Membrane Switches & Keypads – Designing a new world for Human-Machine Interfaces

Engineered to bring a new experience and outer-skin for equipment/machines.

US-Based Membrane Switch Manufacturer with Decades of Experience

Develop a custom membrane switch solution for your products with our help. Our membrane switches are engineered to bring a new experience and outer-skin for equipment/machines. Our experts can integrate components to create certified panel assembly applications for the most demanding environments, from medical and military to the aerospace and industrial sectors. 

Certified Membrane Switch & Keypad Manufacturer

Melrose is a leading membrane switch and keypad manufacturer in the United States, building on its decades of experience in the sector. By following a unique engineering process developed over the years, Melrose gives soul to billions of machines and equipment with a touch of personalization. Customers rely on our expertise and certification when designing and implementing a wide range of user interface objectives. To deliver outstanding value and help our customers achieve compliance, we hold several certifications – from AS9100D to ISO 9001:2015.

Our Services

Customization and Personalization

We deliver customized membrane switches and keypads to ensure that the final product meets all your specifications and requirements. Every customer receives a personalized experience, and once our experts finish their work, they receive a custom solution that matches their applications perfectly.

The key to creating a high-quality membrane switch starts with a high-quality prototype. At the onset of our collaboration, you will receive a prototype that matches the product specifications. Our engineers follow all the safety and quality standards before presenting the prototype.

About Membrane Switches

A membrane switch is a common component of applications used across many sectors, from consumer electronics and industrial environments to medical and military applications.

Membrane switches are made of flexible graphic and internal layers (also called membranes) on top of a circuit. Thanks to their layered nature, membrane switches offer engineers a lot of freedom in designing and implementing solutions that deliver the desired customer experience.

Membrane switches developed by our engineers come with many features that match any custom requirements:

  • Thin and flexible materials
  • Custom design
  • Improved aesthetics
  • Multi-color integration
  • High durability
  • Vast add-on choices

Key Components Of A Membrane Switch

When designing a membrane switch, our experts consider many different parameters, including the intended use cases, graphic overlays, adhesives, and more. Find out more about the components a membrane switch needs to have.

The mechanical design of a membrane switch defines its value. We can design membrane switches to be tactile and non-tactile. We will help you choose the option that suits your application best and matches the desired product requirements.

To improve vision and deliver a better user experience, add backlighting to your membrane switch. You can choose from the best backlighting product suite: LED, thick light guide film. Our engineers know how to precisely manage the light quality, color, intensity, and coverage to achieve the best effect. 

This is the top layer of a membrane switch that serves as the interface between the user and the machine. Pick a material that ensures durability in the application’s environment. Your membrane switch might need to be protected against scratches, chemical abrasions, or extreme temperatures. 

Display Module

This is another important choice in the design of your membrane switch. We know that the right finish is vital and help our customers choose from multiple display options that match their products’ unique requirements.

These are all the additional elements such as shielding, adhesives, venting, pinouts, connector tail, and dome arrays. We can design membrane switches with almost any Surface Mount Device component embedded in them like resistors or light sensors.

Adding a touch panel alongside the membrane switch brings a new experience for users. Our experts will help you choose from a range of touch panels from our collection, including the high-quality Projected Capacitive touch screens (PCAP).

Take The First Step In Designing Your Membrane Switch

How to design a membrane switch and make sure that it has all the right components? Use our free design guide to get started. Once you go through it, you’ll be able to design your own membrane switch. 

Our guide will walk you through the following points:
  • Types of tactile feedback
  • Visual feedback
  • Environmental and durability factor you should consider
  • Basic recommendations and tolerances

If you’re not sure whether you’re making the right choices, get in touch with us. One of our dedicated advisors will gladly help you out and design a perfect membrane switch with you. 

Membrane Switch Constructions

When it comes to membrane switch constructions, you can choose between ones that are simpler and more advanced. Here’s a short guide to each of these types with examples and key considerations you need to make when designing them.

Simple Membrane Switch Constructions

A simple membrane switch comprises three layers:  a screen-printed circuit, a circuit spacer, and a graphic overlay. This option is usually more cost-effective, so its implementation is often dictated by cost-saving measures in the overall product design. 

Consider these aspects:

Tactile Or Non-Tactile Feedback.

Tactile feedback is the feeling users experience when they push a button. You can choose from different materials and sizes for your buttons, and these choices will require different actuation forces for activating the switch.

Tactile Switches

A tactile switch comes with a metal dome or polydome to result in the desired tactile response (and sometimes audible). These domes can be made of different materials and in different sizes to achieve the desired effect. 

Non-Tactile Switches

When these circuits are actuated, there’s no tactile feel. However, you can add a sound or light component to indicate their activation. Depending on your design, you might need to add an electronic shielding technique.

Advanced Membrane Switch Constructions

More complex user interface designs might require more components and result in more layers. Such multi-layered switches may include a type of ESD, EMI, or RFD shielding, as well as embedded components like LEDs, resistors, or light sensors. To make all of these work together, our experts use copper flex or PCBs to develop the circuit layer. 

Consider these aspects:

Copper Flex Switches

Contrary to screen-printed silver, copper flex circuits are made by laminating copper to an underlying substrate. Then experts etch the substrate to leave specific conductive traces. This delivers a more flexible and precise circuit with extended durability.

Printed Circuit Boards

You might need components of higher-density and smaller size for some user interfaces. This is where printed circuit boards (PCBs) and printed circuit board assemblies (PCBas) come in handy.

Application Environment

A membrane switch needs to serve your users for years. It might be used on a daily or even hourly basis. This requires a purposeful design for lifetime actuation, considering the types of durability, materials, and the need for weather sealing. 

How To Install A Membrane Switch Correctly?

Correct installation is critical to achieving the right effect with the membrane switch and getting the most value from your investment. Here is a brief overview about how to install a membrane switch correctly. You can also download the pdf file for step-to-step installation guidance.

1

Carefully cut & remove 1/8 of the adhesive layers.

2

Pass the flex cable through the tail exit slot & adhere the switch to the unit's surface.

3

Position the membrane switch at 30° & peel the rest of the adhesive liner.

4

Laminate the switch from the side, where you've removed the adhesive layer.

5

Start using a soft roller by gradually lowering the angle of the membrane switch.

6

Lamination is over and time to bend the circuit carefully without damaging the switch.

Read this step-by-step guide to install the membrane switch correctly in pdf format.

When Achievements Talk Better Than Promises

Fast shipping

We keep a permanent stock of basic products. That’s how we’re always ready to meet the needs of our customers. No long waiting times, no delays. The Melrose team is always there to make sure your company is ahead of the game.

Tailor-made solutions

Whatever feature combination you need, we can deliver it to you. Create your product by choosing various parameters. Get in touch with us, and we will start the customization process within 24h of receiving your order.

Modularity

Thanks to our unique modular system, we can offer the same display size in different configurations and adapt it to any project by easily upgrading the display without changing the product design.

Designing custom prototypes doesn't need to be expensive and time-consuming.

Talk with the Melrose engineers to layout a prototype you wanted to launch. Get your customized product with a 100% satisfaction rate.

Melrose has superior knowledge in using the right technology, meeting every requirement consideration. Call us for any clarification.

Get Custom Membrane Switch/Keypad Prototype Design That Matches Your System