Membrane Switch Manufacturer

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CSI Keyboards, Inc. 56 Pulaski Street Peabody, MA 01960 (978) 532-8181 http://csikeyboards.com/ CSI Keyboards has been a global leading manufacturer of human machine interface technologies for more than 35 years. CSI was founded in 1982 in Salem, Massachusetts specializing in the design and manufacturing of membrane keyboards, membrane switches and keypads. Outgrowing the Salem location only a couple of years later, CSI moved to a larger facility in Peabody, Massachusetts, where the company still resides, expanding both its manufacturing and front office space.

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Primary Features and Design Considerations of Silicone Rubber Keypad A membrane keypad offers a user-friendly interface to the users. Using this interface you can easily operate or communicate with an instrument or machine.The modern-day gadgets and electronics use membrane keypads in order to maximize the experience of the users. The silicon rubber switches are one type of membrane switches. This type of membrane switches uses the compression-molded silicone rubber material with the non-conductive rubber actuators or theconductive carbon pills. The process of compression molding forms an angled web around the center of a keypad. This webbing collapses or deforms once you press the switch in order to produce a tactile response. The webbing also helps the keypad return to its normal position once you release the pressure. In the silicon rubber keypad the conductive pill or printed conductive ink establishes contact with a PCB for the closure of switch circuit. This contact is established after pressing the switch. Main Features of Rubber Keypad Similar to a copper-flex or silver-flex membrane keypad the rubber keypads are made of a collection of layers.It is essential to properly integrate each layer in order to ensure flawless performance. A Printed Circuit Board PCBstaysunderneath the silicone rubber keypad. The display remains at the back and the membrane switches remain atthe front of PCB assembly. The majority of the rubber keypads use LEDs or fiber-optic lamps as the backlighting components. The rubber keypads are also fitted with the LCD or touch-screen display. Arubber keypad isusually attached to a device with hard back-panel for structural support. The rigid subpanel or support panel may be made of various materials such as aluminum ABS polycarbonate and stainless steel. The back-panel of the rubber keypad may have flat surface or may have holes/studs depending upon the requirements of the clients. It ispossible for the aluminum back- panelsto be made of raw/painted/anodized aluminum depending upon clients’ requirements.An enclosure or molded casing holds all components of rubber keypads. Design Considerationsand Techniquesfor Silicone Rubber Keypads To ensure optimum performance a manufacturer has to consider a variety of factors at the time of designing a silicone rubber keypad such as tactile response. It is possible to change the degree of tactile response with a change in web geometry and hardness of the silicone rubber.The hardness that is measured in Durometer may range from Shore 30A-90A. The tactile response also depends upon the size of rubber keys. For example Itis possible to generate an actuation force that is as high as 500-gm with the keys of particular shape and size. The snap ratio also determines the tactile response of a rubber keypad. The 40-60 snap ratios can maximize the longevity and the feel of keypad. The snap-action feel may reduce significantly if the snap-ratio dips below 40.To enhance the looks of silicone rubber keypads with various colors the manufacturers use the flow-molding and laser-etching techniques.

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Multiple Benefits of Using a Silicone Rubber Keypad on Modern Devices or Machines The ‘compression molding’ properties of silicone rubber have enabled the manufacturersto design customized keypads in accordance to the varying sizes or shapes of the keys. The silicone rubber can contour around an object in accordance to its shape with the application of heat.It creates a web around the center and enshrouds the switches in a waterproof and dustproof cover that is soft to touch. Therefore a membrane keypad made of silicone rubber can optimize the user experience. With extended longevity this material can even optimize a device’s performance.The webbing around the center can generate a noticeable tactile response if someone presses the key. This tactile response gives a feedback to the users and let him/her know that the command was appropriately registered. There are multiple benefits of using thedurable and economic silicone rubber keypads. Zero Additional Maintenance Amembrane keypad made of silicone rubber mold around each key according to their shapes and creates an impenetrable cover around the keys.Therefore it is impossible for any dust particle or water molecules to get inside the keypad assembly.This feature increases the durability of any machine or tool.To prevent the intrusion of pollutants or moisture the silicone rubber keypads have become the favorite of many usersand the manufacturers.With the protection of silicone rubber keypads you can use a machine in business locations construction sites factories or workstations without worrying about any damage. Ergonomic Design A silicone rubber keypad can optimize the users’ comfort.It is hard for anyone to use a keypad that is hard to press. The ergonomic design of a keypad is essential in order to serve its intended purpose. Using the silicone rubber it is possible for any manufacturer to develop soft and user-friendly keys. These keys do not cause discomfortand respond promptly after pressing.Hence the rubber keypads can createa user-friendly interface for the users. Array of Designing Options It is possible to personalize the overall appearance of the keypads using silicone rubber. You can create a 3D silicone rubber keypad with a change in the geometry of keypad webbing. It is also possible to customize the switch travel and actuation forces at the time of designing a rubber keypad depending upon the users’ requirements. The silicone rubber keypads are equally compatible withstainless steel tactile domes non-conductive rubber actuators and carbon pills. The varying hardness of silicone rubber enables the manufacturers to design a keypad with unusually shaped or sized keys. The compression molding process makes it possible for the manufacturers to color the keys in multiple shades. Therefore it is possible to customize the appearance and colors of a silicone rubber keypad.It is equally possible to personalize the graphics of the rubber keypads using the screen-printing technology. It is evenpossible to enhance the durability of silicone rubber keypads spraying a coat of polyurethane.

