120Hz in the industry chain. The display interface is the core of the multi-scenario IoT ecosystem construction such as home and business.


The "Electrical Appliances" reporter interviewed Heertai, Topband and Green Alliance, which belong to the second category of home appliance screen suppliers.


Topband has an early layout in the field of home appliance screen control solutions. According to Liang Rongsu, Director of Kitchen and Bath Product Center of Shenzhen Topband Co., Ltd., recalled: “Topband first provided kitchen appliance customers with a screen control solution for electric ovens in 2012. This is also China’s first color screen electric oven. Since then, We have successively customized a variety of high-end screen control solutions for leading brands in the kitchen appliance, refrigerator, and washing machine industries, such as steaming ovens, integrated stoves, range hoods, washing machines, etc. Among them, many products have become market hotspots and industry benchmarks Products, such as the 7.84-inch screen control solution customized for an integrated stove brand recently, have been successfully applied to the customer’s explosive new products."


Talking about Topband’s advantages in the home appliance screen supply market, Liang Rongsu summarized two points: First, Topband’s core technology and experience accumulated in the field of home appliance intelligent control for more than 20 years, and understanding of the needs of the whole machine manufacturing end, software and hardware The design scheme can be more accurate and more matched; the second is that Topband has rich production and manufacturing experience, a strong testing and manufacturing platform, and a complete process system. The screen control solution for multiple components and complex process flow can be more We do well in the whole process management of manufacturing and delivery, and provide customers with value in terms of quality, efficiency, cost and responsiveness. "At present, only in the field of kitchen appliances, the production capacity of our screen control solutions has reached 200,000 sets/year." Liang Rongsu said.


Holtek's screen control solution has a layout on home appliances in most scenarios. Zuo Qin, vice president of Holtek Group, told the reporter of Electrical Appliances that Holtek's screen control solutions are used in refrigerators, washing machines, range hoods, electric ovens, electric steamers, coffee machines, rice cookers, visualized doorbells/access control equipment and There are applications in products such as bathroom mirrors. At the same time, Holtek has a big data and artificial intelligence laboratory, which deeply integrates a variety of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, face recognition, and big data computing with home appliance screens to help customers develop better home appliances and improve home appliance manufacturers’ products. user experience. It is particularly worth mentioning that Holtek has been investing in a complete set of solutions for TFT LCD liquid crystal display control modules for many years. At present, most types of home appliance screens have been shipped steadily.


Green Alliance, which has been engaged in home appliance control research, has obvious advantages after entering the field of home appliance screen supply. Li Bo, Chairman of Shanghai Greenlink Software Co., Ltd. said that Greenlink’s advantage lies in being very familiar with the product characteristics of home appliances and knowing how to optimize performance in the design, reflecting the balance of high performance, long life and low price of home appliance control panels. . According to him, Green Alliance has just put into production the industry's first professional AIoT smart large-screen factory in Qingdao, using professional design, professional production, and professional services to make products.


For the third type of manufacturers from mobile phone screens to home appliance screens, the initial cooperation model is to simply embed the screen or ipad-like screen display module on the home appliance products. In recent years, as the understanding of smart home appliances has become deeper and deeper, these companies have also strengthened their supporting capabilities, and their products have been more in line with the design requirements of the complete machine, and have been recognized by many home appliance companies. Daxian Intelligent is such an enterprise, now focusing on home appliance screens. It is understood that Daxian Intelligence was established in 2018, and now it is more researching and developing artificial intelligence screen products to help home appliances achieve true intelligence.



02

More stringent than TV screen requirements

Due to the wide variety of home appliances, the demand for home appliance screens is more personalized than TV screens. The screens should be tailored to the characteristics of different home appliances, and the product's interactive interface should be continuously upgraded. In Li Bo's words: "The real difference between home appliance screens and TV screens is to provide interactive services in different scenarios."


"Compared with TV screens, home appliance screens have more stringent operating conditions and standards." Liang Rongsu emphasized. He further introduced: "The home appliance screen control solution needs to meet more stringent industrial-level test standards, such as electrostatic testing, lightning and surge resistance testing, etc., and must strictly meet the standards to ensure that the product has sufficiently high reliability and stability. And Because the screen size needs to be compatible with the appearance design of home appliances, highly customized products are usually required, most of which are non-standard sizes. This places high requirements on the design capabilities and production process capabilities of suppliers. Bang has provided domestic and international leading home appliance brand customers with screen control solutions that adapt to a variety of product positioning, including independently developed software and hardware solutions for Android, Linux, small systems and multiple screen sizes, which can meet the different needs of customers and users .


Chen Lianxin believes that TV screens are generally only consumer specifications, and the size is mainly large. In home appliances, especially kitchen appliances, due to harsh environments such as high oil smoke, high humidity, high temperature (steam) and long life requirements (over 5 years), the reliability of the screen is higher, and it generally needs to reach the industrial level. In addition, the functional characteristic requirements and differentiated design of home appliances will be more complicated, requiring suppliers to have higher development experience, innovation awareness and integration capabilities.


