All the uses of membrane switches
When you take a look at your software and hardware devices, did you ever wonder about the controls? Each device is controlled by an interface. These interfaces often use membrane switches. If you’re looking for Membrane Switches in Minneapolis MN, then look no further then Golden Valley Products.
What are Membrane Switches?
A Membrane Switch is an electrical switch that serves as a communication device for electronic devices, turning them on or off. This command is typically issued by a user in order to perform some desired function within the system. The circuit is usually closed by pressing a specific location on the user interface, otherwise known as the Graphic Overlay. When a membrane switch is released, the poles on its circuit separate and it returns to an open state.
A typical membrane switch consists of a thin film layer. This material is often made from Polyester, but other options are available for harsher conditions. Membrane Switches use a conductive ink that is printed onto the membrane, rather than etched into it. This process provides greater flexibility in terms of design and manufacture compared to processes used to create traditional Printed Circuit Boards. Membrane Switches can be designed with a variety of different circuit actuation types, such as non-tactile flat keys, metal domes for a tactile and audible response, Polyester formed domes or capacitive options. Other electronic components can also be mounted into Membrane Switches to enhance their functionality. For example, low-profile LEDs, resistors and capacitors can be added as well for more sophisticated feedback options.
Chances are, you use some form of membrane switches everyday in your home. From your air conditioner panel, to devices like your TV remote, or your microwave oven panel, membrane switches find many uses in your home. This is for a number of reasons, first being reliability. Membrane switches are built to last and are very reliable. They also offer a wide range of functions, with many different types of switches available. This makes them ideal for both consumer and industrial applications. Membrane switches are largely customizable, moisture resistant, quick to make, and are easily replaceable in the event that your product is damaged. All of these factors make them ideal for homes and businesses. Membrane switches are also easy to use, making them ideal for children’s toys or any other product that needs a simple operation but still requires reliability.
The reliability and flexibility of membrane switches makes them ideal for medical equipment. This can include anything from heart monitors to medical equipment used in the operating room. The versatility of these switches makes them ideal for wide range of applications, including but not limited to: blood pressure monitoring, blood glucose monitoring, pulse oximetry and many more. Membrane switches are also moisture resistant and easy to clean, making them ideal for hospitals where hygiene is paramount. The durability of membrane switches lets them stand up to current sanitation and cleaning needed in medical environments.
Control panel-oriented industrial and manufacturing equipment
Pretty much any control panel you can think of likely uses a membrane switch as some part of its composition. This includes industrial control panels for machinery, pumps, motors and more. They’re also used in a variety of other equipment like vending machines, ATMs and even point-of-sale terminals. You may have even seen them on the front panel of your microwave or DVD player—these switches are found almost everywhere!
Military equipment is another place you’ll often find membrane switches. They’re used in everything from missile launchers to aircraft cockpits and more. They’re also found in military vehicles like tanks, where they help control key functions like the engine and turret rotation.
Aerospace applications are another place where you’ll find membrane switches. They’re used in aircraft cockpits, as well as on spacecraft like the International Space Station. Hopefully at this point you can understand just how versatile membrane switches are, and how prevalent they are in all manner of technology.
Automotive controls and panels
Automotive controls and panels often use membrane switches. They’re used in everything from the dashboard to door locks, windows, and more. You can also find them on cruise control systems and airbag deployment systems—even on your car radio or heater controls. Any point that requires user input likely uses a membrane switch to do so.
Retail and consumer-related equipment or machines
Retail and consumer-related equipment or machines often use membrane switches as well. They’re used in everything from point of sale systems to vending machines, and even the machines at the grocery store that dispense gum or candy. From exercise equipment, vending machines and gasoline pumps to anything else you can think of- retail and consumer-related equipment often uses membrane switches.
At Golden Valley Products, we offer a wide range of services including: Digital printing, Screen printing, Pad printing, Laser cutting, Steel rule die cutting, Waterjet cutting, Laminating, Embossing, Membrane switches, Medical sensors (pressure sensors), Graphic overlays, and more! We’d be happy to support you on your next product project.