Some applications require the membrane switch be mounted to a rigid subpanel, or back panel. The most commonly used material for back panels is aluminum, which can be supplied with a variety of mounting hardware installed. It is critical that the subpanel have different mechanical dimensions to allow for assembly tolerances. Other back panel materials include stainless steel, acrylic, polycarbonate, and ABS.
Pannam is unique in that we fabricate back panels in-house using state-of-the-art CNC equipment. We can provide structural support for your membrane switches with flat or formed back panels with holes, studs, or stand-offs. Aluminum back panels can be raw aluminum, iridited, painted or anodized. Pannam’s in-house fabrication capabilities help minimize the cost of your membrane switch assembly by eliminating a subcontracting operation and the associated markup. It also can help reduce the lead time by eliminating the need for procuring the support panels from outside subcontractors.
Design Considerations for Membrane Switch Support Panels
To ensure that the subpanel is not visible after assembly, it should be .020″ smaller than the membrane switch layers in both height and width; all cutouts and holes should be .030″ larger; and cutouts behind windows should be .060″ larger than the window.
If you need special cutout shapes, or if the subpanel edges to be completely free of tool marks, it is important to specify these features. Pannam utilizes CNC milling and routing equipment to machine special shapes, contours, beveled edges, etc. that provide a cosmetic appearance that can help differentiate your equipment from the competition.
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