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How to perform replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch?

How to perform replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch?

Sep 15, 2021

Replacing a silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is easy to handle

Replacing a silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is robust, reliable, and easy to use. Basically, the replacement process requires great attention. If you are professional and have a lot of experience then this task will be easy for you. .

Robust construction in keypads

A robust construction, simple operation, and reliable function are the decisive parameters here. The input unit must be optimally protected against vibrations and shocks or even constructed to be explosion resistant.

replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

They should be resistant to water, dust, dirt, oils, and chemicals and be able to withstand temperature fluctuations. Despite the high requirements, different keyboard and key solutions are possible. Depending on the area of ​​application of replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical

High protection class in replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch  

The housing and the buttons are made entirely of stainless steel and usually come with a completely sealed keypad technology. A protection class up to IP67 and an impact class up to IK10 are possible in both the front-mounted and rear-mounted versions.

Moreover, fully sheathed desktop keyboards even achieve an IP class of 68 and are therefore protected against permanent submergence. Furthermore, the integration of touchpads and trackballs is also possible without sacrificing the protection class.

Installation variants of replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch  

Thanks to various installation variants and common interfaces in replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch. Here stainless-steel keyboards are easy to integrate very well into existing work environments.

They also defy fluctuating temperatures with an average working range of -20 ° C – + 60 ° C. In addition, many providers also offer pure number pads and function keys in various sizes made of stainless steel. Furthermore, installation variants of mechanical switches are to be considered appropriately.

Areas of application for a mechanical switch  

 

  1. First, stainless steel input solutions are often common in areas where vandalism is easy
  2. Second, they are vulnerable to high stresses from environmental influences
  3. Lastly, user interaction

Custom solutions for replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

If the standard product of which you are replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is not enough. A customer-specific HMI interface is required. Control units of construction and agricultural machinery, easy to manufacture according to use requirement.

Why membrane keyboards are common in silicone keypads?

The devices often need a smaller number of functions, but good visibility, sufficiently large buttons with haptic. Sometimes also acoustic feedback, and long mechanical service life. The working environment demands reliable operation, even with heavy work gloves, high background noise

Therefore, membrane keyboards and silicone keypads are currently common in the industrial environment. Due to their design freedom, closed surface, resistance to chemicals, and their impermeability to liquids and dust. Replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is applicable in different domains

Silicone switch and replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

The silicone switch mat adapts to its construction and is extremely flexible and space-saving. Keycaps made of metal and plastic, different key shapes, and individual key colors are easy to draw on one mat.

It triggers a direct switching function on the printed circuit board underneath and determines the feel. The optical and tactile impression, and, via the integrated contact elements, the electrical behavior. In addition, the switching mat often takes on a sealing function on the circuit board.

Integrated seals and replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

Key designs with integrated seals ensure dust and moisture-proof housing integration up to IP67. A higher protection class in replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is easy to achieve by completely encapsulating housing with an integrated keyboard layout.
replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch 2021

The mechanical service life of up to 10 million switching cycles makes the silicone keypad long-lasting. And almost maintenance-free input solution. Individual keys illuminate using LEDs in conjunction with transparent silicone or integrated light guides.

Display in silicon key mats

The display of status displays in individual buttons is also possible thanks to a very precise 2K injection molding process. And, without LEDs, silicone key mats made of phosphorescent silicone have luminous properties.

Customizable; replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

The force-displacement behavior of a replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is easy to customize to the requirements of the respective application. The high actuation forces of 200g – 500g and actuation travel of 0.3 to 5.0 mm. It is typical for the industry are also possible.

The silicone keypad can show its advantages. The high one-time costs for the tools make small series very cost-intensive. Compared to equipment with individual buttons, however, they are also significantly cheaper in medium-sized series.

Membrane keyboards for industrial applications

The membrane keyboard in silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch can also take on any shape. Thanks to the use of tools and is the cheaper option compared to the silicone keypad in smaller quantities. There are hardly any limits to the design options.

However, surface coating helps it. The illumination of a membrane keyboard is also easy to implement through the integration of LEDs. The decorative film is the top layer of the keyboard ensures the highest possible level of protection against abrasion.

Emboss the foil in replacing the silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

The decorative film is easy to emboss to ensure precise finger guidance. There is the possibility of the key dome to provide balance interface. A high-quality epoxy coating gives the buttons a three-dimensional appearance.

Integrated snap-action disks while silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch provide tactile feedback, which, when actuated, create a palpable feeling and, depending on the version, an audible “click” sound. This direct feedback reduces file entry errors.

Display solutions and replacing silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch

Capacitive multi-touch display solutions are also suitable for use in industrial environments, at least in terms of their protection classes and technical parameters. However, the restriction of glove-free operation does not fit into every work environment.

However, if displays require simplifying complex machine control, a resistive single-touch display can be an option. Moreover, in combination with push buttons, a membrane keyboard, or a silicone keypad as an additional input element, is user-friendly.

Recurring input commands

Recurring input commands or preset parameters in silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch can be called up quickly. Thanks to the haptic feedback of the mechanical command device, as they increases the safety of the operator

The motto of making a human-machine

The motto of making a human-machine interface understandable and intuitive often requires a combination of proven electromechanical components in combination with multi-touch displays.

Today, complex menu structures in silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch is easy to visual using logical and clear designs on a touch display. With a combination of modern display technologies we can improve machine functioning. Furthermore, the membrane keyboard has proven to be a useful addition.

Membrane keyboard with viewing window

An additional keypad next to the touch display promotes user-friendly menu navigation. Thanks to the haptic feedback of a membrane keyboard, user-related input errors are easy to avoid. Moreover, it increases the safety of operation.

How finger guidance and tactile feedback is ensured?

Integrated snap disks while silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch provide when a button presses, in addition to a noticeable tactile feeling, as well as an audible clicking acoustic feedback.

The metal snap disks are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and actuating forces and are selected according to the application. Furthermore, membrane keyboards without metal snap disks are common in environments in which actuation noises are a nuisance.

Implementation of silicon replacement with touch screens

Generally, there are various implementation techniques for the implementation with touch screens. The simplest variant is to punch out the display area; another is to integrate a viewing window into the membrane keyboard.

Depending on the requirements, these windows are easy to specify glossy, matt, anti-reflective, scratch-resistant, UV-resistant, and individually colored. The connection between the film and the display realizes by a highly transparent adhesive layer with a light emission level of 99%.

How a closed surface is created in silicone rubber keypad?

By gluing both input elements in silicone rubber keypad with a mechanical switch, a closed surface creates with a high resistance to chemicals and impermeability to liquids and dust. Furthermore, this makes the combined input solution interesting for applications in the food, laboratory, and medical sectors.

Applications of replacing silicone rubber keypad with mechanical switch

For applications in the medical field and environments with high hygienic requirements, the front membrane of a membrane keyboard is easy to equip with an antibacterial coating. The user interface is easy to combine with an aluminum front panel for subsequent easy assembly.

Bolts or threads are optionally integrated directly into the front panel. The molded part in silicone rubber keypad with a  switch is easy to design in such a way that a display is easy to demonstrate in directly, thus simplifying further processing steps.

Conclusion on replacing silicone rubber keypad with mechanical switch

Conventional input keyboards and buttons are particularly popular in the industrial environment. The trend towards miniaturization, as in other areas of application, plays less of a role here. In return, the requirements for service life, protection class and technical equipment are increasing.

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