What is a membrane switches, otherwise known as a membrane keypads?

To create a membrane keypad, we’re basically adhering a printed  overlay panel over a flexible printed circuit (not to be mistaken as a rigid printed circuit board). If you’re not quite sure what an overlay panel is, click here to find out more.

We know how difficult it can be to get your head around all the technical and design concepts relating to flexible printed electronics (membrane switches included), so feel free to give us a call and let us step you through our process that will ensure your next membrane switch project is delivered on time and hassle free.

Membrane switches are an economical alternative to conventional mechanical switches.

 Membrane switches are a hard wearing and reliable form of switch technology, used extensively across a wide range of electronic applications and industries.

Proven and compact, membrane keypads are manufactured from polyester and can incorporate a printed circuit board where required.

Membrane switches are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, including harsh outdoor environments.

Membrane keypads are also suitable for use in sterile and medical environments and the finished product can be embossed, textured or have metal or poly domes for a tactile feel.

Membrane switches are suitable for use with air conditioners, user interfaces, aerospace, appliances, water filtration, petrol pumps and robotics, to name just a few. The membrane switch design can incorporate backlighting, meaning that button graphics can be lit.

As the front surface of a membrane keypad is essentially an overlay panel, all the design options that are available for graphic overlays also apply to membrane keypads. Click here to read about overlays.

Veefil HMI Console with Printed CNC Routered Acrylic Panel

Tritium is a long established customer of Reid Industrial. The Veefil Panels are the HMI console for their vehicle charging stations.  Due to pricing, Reid was unsuccessful in securing the initial prototyping and consequently Tritium commenced prototyping with another manufacturer.

However due to supply and quality issues with the prototypes  Tritium came back to Reid for advice to rectify the problems and to ensure smooth transition to the production phase, as their production was ramping up. Their requirements also required Reid to manage the Subcontractor of the CNC machined acrylic panels, which are now manufactured in-house.

The Veefil panel is a complex multi-faceted design incorporating a CNC machined acrylic panel with milled sections that require hand sanding to ensure that backlighting is evenly dispersed through the panel. A membrane switch incorporating embossing, metal tactile domes and transparent sections for backlighting illumination is fitted into the machined section of the screen printed acrylic panel.

Hardi Sprayer Membrane Switch refurbishment

The Hardi keypad is the user interface on a farming device, our customer is a maintenance engineer who regularly has enquiries from his customers to repair these panels rather than purchase the complete head unit at a substantial cost from the original manufacturer. Reid’s task was to manufacture the keypad without any drawings and update the design using Reid’s specifications. The keypad is a relatively standard design using standard materials with an RF Shield but has no tactile domes; it has two tails to accommodate a large number of button

Personal Sauna Console Membrane Switch

This panel is the user console for a personal sauna that combines massage therapy and dry sauna heat therapies. The keypad construction utilises standard materials and switch technologies and incorporates transparent filtered windows and metallic graphics to enhance the user experience. The keypad is supplied to the customer completely assembled on a machined fibreglass backing panel with integrated nylon standoffs for ease of installation by the customer.

E Bet Gaming Machine Interface Membrane Switch

This interface panel is used in the gaming industry for service and member loyalty scanning. This keypad utilises hybrid technologies and has a digitally printed anti-glare face panel with selected screen-printed transparent apertures. The circuit layers consist of an RF shield layer and a circuit layer consisting of 3 x SMD Leds, metal tactile domes ensure a positive tactile response for gaming patrons.