SGS Report on Wacom Signature Pads

SGS Test SGS Test STU-530 (JPG)

Background: SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world. SGS provides solutions across all industries and is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Through a unique global network SGS delivers independent results tailored to the precise needs of the industry or sector. Founded in 1878, the company is headquartered in Geneva. Since 1920, SGS has been operating in Germany. At 40 offices nationwide, about 3,000 employees provide inspection, testing and verification services for all stages of the value chain to ensure more safety, more efficiency and more quality. SGS Group Germany provides inspection services for international trade, industrial goods, agriculture, the extractive industry and the consumer goods industry. The company works for producers and traders, governments and businesses, for suppliers and consumers alike.

(Source: SGS Website)


Wacom’s Goal:

Wacom’s Signature Pads have been in use with customers all over the world successfully for several years now. Several awards from institutions and magazines from various industries have proven the quality. Lacking so far was an independent, research-based proof of the robustness of the pads. As they are in heavy use in several applications (namely given at the POS where hundreds of signatures could add-up during only one day), the robustness is a key requirement for companies using Signature Pads daily at public counters or POS.


The Task to SGS:

The task for SGS was to stress the sign pads with a greater number of signing cycles to check for the possible impact on the surface of a pad.

The investigation was on the roughness of the surface. Investigation should be done with appropriate methods at predefined stages of the simulation test as well as afterwards.

The tests should be performed using a Wacom STU-530 Signature Pad which had been delivered to the SGS laboratory in Dortmund, Germany.


Applied investigation methods:

  • Photographic documentation of the sample and the sample’s surface
  • Setup of a mechanical test environment mimicking the actual signature process by writing vectorized electronic signatures on the pad, consisting of lines and circles and being placed in different and varying positions of each sign filed. The load exerted on the pen was about the same as if a real person would sign.
  • Confocal Laser-Scanning-Microscopy to detect a possible degradation of the surface as compared to the initial surface condition. This is done three times, at the beginning, in between and after completion of the tests.



  • On the load of 500.000 signings there are no scratches, visibly by naked-eye. Only with optical microscopy very small mechanical influences were shown.
    Confocal Laser-Scanning as described above confirmed the findings above.
  • Pictures taken by a digital camera show a surface that can be compared to the initial state of the tablet with one exception only.



The endurance test performed by SGS made the proof, that the hardened glass surface of Wacom´s STU-530 signature pad is capable to take 500.000 signatures with nearly no visible wear, which is unique in the market. The amount of signatures reflects a 20 years´ lifetime, taking 100 signatures per working day as an average. The long, maintenance-free lifetime of Wacom signature pads secures a solid and quick Return-on-Invest for our customers.

The entire report from SGS is available on request. Please contact us at