Many companies think about switching their machine interface from membrane switch to touch sensor to give it a more sleek and modern look and feel, but a common obstacle that stops them dead in their tracks is designing a sensor that works in wet environments. Membrane switches can easily be made to withstand various environments without risking damage to the electronics, but there is a common misconception that it is a greater feat to do that with a touch sensor.
Physical interactions with the world around us drive our perceptions of life. The human ability to manipulate our surroundings in a precise manner is what allows for the production of music from a piano, the construction of a building, or the writing of this article. Few people stop to appreciate how much our hands do on a daily basis. In many ways they are the mechanism by which we leave our mark on the world. It is hard to imagine a life without hands or the ability to touch, feel, and manipulate. Whether it be through trauma or congenital malformations, many people in the world are missing one or both of their hands. While humans are incredibly resilient and resourceful, it is easy to imagine the difficulties that would come from such a condition.
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Did you know that the graphic overlay (the top most layer of a membrane switch) is the most important layer? Sure the printed silver circuitry is extremely important, that is what makes the electronics work, however, the graphic layer is what tells the user where to push and what to expect. The graphic is the visual representation of the interface and is the only portion that the end user will see once a switch is mounted to an appliance, medical instrument or industrial control panel.
Human to Machine Interfaces (HMI) are how we communicate with devices. Of course, the printed circuitry on a membrane switch or touch sensor needs to work, but there are other factors that can have critical affects on the quality and functionality for the life of a device. Two that are often overlooked are the metal domes and adhesive.
The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) held their annual Golden Image Awards at the 2018 SGIA Expo. The Golden Image Awards, previously known as the Golden Squeegee Awards, celebrates industry-leading excellence and covers almost every item, no matter how complex, created by specialty imaging. Nearly 100 companies from around the world entered the competition, submitting several hundred entries in 53 product categories. If you print it, there is a category for you.
Xymox submitted four examples of screen printed electronics from client projects in 2018. All four Xymox entries received awards!
Topics: conductive ink, silver ink, printed circuits, printed traces, membrane switch, membrane switches, printed circuit, screen printing, touch sensor, capacitive sensor, capacitive touch, backlighting, tactile switch, backlit icons
Company A’s products are 100% reliability driven. Their reputation is based on performance so quality suppliers are critical, and when an issue arises, they need quick and thorough support.
Frustrated with its California design team only squeezing 15 different sensors into it the wrist band of the latest Apple Watch, the Cupertino giant goes to the homeland of fine handmade time pieces, Switzerland, to buy Victorinox, the originator of the world’s first do-everything-tool, the Swiss Army Knife.
DISCLAIMER: The above is totally made-up and more in line with The Onion than the Xymox Blog.
With 2019 in full swing, Bob Hartline, Xymox President/CEO, revealed in an interview that Xymox has quite the year ahead. See for yourself:
Competing in a global market has its challenges, one thing remains, "Made in the USA" is a powerful thing. In a previous blog post, Benefits of Working with a USA Based Manufacturer, we listed how companies benefit from working with domestic suppliers rather than going international. This topic is so important, especially now with more and more tariffs going into effect. Rather than writing another post about why you should consider staying domestic, we decided to ask a few of our customers why they choose to work with USA based suppliers/manufacturers, these were their responses: