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Membrane switches and keyboards are reliable, long-lasting product interface, so why do they fail at installation? Many times it’s due to improper handling. Watch RSP’s CEO explain why membrane switches fail and how to properly install and handle your membrane products.


Hi, I’m Mike Ryan, the CEO of RSP.

About once a month I have a customer calling me upset that some of their membrane switches aren’t working after they are installed.

Since RSP tests 100% of the product during final assembly and tests circuits before assembly, it is rare that a manufacturing error would cause a switch to fail after being assembled.

The first thing I ask the customer to do is send me pictures of the faulty units, pictures or video of the assembly method, and also to send back a few of the units.

The number one cause of failure I find, is improper handling!
Membrane switches are a durable long lasting user interface, once they are installed. Before installation, they are a little sensitive.

Here are 4 tips for proper handling:

  1. ONLY press the switches when the keypad is on a flat surface. Pressing the switches on any other surface or in the air can invert the domes.
  2. NEVER bend a membrane switch, the LEDs can pop off and the domes can invert or bend. This is especially true when mounting it. Start at a corner location, and roll the membrane down onto the surface.
  3. Don’t crease the tail, sharp bending or creasing will cause the silver ink to crack which creates a permanent open circuit.
  4. Don’t feed a tail that doesn’t have protection on it, like a polyester wrap, into a sharp metal ‘tail slot’, some of these are like razors and cut the silver traces or even the entire tail.

If you follow these tips, you will eliminate the # 1 cause of switch failures that we see at RSP!

Thanks for watching! If you have any questions or would like to talk to one of our experts visit our web site at rspinc.com.