Molex Inc. offers capacitive and metal touch switch solutions for a variety of applications including consumer appliances, industrial equipment and medical devices. These custom user interfaces are manufactured using Molex’s vertically-integrated design and state-of-the art manufacturing capabilities that help deliver a fast time to market. Molex has engineering and manufacturing locations in Naperville, Ill.; DongGuan, China, and Taiwan.
“Our industry-leading turnkey switch solutions optimize design flexibility with rapid time-to-market that our manufacturing customers need in competitive consumer, industrial and medical markets,” says Jeff Nagy, global product manager.
In most cases, Molex has the ability to design the product where its customers engineering base is located and manufacture the product close to where it will be consumed, said Nagy.
In addition, the vertically-integrated facilities help reduce costs. “For example, our Naperville facility can work with a USA customer on the engineering side, which allows for normal business hour activity,” said Nagy. “On the other hand, if our engineering design center was only in Asia the customer would need to have late night or early morning conference calls thus being less efficient. Additionally, if the consumption point was in Asia we could then manufacture in DG and save shipping/duty costs.”
Available in rigid and flexible substrates including polyester, polyimide and PC boards, the custom switches include a variety of value-add design options including custom backlighting, discrete buttons, linear sliders, and rotary wheels.
The custom capacitive and metal touch switches are said to offer excellent immunity to environmental conditions, including resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Designed to IP67-rated specifications, the touch panels also offer protection against dirt, water and chemical ingress.
Molex’s metal touch switches, which are pressure activated to prevent accidental actuation, are available with stainless steel, aluminum, and other metallic or non-metallic material overlays. They can feature embossed key or Braille designs and can be used with gloves and styluses.
The capacitive switches, which recognizes when a conductive object such as a finger enters the field, are available in glass, metal and enamel-coated substrates plus tempered-glass, polycarbonate, polyester or acrylic overlays for easy-to-clean designs.
Molex also offers optional PEDOT-based capacitive switches. “Featuring excellent electromechanical and thermal properties, Molex PEDOT is a transparent conductive polymer coating that blends conductivity, optical clarity and unlimited finger-control cycles in highly demanding switch applications,” said Nagy.
Typical applications for these touch switch solutions include aviation systems, ATM terminals, appliances, fitness equipment, hot tubs, barcode scanners, telecommunications two-way radios, mobile phones, routers and servers, and industrial automation equipment. They also can be used in a variety of medical applications including defibrillators, EKG leads, glucose meters, portable oxygen units, infusion pumps and patient monitoring devices.