There may be no other industry on the planet that subjects machinery to as much abuse as mining. In addition to extreme environments, devices must offer absolute reliability because miners’ lives may depend on their operation. Manufacturers find custom silicone keypads give them the characteristics needed for this challenging environment.

Mining Companies Resist New Technology

The mining industry tends to be conservative when it comes to technology. They prefer using proven technology even if it’s decades old, and even if newer offerings include more functionality.

Reliability is often the number one requirement for mining equipment. When operating in dangerous conditions a half-mile underground, you don’t want critical devices suddenly failing. Even in cases where miner safety isn’t in jeopardy, the simple fact of the nearest technician being hours away means a minor problem can lead to significant and expensive downtime. They prefer use older, more reliable equipment rather than taking a chance on technology that is not only unproven, but specifically unproven in the extreme conditions found underground. If manufacturers want to penetrate this industry, they must make dependability their most important design consideration.

Creating Rugged Mining Solutions

In most industries, dependability is just one of many features to consider when buying equipment. Some customers will accept a device with more capabilities even if that device is subject to more frequent breakdowns. That is not the case in mining. Manufacturers need to be able to prove to mining clients their products have been tested under extreme conditions.

Manufacturers test their devices under circumstances well beyond what a typical customer will experience, and yet often even these conditions are less harsh than a typical day in a mine. Mining equipment has to be able to handle large and protracted physical shocks, very high temperatures and humidity, airborne dust, chemical contaminants, as well as being handled by people more used to drills and explosives than typing on a keyboard in a cubicle. A good start for a device intended for such extreme conditions would be custom silicone keypads by Si Tech.

Advantages Of Silicone

We developed our custom silicone keypads after determining that silicone offered the best balance of resistance, reliability and affordability to our customers, and we offer many additional coatings that make the keypads even more rugged. Silicone effectively resists harsh handling and abrasion, especially when coated with our Si Coat I treatment. Silicone resists chemical breakdown and our Si Coat II coating enhances this further. The single-piece construction helps you create a sealed unit that will not be damaged by dust or moisture in the air. Si Prime bonding has been tested up to 85 degrees Celsius without failing, so our custom silicone keypads won’t come apart in the heat.

You’ll find that Si Tech custom silicone keypads are the ideal and cost-effective solution for devices intended for mining or any other extreme environments.