So a good supplier of such kind of membrane keypads is very important for your application. Cubbison offers hard coat films that are ideal for membrane switch overlay applications. These films are polycarbonate and polyester substrates that have been specially treated so that their surfaces can be selectively textured, embossed or printed with UV inks. Available in finishes ranging from glossy clear to textured matte black; hard coat films offer a range of display options. Membrane switches are designed to meet a very specific set of criteria depending on the application. Effective membrane switch design requires a good understanding of the application and the ability to communicate what is required for a successful and efficient design. Working with an experienced team on a classic technology means the possibilities are endless. E2ip has spent three decades finessing membrane and silicon keypad technology – the core of its business – with thousands of units fully designed and produced in-house.
Yes the switch has to be easy to use but for many applications they also have to be pleasing to the eye. Our many years experience in all kinds of colour printing means that we can offer a design and production service that makes our products straightforward and easy to use while looking good too. Crucially we can include full colour logos and branding as well as laser cut details and special finishes. Membrane Switches are, as the name suggests, ultra thin electrical devices for use in low voltage control applications. Put simply an electrical circuit is printed, using conventional techniques, on to a pair of clear membranes which, when pressed together, form a make/break switch. This ‘filling’ is sandwiched between a base substrate for mounting the device on equipment and a Graphic Overlay which forms the user interface with its symbols and control areas – finger-pads if you like. Because there are no conventional moving parts these neat little devices are robust and reliable over many millions of operations. The connection between the Membrane Switch and the equipment controlled is by an Industry Standard ribbon with conductors at .1 inch pitch. Conductive ink is used in membrane switches to facilitate the flow of electricity, which in turn allows for the completion of the circuit. If membrane switches used a non-conductive ink, they wouldn’t function as intended.
What that said, membrane switches are unique because of the material from which they are constructed. To evaluate the performance differences between membrane switches with PET and FPC circuits Epec designed and built two identical membranes to analyze their performance. The goal of this was to assess the reliability, dimensions, and electrical characteristics. Using finer traces can allow for a tail to exit the membrane switch closer to components when compared to a PET circuit. The benefits of polyimide can also be utilized in designs that require fine pitch connectors. If a 0.5mm pitch ZIF tail is a requirement on your membrane switch, PET circuits trace width is too large and can’t support ultra-fine pitch ZIF connections so an FPC circuit must be used. If the operating conditions are too loud, the user may not hear the snap of the button. In order for the operator to understand that the device has been activated, consider adding LED indicators. Backlighting and LED indication lighting can enhance the function of the membrane switch. The components are tiny compared to mechanical counterparts, making membrane switches extremely portable and easy to incorporate into product designs, even if available touchpad space is limited.
This customer required a logo on a pre-formed switchplate panel with raised edges. Many years producing bespoke promotional items in a variety of materials has made us specialists in Embossing and the production of artwork required for this intriguing process. For many switching applications we recommend embossed finger-pads, often in conjunction with special coatings such as an anti-slip finish. Naturally many applications require more than one operation but the complete flexibility of the Membrane Switch technology makes it possible to combine many functions into a Membrane Keypad of virtually any shape or size. Conveniently there are no constraints on the size on any particular interface area meaning that key functions, for example an Emergency Stop Button, can be given both graphical and tactile prominence. Now we support online quote for the membrane switch and grahpic overlay.
To ease the final mating of the switch and avoid the possibility of a dome becoming inverted a .015″ – .020″ backing layer can be provided. One consideration for your membrane switch design is how to connect the membrane switch with the brains that control your product. Basically, connectors connect the keypad and the device it will control. Connectors consist of a contact device and a molded plastic housing, but connectors are certainly not something to choose lightly. Sometimes, knowing which connector to use for an application can be difficult. You need to think about ways to accommodate connector durability and minimize unwanted space when deciding how to terminate your membrane switch. In these special environment applications, the anti-UV and waterproof membrane keypads quality are very important. If the water went into the circuit it will cause your control board failure and then easily cause safety accidents.
Within this layer is where etched light guides or LFG is placed to direct light to the appropriate icons. You may have held a dozen membrane switches and not even known it. A tiny, slim-profile plastic remote controller, keypad, or touchpad with buttons consisting of raised impressions in a sealed outer layer is almost certainly a membrane switch. They are convenient, inexpensive, and highly portable because membrane switches are so thin that it can be hard to imagine a device of any consequence built into such a slender chassis. We produce quality membrane switches and keypads for a variety of industries including home healthcare, gas-detection equipment, and industrial controls. A membrane switch is an electrical switch that is used for turning a circuit on and off. These switches are interface utilities designed to be helpful to users by facilitating ease of communication and commands between electronic devices and the people operating them. First of all, the usage temperature range of the PC material is extremely large (-135 ～ 135 ℃).
Reliaswitch is designed and manufactured to NEMA 4X / IP66 standards, providing watertight protection against moisture and dirt, as well as additional corrosion resistance . The Common Bus layout on the left requires that each trace be isolated, which on a single-sided circuit, limits the number of keypad positions that can be designed into a circuit layout and requires a large number of leads. If more keypad positions or functionality are required, single-sided layouts force you to either increase circuit size — impossible if your enclosure can’t be expanded — or use a Matrix layout, like the one on the right. While the use of the full X-Y plane in this design allows you to employ fewer leads to produce a higher number of connections, it has a dangerous draw-back. These single-sided matrix layouts require the use of cross-over, bridged or jumper connections — inherent points of weakness that are prone to silver migration and commonly cause circuitry failure. The pillow raises the entire key and will rest over a metal or polyester dome, providing positive tactile feedback. Keys can be embossed in a variety of shapes (e.g., rounded, square, concave/convex, etc.), edges and styles . It is also possible to customize with drafted sidewalls, recesses, contours, multiple shapes and multiple levels. Designing a double-sided Reliaswitch® membrane switch means designing for reliability. We manufacture and test membrane switches for everything from home appliances to medical equipment, using our approach to make switches that work in various environments.
