There are many applications in industrial sectors which require outputs of data for people to keep tabs on and respond to. Figuring out a clean plan for what info is needed where, and what interaction may be required can help to find the right solution for your application.
The first choice is amount of detail, it’s quite possible to have full colour screens at every output but this may not be essential. Simple LCD displays with just text output may fully satisfy the needs of your system. If the price difference of implementation however is not that different or the application requires a more detailed output it may be viable to use a full colour display.
The next step is working out what interaction is required at the display point. In many situations it may be very useful to be able to view multiple different outputs on the same screen. Options for achieving simple functions such cycling through several outputs could require an arrangement of buttons to perform different views. Other options could include having some form of pointing device such as a trackpad, touchpad mouse or even a touchscreen. In terms of cost effectiveness, a computer mouse is most likely the least expensive approach to employ, however, being free, in many applications it may have a substantial threat of damage or even pose a safety risk. Trackpads and touchpads may help mitigate this since they are embedded units. This can also help make them more resilient to wear and tear and environmental factors they may be exposed to since they can be sealed. A touchscreen will likely be the most expensive solution of the lot, though it can provide perhaps the largest functionality and potentially the best resilience to environmental factors since it can be part of a totally sealed unit.
For more advanced interaction it could be needed that the device incorporates a keyboard or keypad. These can vary quite heavily in their level of complexity, going from numerical keypads to full keyboards with integrated trackpads or touchpads. It should be fairly easy to discern which of these would be adequate. However, once again, a touchscreen with an onscreen keyboard could be a viable solution to this. A larger screen would of course be required to accommodate the keyboard space.
If you’re in any doubt with the selections you ought to make in the interface in your industry; there are many consultants who focus on monitor technology for industrial systems. It would be worth the time to discuss with a professional to see the optimum technology to be used for your price range and needs.