03

To help smart home appliances, enterprises need personalized matching

Although the application scenarios of screens on TVs and other home appliances are different, the ultimate goal is to realize the intelligence of home appliances. So, how does the screen help home appliances realize intelligence?


With the rapid development of Internet of Things, 5G and artificial intelligence technologies, the core of home appliance intelligence is increasingly moving from connection to scene intelligence. The display screen happens to be the link between people and home appliances, and people's needs can be realized through the screen. In this sense, the display screen greatly promotes the process of smart home appliances. But the real smart home appliances do not just install a screen on the home appliance, but install a “brain” and interactive screen.


Li Bo has a clear understanding of how screens can help home appliances achieve intelligence. He said: "From a hardware point of view, home appliances with screens only have one more display screen than ordinary home appliances, but from the perspective of scene applications, there are actually more users who can interact. Nowadays, many OEMs It is a one-sided view that a home full of screens is the scene of a smart home. The home scene of each screen is different, and the corresponding interactive content is different. Therefore, the layout of smart home appliances in the whole factory requires not only hardware modules, but also We need to provide interactive content services.” According to him, Green Alliance is the first solution company in the market to deploy scenario intelligence, and it is also the current domestic leading provider of cloud, terminal and operation IoT solutions. Starting from the development and launch of the first truly Internet refrigerator, Greenlink has continuously developed new categories and improved product skills in the fields of refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen appliances, environmental appliances and other fields, focusing on empowering products, value-added scenarios, and serving users. , To create a closed loop of scene ecology.


Zuo Qin interpreted the relationship between smart home appliances and screens from the perspective of usage scenarios: “The application scenarios of home appliances are diverse, including living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc., and home appliances have different dimensions, functional logic, and product positioning. Different understandings lead to huge differences in customer needs. This requires that home appliance screens must be close to customer needs. Only when screens are deeply integrated into home appliance products and application scenarios can they exert their maximum effectiveness." Holtek is in the Internet of Things, big data, Continue to invest in business areas such as AI and cloud computing, strategically deploy the family core industry scene cluster, create multi-dimensional, multi-level three-dimensional closed-loop services around the family core scene, and develop a better user experience, more intelligent and humane The products and scene services of the company can realize greater value for customers through technological innovation.


Liang Rongsu believes that the intelligentization of home appliances can refer to smart phones. In his view, the future development trend of the home appliance screen market is to provide users with a more concise and friendly operating experience, which can better integrate with the time, space, and scenes used by customers, and can also serve the elderly, children and other user groups. Operation provides convenience, allowing users to better explore and enjoy digital and intelligent life through products. Topband has done a lot of work in these areas.


04

Low penetration rate, huge market development space

Although the intelligentization of home appliances has been mentioned for many years, and it is regarded as an important development strategy by many mainstream home appliance brands, as home appliance companies have high requirements for cost control, screens are more often used in high-end products. The proportion of applications is still small. Take large-screen refrigerators as an example. In recent years, reporters from "Electric Appliances" have tracked and reported important exhibitions in the home appliance industry such as AWE and IFA, and found that large screens are only a "privilege" for a few high-end refrigerators. Most refrigerators still have no screens and are controlled by buttons. According to Li Bo, the penetration rate of screen-in refrigerator products is less than 1%. An industry insider familiar with the kitchen appliance industry said frankly: "In the kitchen appliance industry, the penetration rate of the screen is only 2%~3%."


Investigating the reasons, Liang Rongsu believes that suppliers' lack of insight into user demand for pain points, high raw material costs, and high production process complexity are the main factors leading to the low proportion of screens used in home appliances.


In the future, expanding the application of screens on home appliances is a task for various screen suppliers.


Liang Rongsu said that on the one hand, Topband will enhance its insight and understanding of the market, customers, and users' needs; on the other hand, Topband will continue to enhance core technology accumulation, continuously optimize cost, efficiency, and innovate products in design solutions and manufacturing processes. Enhance product strength and promote industry development together with customers.


In response to the current situation of home appliance screens such as relatively single screen content, imperfect industry standards, and large fluctuations in component prices, Li Bo said: "Green Alliance will work with customers to continuously optimize upstream supply chain resources on the one hand and find more suitable strategies. Suppliers match resources; on the one hand, they improve industry standards, enhance product experience, and continue to explore in the field of artificial intelligence to bring value to customers and create services for users."


There is no doubt that the development space of the screen in the home appliance industry is still a blue ocean. The relevant person in charge of TCL Huaxing said that in the display panel market, home appliance screens are an important growth point. Li Bo also believes that with the proposal of Haier's Triwing Bird ecological brand, the implementation of Hisense’s new "1*3*N" smart life strategy and Yunmi’s 5G whole house interconnection and other new strategies for home appliance manufacturers can see more and more More screen use requirements. Chen Lianxin also believes that as home appliances become more intelligent and diversified in functions, the penetration rate of screens in home appliances will gradually increase. "Currently, the penetration rate of application screens for home appliances is only 1.5%, while the penetration rate of comparison cars has exceeded 11%. At the same time, with the attention and development of domestic home appliances to screens, the requirements for screen technology, reliability, and cost will be greatly increased. With the improvement, the application of screens in home appliances will become wider and wider." Chen Lianxin added.

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