Schurter took home the bronze medal in the recently completed 2022 Leap Awards for product innovation.
The LEAP Awards celebrates the most innovative and forward-thinking products serving the design engineering space. Schurter won in the Sensors and Switches category covering equipment feedback devices such as mechanical switches and photoelectric, proximity, reel, and hall-effect sensors. Submissions also included devices for pressure, speed, temperature, and vibration sensing, vision systems, and edge devices.
Schurter’s Capacitive Hidden Switch, series CHS, is intended for use behind non-conductive surfaces. The new series expands on potential applications by enabling interface designers more flexibility in custom panel design.
Consumers have become accustomed to the touch of a surface to carry out software commands that increasingly become part of our technology-directed lives. These devices often use varying forms of capacitive touchpoints to carry out the desired command. The CHS is a stand-alone capacitive switch designed for use as a single key, or in arrays behind non-conductive surfaces.
The standard CHS is designed to mount behind a glass surface up to 2mm in thickness. Simply remove the protective cover and adhere the switch. The switch is programmed so that it does not false trigger in the event of contact from spray, running liquids, or minor wiping. Activation is achieved by a precise touch of the switch surface.
Offered in three variations, CHS1 with the PCB circuit only, CHS2 with housing and RGB backlit illumination, CHS3 with potted housing and RGB backlit illumination. All three are easily installed to the back of the surface with 3M Adhesive. Dimensions are 30 x 30mm with minimal mounting depth. Integrated connectors, flexible wires or separate connector options can be specified in the part configuration. With no moving parts to wear over time, the electronic switching technology has a rated lifetime of >100 million actuations. Operating temperature range is -40°C to +85°C.
The sensitivity of the CHS can be adjusted to specific application requirements, including the thickness of the material behind which the switch is bonded. This means that other non-conductive overlays such as plexiglass, plastic, porcelain, ceramic, marble, granite and wood can be used as surface overlays for the CHS in applications such as architectural design, professional/gourmet kitchen and premier bath appliances, vending machines, ticketing and other self-service kiosks, as well as the increasing trend for such panels in industrial applications. What’s more is antimicrobial and cleanable surfaces are especially important today in hygienic applications. The CHS has no mounting holes or switch openings that would allow for ingress of liquids, dirt or microbes.
Conventional single key switches used individually or in an array are touch actuated directly by the user. Alternatively, custom panels generally hide the switches behind overlays, but these solutions can be design intensive, have high minimums and long lead times and other limitations depending on what suppliers can offer.