Membrane switch keypad for industrial devices, as 3D stack-up render

Membrane keypads with slim design

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  • HMI solutions from concept to production
  • Cross-industry HMI expertise
  • Keypad technologies and materials
  • Case studies 

Engineering of a membrane switch keypad

Foil keypad with embossed keys for laboratory equipment
Membrane switch keypad with frame embossed keys in different colours - for industrial machinery
LED components for industrial keypads - for decorative, functional and backlighting
Metal domes for tactile click in industrial keypads
PET - printed silver traces on polyester foil - electrically conductive foil for industrial keypads
Electrical tail for industrial keypad - connection between keypad and PCB
  • The finishing front of a membrane switch plays both a decorative and functional role.

    • You can use gloss contrasts to highlight different interaction points on your keypad.
    • Gloss can also play an aesthetic role to communicate your product's brand.
    • Finish may also be coatings, for example UV resistance coating, or antistatic coating, or flamability protection layer. 

    Watch HMI webinar

  • You can add colour to the top layer of your membrane keypad through screen printing or through digital printing.  

    • Screen printing on foils and films ensures colour accuracy, UV resistance and abrasion resistance. The technique offers a range of possibilities including metallic colours, translucent details, RAL and PMS colours, light-blocking features, non-conductive inks. 
    • With digital printing the options are countless. You can achieve photorealistic graphics including gradients and other graphic details. 
    • Combination of screen and digital printing combines the best of both words, offering highly detailed graphics of digital print and lightproof colours of screen printing.

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  • You can use LEDs in many different ways in a membrane switch. For decorative, functional or combined purposes. 

    • Decorative light features are usually used as deadfront effects or ghost effects where symbols are visible when lit up. 
    • Backlight is often used as a functional feature to light all keys and make them visible during night operation or operation in dark environments. 
    • Status indicators are commonly used in connection with a status window or a backlit symbol. 

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  • The most common way to create a tactile click in a membrane keypad is by using metal domes. 

     

    Domes come in many different sizes, shapes and actuation forces. The choice of domes is defined by your specifications and your requirements for:

    • the tactility - audio and haptic feedback of the key
    • lifetime of the HMI solution. - number of activations of a key during the products lifetime

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  • Electrical or circuit layer in a membrane keypad is usually made with: 

    • PET - the most common and cost effective solution
    • FPC - copper-based foil with high conductivity and bendability
    • PCB - offering stiffness and possibility for soldering of components

     

    The choice of the most suitable circuit layer option for your keypad depends on use environment of the product, as well as the electrical and mechanical concepts of the keypad. 

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  • The details about mechanical and electrical integration of a keypad have great impact on the actual keypad solution. Therefore, there are several important questions you need to consider during your design process.

     

    Regarding mechanical integration:

    • How will you fix the membrane keypad to the product? Will you use adhesives, screws or press-mounting?
    • Direction of assembly? Will the keypad be front-mounted, back-mounted, or side-mounted?

     

    Regarding electrical connection: 

    • Distance from the keypad to the PCB of your product? How long is the connecting tail? 
    • Will the tail be twisted or bended? 
    • Are there vibrations or pull on the electric connection during use of the product? 
    • Will the keypad be disassembled e.g. during service? 

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If you choose a membrane keypad, your graphic design and finishing options are countless. Like in this case with high gloss surface and multilevel key embossing. 

Membrane switch keypad for welding machines with high gloss details and display window

Gloss contrasts is an effective tool if you would like to highlight certain keys on the keypad or certain areas for interaction. In addition to enhanced usability, use of high gloss is also ideal for differentiation of you product in the industry. Find more inspiration in the Kemppi case.

Membrane switch keypad with embossed keys and membrane gasket for medical equipment

Membrane switch keypad used in medical bathtubs. Cleaning-friendly keypad with contrast colour for indication of embossed keys. IP65 membrane gasket for sealing off the keypad electronics - suitable for wet and moist environments. 

Water-resistant, cleaning-friendly membrane switch keypad for medical bathtubs

Complete HMI solution for medical bathtubs. Embossed keys and LED status windows for easy interaction with and control of the bathtub. 

High gloss border and embossing for indication of keys. Use of contrast between gloss and matt surface finish to enhance keypad interaction area. Watch HMI webinar for more design tips

Membrane switch keypad with frame embossed keys in different colours - for industrial machinery

Frame embossing of colorful keys with light guide film for even illumination when backlit. Watch our HMI webinar for more inspiration

Industrial keypad with silicone rubber keys and polyester front overlay with display window

You can boost the tactility of your membrane keypad by adding silicone rubber keys, There are many design possibilities. Our HMI design offer can help you scope your project. 

"We believe in transparency as a cornerstone in successful partnerships. Transparency through digitalisation, proactivity and honest dialogue."

Sales Director, Mekoprint

Morten Kjær

Case: Kemppi - Effective portfolio streamlining

Order a free keypad sample

Domenic B. Nielsen
Business Development Manager, HMI & Industrial Graphics
dbn@mekoprint.com

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