Whether in construction sites or offshore, industrial controllers ensure the operation of heavy machinery under even the most difficult conditions. In these cases, the ideal keyboard doesn’t just serve a control function, but also keeps harmful substances such as oil, chemicals or water away from the electronics. Elektrosil built an ergonomic and extremely robust membrane keypad with protection class IP67 for a global manufacturer of automation technology. The controller became a particularly lucrative product in the client’s portfolio.


The client needed a non-slip feel for the keyboard that would be suitable for operation while wearing gloves. It should protect the device’s electronics from abrasion and against harmful external factors such as moisture. That meant that it needed to have IP67 water resistance and chemical resistance in accordance with ISO 16750. The material hardness for the rubber, pinning and design, as well as the backlighting for the keypad, were determined in advance, as was a service life of at least 750,000 operating cycles.


Elektrosil used a 3D model to develop the keypad as a combination of a membrane keypad and a keypad on the computer. During implementation, the engineering team worked closely with two keypad specialists from the in-house network:

one keypad specialist produced the rubber pad with keys, responsible for the paintwork as well as labelling using laser technology. The operational elements contained cushioning rubber and raised surfaces. A structural ridge around the circumference was integrated onto the back side of the keypad to protect against moisture.

An expert in membrane keypads produced the durable top layer – a printable overlay film. The specialists created an adhesive solution with extremely strong holding force, which bound the polyester material to the housing. The effectiveness of combining the special adhesives and primers was established in numerous tests in the client’s in-house laboratory. The manufacturer produced a button area tailored to the input unit, with LED lighting for the keys and status display; they also subsequently took over the production of the keypad.

Elektrosil coordinated all the processes and agreements between the parties involved. The project ran over several phases, in which various new samples were developed.

The client has complete trust in Elektrosil’s expertise when it comes to creating input units, as well as the development of an innovative adhesive for the heavy-duty keypad.

Multilayered solution: Membrane keypad, silicone mat, built-in capillary barrier, specially bonded printable overlay foil, LED backlighting

Keyboards of industrial controllers must be easy to operate, resistant and clearly visible.


Elektrosil brought solid keypad experience to the table and provided the client with top expertise via its partner network. The experienced coordination of the project by all specialists ensured smooth-running operations.

Advantages and Benefits

The client receives a high-quality product with an individual and robust keypad solution for secure input under the harshest conditions. The 100% in-house quality control for all copies at Elektrosil ensures a very high safeguard against failure. With respect to comparable market solutions, the membrane keypad offers significant cost savings.

In addition, end clients have the attractive option of specific branding by printing onto the front layer.

With extensive keypad expertise and a passion for challenging tasks, Elektrosil created a complex component for a leading automation manufacturer – thus contributing toward an innovative, best-selling product.

Are you looking for a custom solution? Then give us a call.

  • Application consultation, development assistance, design-in support
  • Quality assurance
  • Engineering and production
  • Completely customised applications

Your Contact

Arkadius Thomanek

Product Manager Keypads & Drive Engineering
Tel: +49 40 84 00 01-36


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