Design Your Products to Withstand Harsh Environments

Posted by Butler Technologies on February 05, 2020

Design Your Products to Withstand Harsh Environments

A quality-made User Interface or Membrane Switch can handle conditions that include intense sunlight, floating chemicals, or excessive wear. The integrity and strength engineered into the materials used by Butler Technologies combined with graphics designed for durability and ease of use produce a User Interface product that can handle the harshest of environments. Thousands of customers know how dedicated Butler Technologies is to providing high-quality solutions to complex interface product applications.

Industrial Controls Have Evolved

Long gone are the years of mechanical switches dominating the marketplace for industrial control switch devices. Since the 1980s, industrial controls technology and applications for User Interface switches have evolved with improvements in materials science and engineering. Originally known as a Membrane Switch, the first applications of technology applying electrically conductive materials to polymers, vinyl, and other synthetic surfaces began with computer keyboards. At the time, the initial views of interface controls were less-than-hopeful. The low cost of manufacturing shed doubts on the technology’s durability. Today’s products are leading-edge technology that has been integrated into hundreds of thousands of products and applications.

membrane switchAdvantages of Membrane Switches with User Interface

Old-fashioned mechanical switches have several limitations that Membrane switches don’t experience. Some of the advantages of  Membrane switches are:

  •  – Membrane switches last longer because they aren’t subject to as much abuse and stress as standard keyboard-style keys.
  • – Graphic Overlays are UV, scratch, water, chemical, and heat resistant.
  •  – Smooth, flat surfaces release debris more easily and don’t have the nooks and crannies associated with traditional keys.
  •  – Membrane switches cover electronic and electrical components positioned beneath the surface where standard keys expose electronic connections which can result in malfunction or incorrect action.
  •  – Colors and textures are more prominent on Membrane switches with larger areas for graphics.

Three Decades of Experience Creates Expertise

Thirty years ago, Butler Technologies launched into the world of Graphic Overlays. Placing graphics on a variety of surfaces for a wide range of uses has provided the perfect laboratory for developing wear-resistant, custom graphics and overlays. Industrial applications required new formulas and protocols that could endure extreme conditions and usage. Operators of construction machinery, agricultural equipment, industrial plant devices, and thousands of other items have benefited from the high-quality User Interface products manufactured by Butler Technologies.

User Interface Products That Stand the Test of Time

As a developer of custom applications of User Interface technology, the team at Butler Technologies has seen every way possible to use their products. That experience includes engineering and manufacturing specialized equipment and capabilities to meet customer demands like:

  •  – Printed layer of Polycarbonate, Vinyl, Polyester, or PET material that provides operating interface, product feature identification, and branding logos.
  •  – Specialized materials with custom durometer or thickness for a distinct “feel” that transmits electric signals.
  •  – Specialized layout designs made with non-conductive rubber for improved safety and enhanced device functionality.
  •  – Custom designed and engineered labeling and decal art that adheres under the toughest conditions.
  •  – Accurate and reliable numerical or text layouts manufactured to the most rigid specifications.
  •  – Incorporation of specially-designed icons for enhanced tactile response.
  •  – Custom-formulated synthetic materials and inks engineered to withstand harsh conditions and usage.
  •  – Integrated lighting diodes that increase keyboard visibility for low light conditions.

Printed Electronics For All Applications

The 21st Century has brought about some amazing advancements in electronics and the materials that can be used in combination with electrical devices. Butler Technologies’ Research and Development team has embraced the best uses of the new technologies and incorporated them into some forward-thinking products, like:

  •  – Also known as Wearable Electronics and Smart Fabrics, E-textiles integrate electronic sensors, heaters, and printed circuits into fabrics that conform to the body and allow greater ease of movement.
  •  – Used in smartphones and other personal electronic devices, the capacitive touch screen is a popular replacement for Membrane Switches and elastomer keypads.
  •  – Made from multiple layers of thin materials engineered to vary in resistance to force applied and released against the contact pad.
  •  – A precision, screen-printed electronic circuit placed on polymer film.
  •  – Screen-printed bio-sensors and electrodes that can be incorporated into fabrics and clothing for biofeedback
  •  – Printed circuits that provide heat in garment, furniture, and automotive applications.
  •  – Used for wireless power transmission, data transfer, and energy harvesting applications.
  •  – A combination of In-Mold Decoration and printed electronics.

made in the usaProud to Be Made in the USA

Located in Pennsylvania, Butler Technologies takes great pride in manufacturing its products in the United States. With customers from all around the globe, Butler Technologies is a leader in User Interface products and technology. The research and development efforts are on-going as technicians create new and exciting products as well as new applications for existing products and technologies. Throughout America, supply chain managers, purchasing agents, mechanical and electrical engineers as well as manufacturing plants large and small have come to rely on Butler Technologies. With three decades of trust and confidence in the products, there’s no better endorsement a company can receive.

Up For The Challenge, No Matter What It May Be

Just like the products they engineer and build, the team at Butler Technologies is ready to take on any customer’s challenge. Designing, engineering, and manufacturing the finest products for interfacing with equipment has been the company’s goal for many years. With services that include Rapid Response Prototyping and fast turnaround of customer orders, there’s no other resource available that can match Butler Technologies. Customers can go online to the Butler Technologies website to learn more or they can send an email to with any questions or requests they may have. There’s an inquiry submission form on the website contact page for contacting the company as well. Customers who wish to speak directly with a customer support expert can call 724-283-6656 from 8 am to 5 pm EST Monday through Friday.

woman smiling, headshotMeet the Author: Jaclyn King

Jaclyn is a Digital Marketing Specialist on the BTI Team. Her main job responsibilities involve inbound marketing, content creation, and social media management. To get to know more about Jaclyn, check her out on LinkedIn!

Topics: Fire & Safety, Manufacturing & Design, Industrial Controls

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