After 80 years in business, Grayhill’s continued success is a journey worth celebrating

Celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2023, Grayhill Inc (Grayhill) is a leading provider in the design and manufacture of human interface components and solutions for a wide variety of applications. With five state-of-the-art manufacturing plants across the globe, the business has the capacity to produce both standard and customized products, either as individual components or complete interface solutions.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Grayhill was established in 1943 with a mission to deliver intuitive human interface solutions that make its customers’ lives simpler, safer, and more efficient. Its founding principles remain the same today; it continues to deliver solutions that make machines feel like an extension of the individual. As a manufacturer of both standard products and individual, customized solutions, Grayhill is the supplier of choice for many industry-leading organizations.

Its range of advanced components includes touch encoders, optical encoders and joysticks, rotary switches, keypads, and pushbuttons, all with finely tuned haptics. While any of its standard products can be customized, Grayhill can also create entirely unique concepts. Utilizing in-house molding, tooling, testing, and manufacturing capabilities, Grayhill’s expert engineers work with clients to deliver custom products that meet clients’ specific demands. Such vertical integration across global facilities enables the business to produce such items both efficiently and cost-effectively.

Intuitive connections

Grayhill also produces entire solutions, custom designed by its team of expert engineers who cater to ever-changing haptics, ergonomics, and styling, as well as the evolving needs of end users. Specifically, it specializes in a few specific areas; it is the leading producer of ergonomic panels and product shells, for example, which incorporate various technologies, such as displays, touch technology, and motion sensing.

Within its customization capabilities, Grayhill can also integrate its own manufactured components into human interface solutions or ergonomic, user-friendly devices. This allows the business to provide an intuitive connection between the customer’s technology and its users. Although there are many advantages to this integration capability, the major benefits to the client are lower costs, lower risk, and a simple, reliable process.

Additionally, Grayhill is a market-leader in creating user interface devices that communicate using Controller Area Network (CANbus) to control on-board systems. This means that the business can customize a range of standard keypads, joysticks, encoders, and displays to simplify both mechanical installation in the vehicle and electrical integration between the vehicle’s control units. Its original concept, the Legacy Series 3J Vehicle Display Controller (VDC), is an operator interface featuring an optical rotary encoder, enabling the user to scroll through menu options, and a center pushbutton to allow for item selection.

Today, the company has a generational range of CANbus joysticks, keypads, and Multi Media Interface (MMI) controllers. These products, such as the Generation 2 MMI Controllers, are based on the initial Legacy product, inheriting all the benefits of existing ranges, but with new, innovative aspects to meet ever-changing market demands of today’s customers.

New President

Building on a rich history of high-quality, innovative design and manufacturing, Grayhill takes pride in its achievement of being the first company in its field to achieve an ISO 9001 certification and has grown tremendously since. Also, the appointment of Scott Harrison as President in January 2022 will facilitate the company’s further growth, as Scott implements his strategy for expansion during 2023.

Currently, the business is concentrating on expanding its human interface product offering and perfecting controls in the specific sectors of healthcare, military, and off-highway devices. In its military division, Grayhill produces custom designed solutions that meet stringent military standards; sealed rotary switches and keypads, thermal blast protective windows, and are capable of operating in a wide temperature range with low power consumption.

Brand refresh

With decades of experience in designing and manufacturing sensitive electronic devices, the business has gained a powerful reputation in the healthcare industry for delivering reliable, custom products. It produces custom keypads and optically bonded displays with multi-touch capacitive touchscreens. These components or control panel assemblies can be used in a range of healthcare applications, such as ultrasounds, CT and PET scanners, ventilators, and defibrillators.

The human element and experience are at the core of Grayhill’s operations. So, it is crucial that the company truly understands the people putting the machines into motion, in order to deliver products that enhance their direct experience. This relates to its overall mission, to make life easier, safer, and more efficient for the people operating its products. In celebration of its 80th anniversary, Grayhill recently announced a new brand identity, including an updated company logo. It revealed the new look in March 2023 at a construction trade show, ConExpo in Las Vegas, where individuals from within the organization spent time with customers, representatives, and distributors to reflect on the last 80 years in business and prepare for a prosperous future.

Grayhill believes that its new identity is a stronger, more appropriate reflection of its history. Based on a rotary dial, the new logo is formed of three dials, two of which are ready to click into place, representing the accuracy and technical ability of its precision engineers. The other dial depicts a person at the logo’s center, iterating that the human element is at the core of the business. While it has adopted a new logo and brand identity, the company’s long-held principles of quality and reliability remain equally important, with a constant emphasis on human experience.

Overall, Grayhill genuinely appreciates and understands the evolving needs of its end-users, consistently designing effective, dependable, and quality solutions for various markets. Equipped with a new brand identity and a strategy for continued growth, Grayhill is sure to succeed in 2023 and beyond.