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Designing Durable Keypads For Public Terminals

June 11th, 2010

As computers have become smaller, cheaper and more powerful there has been a growing interest in using unmanned public kiosks to offer services from internet access to DVD rental. The kiosks are meant to be nearly maintenance free and every component needs to be up to the task. Si Tech molded keypads provide the characteristics needed for high traffic kiosks.

Durability

A public terminal might have thousands of users each day, and many of them won’t be nice to the equipment. Over time that pounding of keys will wear down low quality materials, leaving keys that are worn and markings that are faded or gone completely.

Si Tech’s custom keypads are made of silicone, a highly durable, abrasion resistant material that can stand up to the abuse. The material is both pliable and strong, allowing it to absorb the pounding without wearing away. Harder materials might crack while softer materials erode quickly under heavy use. We offer a range of silicone formulas to give you the long-lasting molded keypads you need. For high traffic terminals, we can boost the natural wear resistance of silicone with our Si Coat I coating.

Quality Graphics

Our screen-printing process provides high durability markings that will last even through heavy use. Many of our customers choose to use our proprietary LaserEdge laser marking system to give their molded keypads an extra edge in both appearance and resilience. The laser marking process gives a sophisticated look to any application and is particularly suited to backlit keypads.

LaserEdge uses a computer-controlled laser marking system to create finely detailed graphics with absolute precision. The process doesn’t discolor the underlying ink or silicone, but leaves only sharp, clear markings on the keypad. It opens up new design possibilities for molded keypads, allowing keys of shapes or curvatures that might not allow traditional ink markings. Best of all, the process is extremely affordable.

Safe For Outdoor Use

Many materials that are fine for indoor equipment simply won’t work in an outdoor kiosk. Other keypads might let in moisture if it rains. Many plastics and inks degrade in direct sunlight, leaving cracked keys and impossible to read markings after only a few weeks. Si Tech custom silicone keypads are perfect for outdoor use. The seamless design resists moisture so you don’t have to worry about equipment failing every time it rains. The keypads are UV resistant and won’t degrade in sunlight. Markings remain clearly readable even after many months of outdoor exposure.

Public kiosks need to be built of higher quality materials than equipment that will see less use. High quality Si Tech molded keypads have the characteristics needed for high-use equipment, and yet our custom keypads are inexpensive and won’t eat into your company’s profits. Contact one of our representatives and let us help you design your kiosk keypads today.

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