MGX Spotlight: Membrane Switch Overlays
Advances in digital press technology have allowed industrial sheet press users to manufacture durable labels for a multitude of end-use applications. The HP Indigo is ideal for industrial manufacturing because of its ability to print on thicker sheet substrates like polycarbonate, polyethylene and PVC vinyl. Your company can greatly benefit from the versatility of your press by creating membrane switch overlays for electronic devices with keypads.
A membrane switch is an electronic on/off switch with a graphic interfaced keypad, allowing users to dial in setting via a touch screen, which is printed on tough material like polycarbonate. The visible portion that the operator uses to enter setting is the membrane switch’s graphic overlay.The membrane switch is not visible to the user but lies underneath the graphic overlay, relaying the user’s desired settings and controls to the machinery.
The design of the graphic overlay is very important because it displays the object’s brand identity, instructions, machine feedback and tactile feel that is crucial for the operator to enter in he/she’s desired settings. Every time an operator uses this overlay and the switches below them, they interact firsthand with your company’s product. This is why it is so important to design an eye-catching, easy to understand yet 100% functional membrane switch graphic overlay.
Membrane switches can be used on many devices across many industries, including food service, medical equipment, exercise equipment, office equipment, household appliances, automotive panels, and industrial machinery. Digital press production of membrane switch graphic overlays is an ideal way to manufacture membrane switch overlays. Digital technology can economically print short-run jobs -the typical size of a membrane switch overlay print run. Digital’s variable data technology allows for multiple options for different color variances of the same product or to allow for production of graphic overlays in different languages. Many membrane switches are reverse-printed to protect the digital ink from getting damaged or scratched for a longer product lifespan. A graphic overlay could also be laminated with acpo digital overlaminate to protect the substrate the stresses of continued use and a harsh environment.
Masterpiece Graphix offers polycarbonate, polyester and polyethylene sheets that are HP Indigo-compatible for all membrane switch options. Polyester typically holds up longer than polyethylene and polycarbonate in membrane switch applications. MGX’s digital material experts can help guide you in selecting substrates for your particular membrane switch overlay job. For more information on MGX materials for membrane switch overlays, please contact your MGX sales rep.