Membrane Switches & Keypads

Membrane Switches & Keypads

Membranes Switches, also known as Membrane Keypads and Membrane Keyboards, provide cost effective, reliable and flexible solutions for switching applications in equipment manufacture. They can be fully customised in size and design to meet your exact application requirements and the graphic layer provides unique branding opportunities.

Sun Industries designs and manufactures Membrane Switches in our new, purpose built facilities in Osborne Park, Western Australia. They’ve been a part of our offering for over 30 years and our knowledge of design, materials and assembly methods ensures we’ll consistently deliver you a hard wearing and exceptionally attractive membrane switch that will continue to function for millions of actuations.

It’s important to specify the right materials and adhesives for the right environmental considerations. Our Membrane Switches are designed to last the lifetime of the product for absolute reliability. Contact us to talk to a Membrane Switch and Keypad Specialist for a free quote and advice on your specific requirements.


Features

  • Low cost, mechanical solution
  • Graphics fully customizable to suit branding and marketing
  • Variable data and unlimited colour & design options with limited cost implications
  • Efficient assembly time
  • Peel, stick and plug solution

Materials and Options

Polyester, polycarbonate and polyurethane typically make up the components of a membrane switch panel. Internally, the switching mechanisms are via metal domes or conductive shorting pads. Further enhancements include surface mount LEDs, water clear widows, dead fronts, back-lighting with optic fibre or electroluminescence and solid mounting plates. Terminations to the PCB can be via Berg connectors and Nicomatic connectors or designed to fit Ziff connectors.


View technical data sheet downloads here >





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Application

Membrane switches and keypads are a fully customisable solutions for Human – Machine Interface (HMI) requirements. Each product we design and manufacture is unique and has its own requirement regarding environmental, mechanical, electrical and physical appearance properties. With our decades of experience, Sun Industries is able to help you through the specification process to make sure your products HMI solution is  suited perfectly.

Some of the key considerations to consider that will affect the design of your membrane switch:

Environmental

  • Temperature and humidity ranges
  • Chemical treatments and physical exposure to abrasives
  • Outdoor UV exposure, moisture, dust

Electrical

  • The number of many pins connecting with your PCB
  • Types and size of the connectors – Typically Berg, Nicomatic and ZIF Connectors
  • Whether a common bus or X-Y Matrix will be used for the pinout and tracking design
  • What resistance levels and EMI shield requirements may apply?
  • Tail lengths and position on switch.

Mechanical

  • What type of response is preferred – Tactile, visual (LED), audible etc.
  • Is embossing on the graphic preferred?
  • What the membrane switch is physically be sticking to
  • How many times will buttons be pushed? Will some be used more frequently than others and who will be pushing them?

Graphic Design and Physical Appearance

  • Where the unit is being mounted – in a recess, covered with a bezel or sitting proud
  • How does the graphic design compliment and promote your product? Are there some special features such as varnishes that can be used to enhance your design and lift it against your competitors?
  • Can you benefit from printing a number of items together as a set, using serial numbers or barcoding?
  • The number of colours to be used and whether there are clear window sections
  • Is backlighting something that would benefit your customers?

Variables

The points on the left provide you with an insight into the considerations that need to allowed for at the initial stages of design. As the concept develops and moves towards completion it’s important to talk to experts that have a strong understanding of the variables and what impact they have on the overall product.

These following points are an example of the further considerations that should be considered and talked through with the design and sales team at Sun Industries:

  • Graphic overlay material options – textures, types and thickness
  • Graphic design and preparation – impact of colours, tones, windows, borders, embossing and shapes
  • Embossing options – shapes, depth and purpose
  • Layouts and tolerances – LED windows, gaps between LED’s, tracking and buttons. Edge shape, cutout size and hole size requirements.
  • Overall size of the part – material cost considerations
  • Tooling methods – laser cutting vs die cutting, embossing tool styles
  • Backlight options – Lumitex optic fibre, Electroluminescence, FLATLITE EL solutions
  • Embedding LED’s – types, size and electrical requirements. Change in overall thickness and how to manage
  • Clarity of any windows and impact on graphic material specifications – gloss stock with matt varnish vs textured stock with gloss varnish over windows
  • Membrane switch design – tracking layout, crossover requirements, pin out considerations, electrical specifications, tail length and positioning, connector type, electrical parameters, resistance tolerances
  • Moisture resistance and environmental considerations – gasket seals, adhesive types, environmental limitations (temperature, humidity, air pressure)
  •  Tactile options – Metal domes, poly domes, raised surface printing, embossing.
  • Metal domes – sizes, shapes, force levels, durability considerations
  • Connector interface – pitch of tracking, resistance level of conductive silver, pin out assignment
  • Electrical layout and specifications – common bus vs x-y matrix, switch contact levels (under 50mA), resistance levels between 50 and 200 ohms
  • Rear adhesive selection – surface energy of the material being mounted to, environmental (heat, humidity, air pressure) effect that can cause separation

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