Tactile devices can easily be incorporated into the membrane switch to provide feedback to the operator that the switch has been activated. Other electronic components can be implemented, as well, such as discrete LEDs, backlighting sources, and connectors that make membrane switches easy to integrate into other systems or devices. Tactile switches are designed to provide a response when pressed by an actuator or finger. An overlay over the switch has symbols or letters used to designate the function of each switch. When pressed, the metal dome pushes against a conductive footprint, causing an action to happen. The ultimate purpose of a membrane switch is to serve as the interface between man and machine, enabling an operator to communicate with a piece of equipment, instrument, or machinery.
It’s not real tactile feedback- it’s just a lazy notch that ‘scratches’ to produce that faux-tactility. Furthermore, the notch actually interferes with the linear switch movement, making it less comfortable to type on. Design Flexibility – As with all flexible circuits, design options are limitless. Cost Effective – Polyester is the most common substrate utilized in the PTF production process. As such, PTF circuits are generally cheaper to manufacture than other flex circuits. Back-lighted panels are produced with high efficiency LED light sources utilizing proprietary light transfer, diffusion and reflection solutions. The result is a brilliant uniform distribution of light in a variety of colors which can be used to enhance your graphic message. In this Membrane Switch White Paper, we’ll go over everything you need to know about membrane switches. Specialized equipment operate the switches through millions of actuations to test reliability.
Interface and connection options are just as customizable and varied. Some of them use a silver printed circuit, whereas others a printed circuit board . Of those two types, PCB membrane switches have become increasingly popular. To learn more about PCB membrane switches and how they work, keep reading. Membrane switches are circuit-controlling systems that are made of a flexible material. That’s why they are known as “switches.” Switches can be turned on or off. Turning on a switch will create a complete and closed electrical circuit.
How to design a membrane switch and make sure that it has all the right components? Once you go through it, you’ll be able to design your own membrane switch. Once a month we share the latest news, industry trends and other insights into printing, contract manufacturing and complex product solutions. To learn more about membrane switches, fill out this short form and a Tapecon representative will follow up with you as quickly as possible. As a fifth-generation family business, we pride ourselves on being trusted manufacturing partners for our clients, and we look forward to working with you. From design to testing to manufacturing, Tapecon provides insights and adds value to your project. Our talented designers and engineers work together to understand the full scope of your requirements, then use CAD and other advanced software to develop an intelligently designed solution. Providing advanced high-tech options that prove advantageous while transitioning a membrane switch. The switch gets activated the moment a printed shorting pad comes in contact with circuit layer at the bottom, thereby, closing the circuit.
In a non-tactile switch, there isn’t a physical snap or indicator that the button has been pressed. It’s usually indicated through lights, sound, or reading on the instrument display. On a non-tactile switch, the bottom side of the overlay is connected to a conductive pad, or an upper circuit layer is printed with conductive traces. When the overlay is pressed down the conductive traces connect to the lower circuit layer which sends a signal to a printed circuit board. Our engineering team can provide you with the most reliable membrane switch design possible. If your keypads are designed incorrectly, then they can fail in the field. Keypad failures in the field can ruin your reputation with your customers. As we all know, membrane switch is a kind of human machine interface.
Pass the flex cable through the tail exit slot & adhere the switch to the unit’s surface. A very versatile option for applications where key function or key locations change often. The Static layer can be made of the same material as the membrane layer or a clear rigid material that is also conductively coated. A Membrane Switch can be as simple as a two layer construction or a multi-layered complicated assembly. Regardless, as a momentary switch, must contain Membrane Layer and Static Layer. Its vertical integration allows APEM to meet the needs of various companies for small or large production runs with a quality level conforming to the highest standards. At Melrose Nameplates, we have years of experience in providing clients from the most demanding industries, such as healthcare, aviation, and defense, with high-quality components for their diverse applications. Both types of materials are available with various hard coats and textures. In their uncoated glossy form, polycarbonate and polyester are susceptible to scratching.
One of the most prevalent causes of circuitry failure with single-sided membrane switches results from the creasing or bending of the tail near the exit point. In single-sided applications, the tail traces are printed on the top of the tail, a design limitation that puts the traces into expansion and significantly increases the risk of fracture. Many competitors will instruct you to exercise “extreme caution” when designing your tail exit to avoid bending, which can be very limiting in your overall application design. When challenged to add more functionality or features to a membrane switch, single-sided technology designs commonly require both a top and bottom circuitry layer, joined together in a connector. Not only are two-circuit designs utilizing single-sided technology less reliable, they also require additional material and are more costly to produce than Reliaswitch. In most cases, Reliaswitch requires only one, double-sided circuitry layer, eliminating this problem and resulting in increased reliability, reduced material costs and lower stack-up height. Inno-Flex can provide illumination, back-lighting, and lit icon indicators using fiber optic lighting and light guide films. Both technologies can provide a thin and intense lighting solution for your custom user interface. In addition to traditional membrane switch circuitry Inno-Flex can provide capacitive touch technology to incorporate innovative touch interfaces with no moving parts. Buttons, sliders, wheels, and proximity features can be easily incorporated.