Remote controls give users of your equipment more flexibility during operation. We’ve seen a growing number of our clients who want to use our custom silicone keypads to provide new options to their customers, even for devices that have never been traditionally associated with remote controls.

Remote Controls Add Value

It goes without saying that allowing remote operation of a device is more convenient for the users. Industrial operations can be managed from a central location without walking all over the plant and without needing to run expensive cabling to every new piece of equipment. However remotes do more than allow you to turn on and off equipment without leaving your desk.

Before the availability of widespread wireless controls, equipment had to be place for easy access even if that meant blocking traffic patterns or other equipment. Workers sometimes had to run safety risks by climbing ladders to reach controls. Plus as OSHA regulations and other laws have come into being, access for workers in wheelchairs or with other disabilities has sometimes made it difficult to find the right location for equipment. Remote operation solves all of these problems by allowing much greater flexibility in equipment placement.

Learning From Televisions And Garages

The two most common consumer remotes, those for TVs and garage door openers, offer two extremes on design of the custom silicone keypads for remote controls. On the one hand you have a garage remote that has a single button to open and close the door. The main panel has additional controls to set a vacation lock on the system, turn on and off the garage light, or to open the door by typing a code on a keypad.

At the other end we have televisions that put most of their controls on the remote with very few on the television itself. The TV has a few critical controls such as power, channel and volume that allow minimal operation if the remote is misplaced, but most functions must be accessed from the remote keypad.

Designing Your Equipment’s Remote

Using these two examples can help you decide which controls should be on the custom silicone keypads of your remotes. You don’t want too few controls because then the remote serves little purpose as users have to stand at the equipment to do anything, but too many controls makes the unit bulky or confusing.

The remote should contain routinely used functions that can be performed at a distance. Functions that require proximity to the machinery, such as loading or unloading samples in a testing device, can probably be left off the remote and put on the main panel instead. If you choose to put most functions on the remote, enough controls should be on the main unit itself to allow minimal operation or emergency shutdown if the remote is misplaced.

Si Tech custom silicone keypads allow you to easily manufacture remote controls for your equipment that will improve functionality and ease of use.