Hoffmann + Krippner - Finger actuates membrane keypad

Why membrane keypads are the right choice right now

Non-functioning or interrupted supply chains, long waiting times, material bottlenecks: Hardly any industrial company is not affected by the current procurement crisis on the world market. The electronics industry in particular is suffering from the current shortage: a wide variety of components are currently difficult or even impossible to supply. According to experts, it is not yet possible to predict when this situation will improve noticeably. We, too, are dependent on the reliable procurement of elementary assemblies, especially for our solutions for input systems in the HMI area.

Membrane keypad as an alternative to touch solutions
Why and when this consideration is useful

The problem: Components, IC’s, displays, touch screens and other electrical components are missing. Manufacturing technology also plays a role: touch displays require certain chemicals that are hardly available due to the current crisis situation.

Our solution: create alternatives that can be implemented without extensive changes to project planning.

For input systems, this means that membrane keyboards are not affected by the current procurement crisis. All parts and components are currently available without problems and delays. Of course, at first glance, a touch system is the more modern technology: hip, meanwhile also mature and equipped with some possibilities.

But what if these options are not feasible in the foreseeable future? Then it helps to ask the right questions than to just wait, postpone or resign!

When developing new devices or redesigning existing ones, it currently makes a lot of sense to ask the following basic questions about the right input system at the beginning of any project planning:

  • Where will my product be used?
  • How robust does it have to be against environmental influences?
  • Are safety functions necessary?
  • How much space is available for the input system?
  • How should the input system be connected?
  • What role does haptic feedback or finger guidance play?
  • How much should the control unit cost?
  • What service life must the control unit fulfill?
  • Does it necessarily have to be a complex touch system or is a membrane keypad perhaps even the right choice right from the start?

Advantages of membrane keyboards: Durable technology for many applications and industries

With the use of membrane keyboards, you can cover just about any application for many industries when it comes to reliable input systems. The advantages are obvious:

  • Robustness against many, sometimes extreme weather conditions
  • Durability: Membrane keypad can last up to 15-20 years
  • Cost-effective
  • Short-term procurement of all materials possible
  • Also available without complex evaluation electronics

And in view of the current situation, perhaps the greatest advantage is that everything is available in-house at H+K. The components for producing a reliable, ready-to-use membrane keypad are all in place, as are the development and manufacturing capabilities.

Membrane keypad instead of capacitive input unit: application example charging station

In this context, a current project example shows very nicely that a complex capacitive operating unit does not always have to be the only solution: For a charging station, the customer had originally decided to use a capacitive keypad. After extensive consultation, the decision was made in favor of a membrane keypad. Quite apart from the current delivery problems, the possible weather conditions in daily practical use played a particularly decisive role in this case: The charging station should also be able to be operated flawlessly in storm, rain, snow and hail in outdoor use. This is an area of application where the classic membrane keyboard shows its strengths.

Please feel free to contact us if a solution based on the use of membrane keypads is also possible for your application!

Just send us your message or call us at +49 6281 5200 0.

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