Durable Enhanced Tactile Feedback

A long-time DoD customer of JN White® approached the firm for help in improving a custom membrane switch on a current ruggedized tablet product. In particular, they needed the product to perform well in harsh conditions, such as high temperatures, wind, sand and movement. In these environments, it is critical to know if a button has been actuated so tactile feedback is critically important. In addition, the product needed to incorporate backlighting for enhanced visibility.

How JN White® Helped

The team at JN White® brought extensive design and engineering support to the project and began by looking at the overall product design. Specifically, the team:

  • Investigated Material Inputs – An exhaustive search was conducted to find the optimal elastomer or silicone rubber for the custom graphic overlay.
  • Incorporated a “Force Actuator” – In order to enhance the tactile feedback, a “force actuator” was designed into the backside of the custom elastomer layer.
  • Utilized a Thin-Printed Circuit Board – The design was further enhanced using a thin-printed circuit board for the custom electronics of the membrane keypad. A circuit board with an elastomer top layer increased backlighting options and served as a good medium. Moreover, the board helped to contain costs by eliminating the copperflex featured in the former design. In addition, the utilization of a PCB provided the customer with additional real estate for their electronic components.

The Result

JN White® was able to assist a long-term partner with the successful redesign of their critical product. The redesign considered all of the end-user’s needs, manufacturing specifications and requirements, while also being mindful of cost considerations. Ultimately, the firm successfully created a reengineered, custom membrane switch for a military product used in extreme conditions.

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JN White is an ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR-certified manufacturer of membrane switches, graphic overlays, and custom labels. All of our products are Made In The U.S.A. We specialize in the design and manufacture of complex graphic overlays, complex membrane switch keyboards, assembly and membrane switch testing. Our supporting products and services include: rapid prototyping; electronic shielding (ESD); backlighting (including addressable LEDs); design & development; vendor managed inventory (VMI); and medical device, UDI and UL label constructions. JN White works with global brands in the aerospace, medical device, medical instruments, industrial electronics, consumer appliance and defense (or military/DoD) industries. Made in America. Made in the U.S.