Anything is possibleFollow article
Buttons and switches are the most common human-machine interfaces. The ideal fit for a given application is therefore of particular importance. SCHURTER offers a wide selection with its Metal Line range. Where this selection is still not enough, customer-specific solutions are developed.
Switches are everywhere. In the morning, we turn off the alarm clock via a switch. The light in the bathroom, the espresso machine - everything uses buttons and switches. Often these are the only parts of a device with which we come into physical contact. Their execution is therefore crucial. If the button feels cheap, we will most likely get the same impression of the entire device.
SCHURTER has been manufacturing excellent buttons and switches for decades and has proven this many times. In addition to the standard versions, however, there is an increasing demand for customer-specific versions. What is feasible? What's been done? Here’s some inspiration.
Shapes and materials
The most cost-effective solution is almost always the round housing design. But depending on the product designer's ideas, it might be something completely different. Anything is possible. A triangle? A square? A hexagon? No problem.
The same applies to the housing and materials. Stainless steel and aluminium are often used. This feels particularly valuable. However, almost any material with the necessary solidity can be realized.
Metal Line Custom switch with concave actuator for extra grip
Metallic surfaces can be coated, dyed or refined in many different ways. Aluminium, for example, can radiate in almost any imaginable colour by anodising, steel can be gold-plated, chrome-plated or even additionally hardened ceramic (titanium nitride).
Examples of surface treatments:
- polished or brushed
- high-gloss chrome-plated
- silk matt chrome-plated
- black chrome-plated
- gold plated
- PVD coated
- anodised aluminium
- aluminium hard coated
Aluminium in particular is predestined for coloured accents which brings life into play. Colour helps to distinguish several switches more easily in their function. This massively expands the creative scope of a product designer. SCHURTER currently offers the aluminium housings of the Metal Line switches in a variety of anodised colours.
Lighting and lettering
Lighting systems are particularly useful for rapid detection of the function and feedback. For customer-specific projects, even more advanced variants are possible - lighting effects, for example.
Lettering serves the same purpose. Of course, the easiest way would be to print it. However, laser marking is more precise and durable. Particularly pleasant lighting effects with minimal glare can be achieved using etching processes. Raised characters (symbols, logos or other signs) are also possible. An example of this would be Braille characters for visually impaired people.
Surface coating with titanium nitride / combined laser braille marking
Switches for applications in the food industry, medical sector or potentially explosive environments often require certificates so that they can be used there at all. SCHURTER can also meet this need upon special request.
Complete operating panel
According to customer-specific wishes and specifications, SCHURTER also supplies complete operating panels. The switches are installed in an individual housing front. Furthermore, an additional integration of additional components or complete electronic assemblies is conceivable for completely assembled system solutions.
Piezo push-button in red anodised aluminium for potentially explosive applications
Applications for Metal Line switches and buttons
Below is a small selection of applications in which customer-specific Metal Line switches and buttons have been used.
- Wet rooms/Spa
Thanks to their high IP protection class, the most diverse types of the Metal Line are suitable for use in wet rooms or wellness areas (e.g. luxury showers, elegant hand-washing basins or control elements in saunas).
- Public transport
Metal Line switches can be operated up to 20 million times which makes them virtually predestined for use in public transport (e.g. "stop button" in buses). Large, robust and easily recognisable operating elements are important there.
- PA systems
For a supplier of public address systems, SCHURTER has provided a piezo push-button with an additional electrical grounding of the housing. Interfering switch-on noises could be eliminated.
Exposed and publicly accessible control elements pose the highest demands on the robustness of switches. An example here would be payment terminals in car parks.