RH can make your Membrane Keypad design process easier!
Before designing your product, you will need to consider many alternatives before you select your ideal interface functionality. RH has vast experience in creating and producing membranes keypads, also known as membrane switches and membrane keyboards, for a variety of market needs. Our skilled in-house engineers can share their knowledge and assist you in your design process. Whether you need to seal an HMI from contaminants completely, or you need to add a fantastic backlit effect for low-light, we have a solution for you.
Design areas to consider:
- Eye-Catching Graphics
- Reliability & Customisation
- Easy Cleaning
- Tactile Feedback and Embossing
- Selective Resin Doming
- Antimicrobial protection
Add Eye-Catching Graphics to your Membrane Keypads
RH supply graphic overlays as a part of their complete print service. We supply overlays as either as a standalone product or the constructed top layer of your full membrane keypad. Graphic overlays provide the direct interface between the product and the end-user, so it must be highly functional, clearly indicating switch locations and functions. With the use of our innovative print solutions, you are sure to represent your brand expertly.
Reliability and Customisation
Membrane keypads have been a mainstay of electronic devices for several decades. All of us are in daily contact with membrane interfaces at the office and in our homes. Many electronic devices use membrane technology. They are proven to be an extremely reliable and durable solution in HMIs. Their ultra-customisable solutions to HMIs have made them a prime choice in multiple market sectors; including medical, military, industrial controls, security and aviation.
If your device is operating in a dirty or dusty environment and maintaining a high level of cleanliness is essential (such as in a medical or laboratory environment), membrane keypads can offer a great solution. Unlike mechanical switches that will allow dirt and particles to fall in between the keys, membrane keypads have no gaps. For added protection, we can also produce parts using antimicrobial materials*.
If there is a risk to your product from moisture, water or chemical ingress, sealing the membrane keypads will sealed against these threats. A full perimeter gasket can seal the switch and the enclosure to which it is mounted. This process will protect the internal controls from the external working conditions. We can meet the European IP rating standards which define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture.
Currently, there is an increase in the use of plastics in place of metals for manufacturing casings for electronic and electrical equipment. This more cost-effective material may cause EMC, RFI and ESD interference that could create operational problems. To resolve this issue, we can provide a variety of different shielding options that can protect your equipment against the induced currents caused by electromagnetic interference.
Backlighting your Membrane Keypads
The primary role of backlighting is to highlight essential functions and illuminate the control panel in low light conditions. It also can be used for aesthetic purposes to enhance brand image and quality. We can offer the full range of backlighting options including Light Guide Film (LGF), Light-Emitting Diodes (LED’s), Acrylic Light Tiles and Electroluminescence (EL). RH has supplied many backlighting solutions in a variety of market sectors including industrial control equipment, remote controllers, laboratory equipment, vehicle dashboards, medical devices, consumer appliances and many more.Backlighting
Tactile feedback or Embossing
Tactile feedback lets the user know through a palpable click that a button has been pressed. Constructing a buttons with a metal or polyester dome under the graphic overlay layer will achieve this tactile effect. The domes can be offered in a variety of heights, sizes, and shapes which allows for customisation of the actuation force. This is the haptic feeling a user gets when the button or switch operates.
Embossing is a popular choice for modern membrane keypads as it has dual functionality. It can draw attention to specific buttons and make them easier to press while making the HMI more cosmetically attractive. You can choose from several embossing options including dome, pillow and rim.
Selective Resin Doming
A further enhancement is to include selective polyurethane resin doming as part of the design of your membrane keypad or graphic overlay. This encapsulation creates a high gloss raised area over the button between 1.0 and 1.5mm high depending on the size of the component. Almost any shape can be accommodated as the doming creates an eye-catching 3D effect highlighting the button area. Furthermore, the domed keys can be laminated to a metal dome circuit to create a distinctive tactile feel. This gives the operator useful feedback when operating your device.
In specific environments, especially medical, you often require an HMI that is both exceptionally reliable and has the durability to withstand rigorous chemical cleaning routines.
In these situations you might want to create a product that goes the extra mile in helping protect both staff and patient from transmittable contagion. If you need your product to go to this even higher level, we can use materials that incorporate built-in Microban® antimicrobial protection. This protective coating makes Microban® the first material of its type to inhibit the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, including E. Coli mould and mildew. Used in conjunction with regular cleaning Microban® greatly reduces health risks.
Footnote: Microban® protection does not replace normal cleaning practices and does not protect the user from disease-causing organisms.
*Microban® is a registered trademark of Microban® Products Company
Follow the links to MacDermid below to learn more.
Solutions for different market sectors
Different market sectors have specific problems and require customised solutions. We like a challenge and have the expertise to come up with the right answer. Click below to see a list of some of the market sectors we support.
RH insist on quality every step of the way. Having the BS EN ISO 9001:2015 globally recognised standard assures that we consistently produce a high-quality product to exacting specification.