Duraswitch, Flexcon form technology, marketing alliance

Phoenix, AZ; Spencer, MA—Duraswitch, a licensor of electronic switch technologies, and Flex-con, a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films and adhesives, formed an alliance June 18 that pairs Duraswitch's flat-panel switch technologies with Flexcon's Switchmark line developed for the membrane switch industry.


Phoenix, AZ; Spencer, MA— Duraswitch , a licensor of electronic switch technologies, and Flex-con , a manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films and adhesives, formed an alliance June 18 that pairs Duraswitch's flat-panel switch technologies with Flexcon's Switchmark line developed for the membrane switch industry.

'Adhesives are a significant percentage of the material cost of flat-panel switch designs. Flexcon's high-performance adhesives are a perfect compliment to our durable switch technologies,' says Tim Kuhn, Duraswitch's business development VP. 'Alliances with component suppliers like Flexcon bring a source for cost effective materials to our current li-censees, and expand awareness of our technologies to a broader range of potential licensees and customers.'

Switchmark's spacer components and laminating adhesives are specifically engineered for flat-panel switch applications. The adhesive system has a built-in elasticity that promotes superior bond retention, ensuring long-term performance as the switch cycles through thousands of actuations. 'Flexcon is establishing a program including training, technical support and pricing for Duraswitch licensees worldwide,' says Chris Drury, Flexcon's market development leader. 'This program takes advantage of Flexcon's application expertise, materials knowledge and process capabilities. It demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting adhesive challenges for unique applications.'

Duraswitch's solutions include PushGate pushbutton, thiNcoder rotary and MagnaMouse multidirectional control, which provide design solutions to challenges faced by traditional switches, such as the ability to integrate multiple switch types in flat-panel and slim-profile designs, high durability and reliability, sealability, multiple customization options and ergonomic, user-friendly interface.

In other news, Duraswitch also recently received U.S. Patent No. 6,556,112 for its magnetically-coupled tact switch actuator technology. Duraswitch's says its tact switch is different because its actuating element employs a magnet and metal armature, replacing the flexing dome technology used in most tact switch designs.

Tact switches are usually tactile PCB or copper flex-circuit mounted pushbutton switches. Duraswitch reports that the inherent non-flexing, magnetic design of its technology offers greater durability, reliability and longer life with a consistent tactile feel over traditional tact switches. Duraswitch's magnetic actuator element also enables a normally closed circuit, a normally open circuit, or both in one switch.

Tact switches are used in every industry, but are predominant in industrial controls, appliances, consumer electronics and computer peripherals. Often chosen for applications that do not have a graphic overlay, tact switches are commonly used under plastic or rubber keycaps.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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