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Applications Advantages Labeling Techniques of Silicone Rubber Custom Keypad The silicone rubber material is used in order to build a custom keypad due to multiple utilitarian features. For example it is easy to mold the silicone rubber in order to cover the keys of varying shapes and sizes using the injection molding or compression molding technologies.Hence the silicone rubber has become the most popular choice at the time of manufacturing the custom keypads for various industries. The silicone rubber is useful not only for the manufacturing of keypads on remote-control systems.It may be used to cover the control units of medical devices and other machines. This material is also used to manufacture the keyboards of computers and other consumer electronics. The custom keypads made from silicone rubber are usefulin various industries such as construction retail medical banking food-packaging defense and others. Therefore it has become a popular choice of material at the time of designing the custom keypadscompatible with various machines. Benefit of Silicone Rubber Custom Keys A custom keypad made of silicone rubber material has smooth interface. Therefore it is possible to optimize the users’ experience using silicone rubber custom keypads. It is also possible to manufacture the premium quality products at economic expense using silicone rubber material. The lighter weight is another benefit of using the silicone rubber custom keypads. This material can efficiently absorb the shocks and vibrations. Hence it is possible to manufacture durable and reliable keypads featuring customized looks using the silicone rubber material. This waterproof material can greatlyextend the longevity of any keypad. Labeling Techniques The majority of the keys on a keypad require marking as it enables the users to identify a key’s function. A manufacturer may use twodifferent methods at the time of printing a silicone rubber key. Printing Method The printing method is commonly used in order to design a custom keypad made of silicone rubber.This is an economic method of marking and it is possible to design the keys with varying colors or labels using this method. A silicone rubber key is flattened at the time of printing. It is possible to use this method in order to print till the edge of any key irrespective of the shape. Laser Etching The laser beams are equally useful in etching the top of each silicone rubber key on a custom keypad. An opaque top-coat is applied onto the top of each key and the laser beams etch this surface off in order to mark each key with separate labels. The etched labels last longer in comparison to the printed labels without requiring any protective cover or coat. Additional Protection to Custom Keys In some scenarios it may be necessary to use plastic caps to extend the longevity of a silicone rubber custom keypad. Thenumbers/labels are molded onto the surface of the plastic caps ensuring a longer performance. It is equally possible to label the plastic caps using the depression or coloring method.

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Important Features to Consider before Retaining the Service of Any Membrane Switch Manufacturer The demand of customized membrane switches is growing at a steady pace.The digital capacity the waterproof sealing and the flexible surface increases the popularity of these switches amongst consumers. However it is not easy designing a panel withcustomized membrane switches.It is essential to consider a variety of factors in order to determine the functionality usabilityand durability of any membrane switch panel. Therefore it is essential to evaluate the capability of any membrane switch manufacturer before retaining the service. Types of Common Switching Technologies If you require different types of membrane switches then it is wise to ask a membrane switch manufacturer regarding the type of switching technologies he/she may provide. There are four types of switching technologies available through reliable manufacturers. The flexible membrane switches use silver flex in order to deliver efficient performance at an affordable price. The silver flex membrane switches are also extremely lightweight. On the other hand the copper flex membrane switches are ideal for smaller designs as these designs may have trace-routing limitationsor dense circuit patterns. It is possible to solder the active and passive components into the panel of copper- flex membrane switches.Hence this panel is equally suitable for the high-reliability and high- vibration environments. The PCB membrane switches are equally suitable for the compact designs. However it offers another benefit in comparison to the copper-flex membrane switches. This design implements the plated thru-hole technology in order to utilize both sides of the PCB.It is crucial to enquire about the services of any membrane switch manufacturer before retaining the service if you have varying necessities or want to offer updated products as per market demands. Membrane Switch Designs Alongside the common designs ofmembrane switches a reputed membrane switch manufacturer may even produce custom membrane switch designs. For example it is possible to develop a membrane switch that is capable of performing continuous scrolling and sliding actions using a light actuation force.It is also possible for a manufacturer to offer the feeling of capacitive switches at an economic expenditure using the SimTouchtechnology. The piezo technology is another ingenious process of developing the custom membrane switches. It is essential to enquire about these technologies if you want to develop custom membrane switches for special applications. Quality of Graphic Overlays It is equally essential to learn about the quality of graphic overlays during the selection of a membrane switch manufacturer. An efficient manufacturer can develop graphic overlays that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.It is not enough to develop waterproof graphic overlays. It is equally essential to make chemical-resistant and scratch-resistant graphic overlays for durable performance. The quality of graphic overlays also dependsupon the quality of the material used during the manufacturing. Hence it is an important feature to enquire about before retaining the service of any manufacturer.