Modena-based Better Srl has been producing membrane and touchscreen keyboards since the early 1980s, with its products used on everyday products such as ATMs, fitness machines, medical equipment, mobile phones and PCs.
In recent years the company has developed a number of innovative products, such as the L-touch range of retro illuminated touch displays which has aesthetic qualities such as an ultra-high gloss outer surface which is scratch and abrasion resistant. The touch-key units have been developed to be easy to use and fit, and have contemporary styling.
Pivotal to the production of this range is Autoflex AutoForm M from MacDermid Autotype, a formable polycarbonate film consisting of a high gloss outer surface with a scratch and abrasion resistant coating and a printable matt underside.
While the matt surface makes the film easier to use in robotic handling production processes, once the film is formed and a resin is injected, the matt underside turns fully transparent. This feature is ideal, particularly in backlit applications such as the L-Touch range, explains the company. As a result of this material, Better Srl has been able to produce lightweight, scratch-proof displays which are not only impervious to liquids – including chemicals, alcohol, hydrocarbons and detergents – but are also robust.
Marco Galli, head of technical processes, said: “Before using this film we experienced limitations in the construction of large transparent windows (from 10cm to 20cm) because we were forced to use adhesives that could affect the waterproofing. Today, however, thanks to Autoflex AutoForm, we are able to produce a keyboard in only a few steps, without having to adhere the upper layer. The film’s formability and handleability have resulted in incredible savings in terms of processing time, with a significant increase in productivity.
We already knew the MacDermid Autotype film and when they developed Autoflex AutoForm M, our tests gave us some very satisfactory results. Autoflex AutoForm has allowed us to develop a new product line for outdoor applications, thanks to the film’s outstanding abrasion resistance and weatherability. Its ease of handling during the automated production process has also given us added confidence and a cutting edge.
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