Dynapic Piezo Keypad Assemblies

Custom Piezoelectric Keypads for Rugged Environments

What is piezo keypad technology?

Piezo keypads use an ingenious phenomenon… the release of voltage through pressure. In simple terms, the piezo effect occurs when certain materials (crystals, some ceramics, etc.) emit a voltage when mechanically pressed. The voltage emitted is proportional to the change in force applied. Conversely, when a voltage is applied to a piezo material, the material will “move” from a static state.

What is Dynapic?

Dynamic Flip Dynapic (pronounced “die-nuh-pik”) is the brand name for piezo keypads manufactured by Pannam Imaging. The piezo elements used in Dynapic piezo keypads are so sensitive, they can detect actuation (key press) through very thick graphic overlays, such as Metalphoto anodized aluminum, etched stainless steel, thick acrylic, and glass. The ability to use thick, rigid graphic overlay materials makes Dynapic piezo keypad technology an extremely robust and durable keypad solution for harsh, rugged, and abusive environments.

Typical Applications

Dynapic piezo keypad assemblies are especially vandal-resistant and robust, as well as resistant to temperature, chemicals, and moisture, making them an ideal solution in applications such as:
  • Oil & gas equipment
  • Self-service kiosks and Point-of-Sale kiosks
  • Food processing plant machinery
  • Chemical and laboratory instruments
  • Bank cash machines/dispensers
  • Weighing & cash machines
  • Railway equipment
  • Vending machines

What are the Advantages of Dynapic Piezo Keypad Assemblies?

  • Rated to exceed 10 million actuations
  • Virtually no mechanical wear and tear
  • Unsurpassed vandal-resistance and durability vs. traditional membrane switches
  • Chemical, temperature, moisture, and vandal-resistant
  • Outdoor weatherable
  • Unaffected by changes in air pressure
  • Adjustable operating force
  • Heavy-duty overlay materials can be used: Metalphoto anodized aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic, glass, etc.

Dynapic Operating information

Dynapic Switch

  • Dynapic keypads are non-tactile with no moving parts. Wear and tear is substantially reduced.
  • An active voltage pulse (proportional to the change in force) is emitted when pressure is applied to the graphic overlay keypad.
  • Simple interface circuitry is required to convert the piezo signal from analog to digital.
  • Interface circuitry can be custom-designed, or you can use Pannam’s own custom ASIC interface controller which has the following features and functions:
    • These CMOS signals are available as serial, parallel and as a matrix for further processing.
    • Amplifies and digitalizes the piezoelectric signals produced by the keypad.
    • The switch sensitivity is set electronically through the adjustment of the switch point on the ASIC.
    • The ASIC can “latch” the pulse signal and emulate a “continuous press” signal, or closed circuit.
    • Eliminates contact bounce typically associated with other switching technologies.

What are Some Design Options for Dynapic Keypads?

  • Graphic Overlay Flexibility – robust, durable, rigid overlay materials can be used. An excellent option for outdoor use and resistance to temperature and harsh chemicals is Metalphoto anodized aluminum. Center-to-center key spacing can be affected as the overlay materials get thicker. Graphic Overlay material choices are:
    • Aluminum: .020” – .187” thick, .020” standard
    • Polycarbonate/Acrylic: .007” – .118” thick, .030” standard
    • Stainless Steel: .018” – .032” thick, .018” standard
    • Glass: .020” – .060” thick, .060” standard
  • Adjustable Actuation Force: Varying the actuation force can be accomplished through adjustments in the interface electronics (circuitry).
  • Visual and Audible Feedback can be utilized to enhance feedback to the operator.
  • Rigid Support Panels: Structural support is provided by utilizing aluminum, stainless steel, or thick acrylic subpanels. Mounting hardware (PEM studs and standoffs) can also be incorporated.
  • ESD, EMI & RFI Shielding
  • Clear or tinted display windows & lenses can be utilized

How Dynapic® Technology Solves Your Membrane Switch Problems

Problem Traditional Membrane Switch Technology The Dynapic® Solution
Switch failure due to piercing, denting, or scratching the graphic overlay. Graphic overlay thickness is limited to .007 – .010″ polyester or polycarbonate, which is easily pierced. Graphic overlay can be anodized aluminum, stainless steel, thick polycarbonate or acrylic.
Switch failure due to tactile feedback stress on material. Many switches are designed with tactile feedback, which can accelerate switch failure. Eliminates tactile feedback to maximize switch life.
Switch failure due to constant material stress/flex and movement. Can only work by moving materials through a spacer cavity, causing material stress. No moving parts.
Silver migration, trace oxidation & air pressure equalization problems caused by air vents. Air vents are required for proper switch function. Creates opportunity for contamination, oxidation, silver migration, & switch collapse (from pressure equalization). Eliminates air vents.
Input speed for high volume data applications. Slow input speed Fast input speed. Actuation pressure is controlled by electronics.

Technical Data

Electrical values:

  • Voltage: typically 1 V/N (burden 10 MOhm)
  • Time constant width: typically 70 ms (burden 10 MOhm)
  • Capacitance: 5-20 nF, typically 7 nF
  • To download the Pannam ASIC Technical Specifications, click here.

Mechanical values:

  • Typical aluminum overlay thickness: .020″
  • Mechanical loading: up to 200 N/cm2
  • Operating force: from 0.1 to 100 N
  • Required operation speed: approx. 10 N/s
  • Maximum cycles per second: > 1000 Hz
  • Storage temperature: -60 °C to +80 °C
  • Operating temperature: -40 °C to +60 °C
  • Number of press cycles: > 10 million