The Benefits of Embossing and Tactile Embossed Keys on Membrane Switches

Embossing

At Electronic Touch Systems, we do four types of embossing: full – key, LED, ridge or Braille. Embossing is created by applying heat and pressure to the reverse surface of the overlay, resulting in the formation of the shape required.

Full embossing are instances where the entire surface of a specified area or text is embossed in the shape requested by the client.

When an LED is embedded in a membrane switch, it is adhered directly onto the bottom circuitry. Often the client prefers to have the area immediately above the LED to be embossed to enhance the aesthetic of the membrane switch, although this is not necessary.

Ridge embossing is done only to the outline or border of a key or shape

Braille embossing for vision impaired users is also available.

Which type of embossing is right for your application depends on the item’s use and your preference.

Tactile Embossed Keys

Applying embossed keys eliminates the need to insert metal domes into the membrane switch.

It helps to show the user exactly where to activate a specific key, since keys often have a “sweet spot”. Embossing creates an indicator to the center of a given key.  It also helps locate a key in a low-light environment, enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of key presses. This would not be as efficient if the keys were flat on the overlay. Embossed keys also eliminate missed attempts to press keys, increasing the productivity of the user.

Embossed keys enhance the graphic overlay of the membrane switch by creating a three-dimensional look to it. This in turn creates a snap action as the keys are clearly noticeable.

Looking for embossing or tactile embossed keys on your membrane switches? Then look no further. Let Electronic Touch Systems deliver quality embossing to suit your switches application. Call us on +27(11) 782-3346 for more information.

Labels – weighing up vinyl and polycarbonate labels

Labels – weighing up vinyl and polycarbonate labels

At Electronic Touch Systems we can supply our clients with labels to suit their every need.  Many clients though, upon approaching us to place their orders, seem unsure when faced with the manufacturing material options available.  We produce vinyl and polycarbonate labels. On the surface, it might seem as if there is no great difference between these two substrate options.  However, when one compares their price, application and durability, it would be well worth it to ensure that clients are advised on exactly which material option would be most suitable to their specific needs.  In this article, we will take a closer look at our vinyl and polycarbonate labels, their advantages and disadvantages, which will hopefully make the choice a little easier.

Vinyl labels

Vinyl labels are generally considered to be the most cost economical and cost-effective substrate when it comes to the production of plastic labeling products.  These labels are highly elastic and considered suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage.  Vinyl easily affixes to curved and irregular outlines and surfaces, making it the most suitable for general indoor applications and can stand up to light industrial usage as well.  On the downside, vinyl has been found to tear much easier when compared to other plastic label options.  In addition, it is also not quite as impervious to exposure to harsh chemicals which might lead to accelerated deterioration.  In an effort to increase vinyl’s wear and tear clients have the option of selecting an overlaminate of a clear extra-protective layer to be applied when printing the labels, but this naturally increases production costs and might negate any savings achieved by selecting vinyl to start with.  In our experience vinyl labels are best suited to company logos, warning and safety decals and product information labels.

Polycarbonate labels

For the best all-around performance, our polycarbonate material option cannot be beaten.  The most significant advantage that polycarbonate labels hold over other plastic labeling options is its light-weight and flexible nature combined with unassailable strength.  Its polished appearance masks a hard-wearing exterior that is impervious to physical damage such as scratching and abrasions.  Although polycarbonate is more often the first choice for indoor usage, there are however options available for use in outdoor situations as well.  Polycarbonate labels will maintain their appearance and functionality for years without fading when exposed for long periods of times to UV light, while at the same time repelling the effects of moisture, physical damage and potentially harsh chemicals.   Polycarbonate films are most often employed for control panels, membrane keypads and displays due to their resilience and attractive appearance.   Polycarbonate labels are however more expensive when compared to vinyl options, but it’s eye-catching and long-wearing nature is generally considered worth the extra expense.

Hopefully, this information can support potential clients in their decision making when it comes to picking their label material of choice.  The Electronic Touch Systems team are however always on hand to apply their expertise in order to assist clients in making the perfect choice when it comes to their labeling material of choice.   Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your labeling requirements.