ECI takes pride in making you quality products and wishes nothing more than to maintain the quality of your products through years to come. Even the best of quality products can be damaged, though. This can come from all different sources such as the environment, elements, shipping, handling and application.
We are experts in product care and handling because ECI has been working with membrane switches and graphic overlays for 25 years. Our experts understand what care must be taken to prevent damage to your products as well as what materials to use to keep your quality products looking new throughout the years against constant wear.
Before Product is Made (Prevention):
Windows are the most easily damaged on any overlay or membrane switch (if it has one). ECI suggests that you use a clear hard coat to prevent scratching, which minimalizes the chances of scuffing that could be caused by everyday handling. ECI also coats the uncoated (reverse) side of the window with a peel-able masking film. We suggest this stays on the product until the last moment prior to assembly in order to protect the window during assembly handling. Upon request, ECI will also apply a poly-masking film that goes over the top of the overlay window and can also be peeled off upon assembly. ECI can remove these masks before shipping (protecting through production) or the end customer will remove it themselves (protecting through final assembly).
Overlays have many different aspects that must be discussed if you are looking to minimalize and prevent damage. The material must be able to withstand the environment that the product is being applied to. ECI suggests either polyester or polycarbonate. The following table shows the pros and cons of using either material.
Each project is unique and experienced ECI staff will help you find the right material for your product’s specific application.
Adhesive choice may not matter when it comes to the damage that your product can take, but it will matter in accordance with the overall life expectancy of your product. Even the best overlay will fail without the proper adhesives. Thicknesses in adhesives vary and certain adhesives are better suited for certain surfaces. Specifically, you will need to know what kind of surface you are applying your product to and whether or not it has high surface energy (HSE) or low surface energy (LSE). Other surfaces to consider would include powder coated paints, silicon or rubber, and metal finishes. ECI’s staff will be able to help you choose the right adhesive for your application and determine what kind of surface you are looking to apply your product to. so that your product won’t end up peeling from its surface.
Shipping can play a huge role in damaging your products. ECI’s experienced staff, however, takes extra care in making sure your products will get to you in perfect condition. We are sure to leave plenty of space for filler material instead of jamming all the parts into a full box. Bubble wrap, and shipping paper is also available to fill in empty gaps to secure the product. If you are still concerned about how your product is packaged to prevent any damage, ask for specific packing instructions to be sent to our shipping team.
After Product is Made (Care and Handling):
Your quality products, if proper options have been chosen, will withstand appropriate temperatures, elements and environments. However, certain materials can still be damaged if improperly handled or uncared for. Here are a few ways in which you can keep your product looking brand new throughout the years to come:
Do not bend the product.
Do not attempt to take the product apart.
Do not push the membrane switch buttons while it is unsupported, and it must be on a flat surface.
For more details, check out ECI’s Guide to the membrane switch application here.