From precision drilling and real-time monitoring to sustainable practices and regulatory compliance, technology-driven solutions are essential for the petroleum industry’s evolution.

LCD monitors play a critical role in the oil and gas industry, providing real-time data visualization, control, and communication across various stages of exploration, extraction, refining, and distribution. This remote monitoring provides immediate detection of sudden changes in conditions that could prove hazardous, such as blow-outs, which can cause injuries and up to $5 million in damaged equipment.[1] While effective in many settings, traditional monitors face significant challenges in the oil and gas industry, fraught with extreme conditions and corrosive hazards.

One of the significant drawbacks of traditional monitors is their poor visibility in harsh outdoor conditions, especially under direct sunlight. This limitation can hinder crucial operations and compromise safety. Enter sunlight-readable monitors, a technological solution designed to overcome these challenges and enhance overall efficiency in the industry.

  • Sunlight-Readable Systems in the Oil & Gas Industry 
  • Benefits Across Production & Distribution Stages
  • Custom Sunlight-Readable Monitors for the Oil & Gas Industry 

Sunlight-Readable Systems in the Oil & Gas Industry

Sunlight-readable monitors are designed to overcome the visibility challenges posed by direct sunlight, making them essential. The technology behind these LCD monitors involves various methods to enhance brightness, reduce glare, and improve overall visibility.

Increased Backlight Brightness

The simplest and most common method involves boosting the brightness of the LCD panel’s backlight. LCD brightness is measured in nits, and LCD monitors exceeding 800 nits are generally considered sunlight-readable. Some LCD monitors even reach 1000 nits or higher, ensuring optimal visibility even in the brightest outdoor conditions.

Transflective Materials

Transflective materials are essential for enhancing the sunlight-readability of LCDs. Instead of the traditional diffuser material between the LED backlight and the LCD pixels, a transflective material is employed. This material functions akin to reflective sunglasses or a one-way window. Sunlight penetrates the LCD panel, traverses through the pixels, interacts with the transflective material, and reflects back through the pixels to the observer. This mechanism effectively diminishes the adverse effects of sunlight on visibility by leveraging the reflected light to enhance LCD brightness.

Optical Bonding

Optical bonding is a method employed to improve LCD monitor viewability in direct sunlight or high-brightness environments, particularly in touchscreen computers. Traditionally, the touchscreen sensor and the LCD panel are separate components with a slight air gap between them. As intense light traverses the touchscreen layer, a portion of it reflects between the LCD surface and the touchscreen, leading to diminished visibility. To tackle this problem, optical bonding is employed, involving the placement of a transparent adhesive gel between the LCD and touchscreen. The gel creates a bond upon hardening, connecting the touchscreen to the LCD and eliminating the air gap. This improvement enhances visibility by minimizing light reflection between the two components.

Surface Treatments

Enhancing sunlight-readability is additionally aided by surface treatments, with two prevalent techniques being anti-reflective (A/R) films and coatings, as well as anti-glare processing. A/R surface treatments entail the application of multiple transparent thin film layers onto an LCD monitor, each layer designed to alter light wavelengths and diminish reflection, thereby improving visibility. Meanwhile, anti-glare surface treatments enhance visibility by dispersing reflected light through a textured surface, minimizing interference with the displayed image. Combining these surface treatment methods enables displays to deliver vibrant and clear pictures in diverse lighting conditions.

Benefits Across Production & Distribution Stages

Sunlight-readable monitors prove indispensable across various stages of the oil and gas industry, addressing unique challenges in upstream, midstream, and downstream operations.


Conditions can be particularly challenging in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Sunlight-readable monitors used in upstream applications must withstand extreme conditions such as dust storms, exposure to drilling mud and particulate matter, and variations in temperature and humidity. Additionally, the presence of corrosive substances, including saltwater, poses a significant threat to electronic equipment.

To address these challenges, LCD monitors used in upstream operations should have a NEMA4X rating. The NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) 4X rating ensures that the LCD monitors are protected against dust, water, and corrosive materials. This rating is crucial in safeguarding the integrity and functionality of LCD monitors in the harsh outdoor conditions typical of exploration and extraction sites. Pelican-style cases, known for their durability and resistance to impact, can be employed to provide an extra layer of protection, enhancing LCD monitors’ longevity despite the challenging surroundings.


During transportation in the midstream sector, LCD monitors are exposed to environmental factors such as vibrations, high winds, and potential mechanical shocks. Sunlight-readable monitors used in midstream applications must be equipped with NEMA12 enclosures to protect them from dust, dirt, and other environmental elements encountered during transportation.

The NEMA12 enclosure ensures the LCD monitors remain operational and reliable even in adverse conditions. These LCD monitors are designed to withstand the rigors of transportation, ensuring that visibility and functionality are maintained throughout the journey. Whether on a pipeline, tanker, or other transportation mode, LCD monitors with NEMA12 enclosures contribute to the overall efficiency and safety of midstream operations.


LCD monitors used in downstream applications may encounter exposure to corrosive substances, extreme temperatures, and other challenges. The NEMA rating for monitors in downstream operations depends on the specific environmental conditions and requirements of the facility.

LCD monitors in downstream processes commonly carry either a NEMA4X or NEMA12 rating, depending on factors such as exposure to corrosive substances and extreme temperatures. These ratings ensure that the LCD monitors can withstand the conditions in refining and distribution facilities, maintaining their functionality and visibility over time. Customization may be necessary based on the unique needs of each downstream operation.

Custom Sunlight-Readable Monitors for the Oil & Gas Industry

As the oil and gas industry continues to evolve, the importance of reliable technology becomes increasingly evident. Sunlight-readable monitors are a critical component, addressing the limitations of traditional screens.

AbraxSys offers a solution to the challenges faced by the oil and gas industry with its custom monitor design and support services. These services go beyond off-the-shelf solutions, providing a wide range of add-ons, features, and NEMA/IP ratings to meet the unique demands of each application. This customization ensures that LCD monitors are tailored to the specific challenges of upstream, midstream, or downstream operations to ensure optimal performance, durability, and visibility.

Within our extensive range of cutting-edge visual imaging and computing systems, AbraxSys presents a selection of high-bright TFT active-matrix LCD displays that consistently surpass commercially available non-enhanced counterparts. Choose from daylight-readable displays with brightness levels from 700 to 2,200 nits, optional touchscreen configurations, and multiple sizes and mounts. With these advanced solutions, the future of oil and gas operations looks brighter than ever.

[1] Remote Monitoring Within the Oil and Gas Industry