Design engineers are experts at what they do and their goal is to develop a great HMI (human machine interface) solution for your product. There are 4 things design engineers want you to know so your correspondences can be productive.

  1. We like to be included (in the design process)

The earlier we can be involved in the designing of the membrane switch or touch sensor, the better we can assist you in getting the product you want, without compromise, and with the lowest possible total cost. Often times, a customer will come to the design team with everything else already designed and created (mold already made for the bezel/housing, PCB board layout and tooling completed, etc.) with requirements of designing a switch or sensor within certain dimensions and layouts. Of course this is doable, however, sometimes having just an extra .125 of an inch here or an extra .060” there, is the difference between a good assembly and a great, robust assembly, or the difference between a compromised and an uncompromised design.

  1. Size does matter – and location too

The size and location of the circuit tail is critical both from a design standpoint and could play a big part in the costing of a final assembly. With the design aspect, the tail should never enter the body of the part right at a key location, an LED location, or right at a display window opening. Making sure that there is enough room to run circuit traces is extremely important. From a costing standpoint, tail locations and lengths can have a great impact on pricing since conductive patterns are printed with as many parts as possible on standard materials. There are situations when modifying the tail length or location can make a big difference as to how many parts can be printed on a sheet of material thus, impacting the cost.

  1. Color standards

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the standard for all color call outs. Stating color requirements using PMS numbers is a great way to ensure that what you want is what you’re going to get (as opposed to RGB or CMYK or any other type of call out). It is possible to custom match any enclosure or bezel if a usable sample is provided.

  1. Timing and expectations

Every switch or sensor assembly is a custom design, complete assemblies take time. In almost all cases, prototype designs are set up to run as close to production parts as possible, this means that complete Bill of Materials (BOM) and manufacturing routings must be completed before a design can be released to the production teams.