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Gasgoo Awards 2022 applicant: Haptic Rotary Knob from Joyson Preh

From Gasgoo| May 12 , 2022 10:05 BJT

For the Gasgoo Awards 2022, Joyson Preh Haptic Rotary Knob Bonded to a Touchscreen Surface has applied for the Top 100 Players of China's New Automotive Supply Chain.

Product: Joyson Preh Haptic Rotary Knob Bonded to a Touchscreen Surface


The Preh rotary knob, bonded to a touchscreen surface, is the first of its kind in series production in the automotive industry. The combination of a knob with a touch display contributes to driving safety, with intuitive operation reducing eyes-off-road time. Studies have shown that even short glances away from road traffic significantly increase the risk of accidents. Function controls, especially at high speeds or on bumpy roads, can be operated easier, faster and safer using a clearly tactile surface. In its first application in the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, the rotary knob is used for the sound system volume control. The operational possibilities of this rotary controller are extensive. Entire function submenus (e.g., audio, climate, navigation, etc.) can potentially controlled via turn and press selection, making the rotary actuator potentially the central control element in the vehicle. Preh has filed 11 patent applications for the rotary knob in the areas of detection, haptics, water protection and production technology, of which four patents have already been granted.

Gasgoo Awards 2022 applicant: Haptic Rotary Knob from Joyson Preh

Photo credit: Ningbo Preh Joyson Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd.    

It was a major challenge to find a suitable adhesive that would withstand the effects of both   extreme temperatures and strong vibrations. After a very extensive search and the development of the material pairings in-house, a solution was found that meets the demanding environmental requirements.

The touch operations must function under all conceivable conditions. Water, temperatures, vibrations, shocks, EMC influences, mobile communications, or even extremely fast rotations must not restrict the functionality and reliability of the rotary actuator at any time.  For example, the technical process had to be designed in such a way that liquids to which the control element might be exposed must not lead to functional failure, but can be "wiped out" by the rotary movement.

The controller can easily withstand two rotations within one second, i.e., it is designed in such a robust manner, that even at a very fast rotation the underlying capacitive detection works reliably and with absolute precision.

Another hurdle was to determine the proper height of the rotary control. It had to be neither too high nor too low, so that it could be easily grasped, but also so that clothing or other objects could not get caught on it.

The "doughnut" design made it possible to place a volume icon in the center space, which at the same time allows the driver as well as the passenger the optimal viewing angle to the center of the ring.

The cover glass was developed together with a supplier and it became clear that glass panes that are not double-glazed will crack. As a result, chemical-strength front glass was used to fulfill head impact requirements.

Unique advantages

Function controls, especially at high speeds or on bumpy roads, can be operated easier, faster and safer using a clearly tactile surface.


The touch operation will work properly under all possible conditions. Water, temperature, vibration, impact, EMC, mobile communication, or even extremely fast rotation shall not limit the functionality and reliability of the product at any time. The cutout-free attachment—by means of a bonding process—allows the use of a standard 15.5” display instead of an expensive customized display. This is of significant advantage for pricing and variants management, as the standard display can be flexibly used in various car lines—either with a rotary knob or without.


The control knob/touchscreen made its introduction on the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, in production since July 2020 and in the Ford F-150 Lightning. The Mach-E & the F-150 Lightning has been extremely well-received in the market. Further adoption in upcoming models is expected. Ford honored Preh with the World Excellence Award for the rotary knob. 

About Preh

As a global automotive supplier, the Preh Group currently employs around 7,000 people and in 2021 achieved sales of around EUR 1.3 billion.

Preh was founded in Bad Neustadt a. d. Saale in 1919 and since 2011 has been part of the Joyson Group. Preh’s development and manufacturing expertise includes, in particular, HMI systems for cars and commercial vehicles, as well as e-mobility components in the low-voltage and high-voltage range.

As a subsidiary of the listed Joyson Electronics Corp. (600699: Shanghai), Preh is the Automotive Electronics division within the Joyson group of companies, Ningbo (China), which was founded by Jeff Wang in 2004.

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