Sensigraphics is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of custom graphic overlays, control panel overlays, touch panel overlays and membrane overlays switches. A graphic overlay is the printed interface layer of a membrane switch or control panel, or it may be a standalone durable label.
Graphic overlays are a vital part of any modern control component for human-machine interface (HMI), branding, or other visual interaction. Graphic overlays are usually the first thing that a customer or end user sees when interacting with a machine or product. Consequently, the overlay has a big influence on the customer’s first impression. Attention to detail, precise color matching and intuitive graphics are critical factors in creating an effective graphical overlay and user interface experience.
At Sensigraphics, a core competence is the custom design, engineer, and manufacture of custom graphic overlays to meet to the unique interface needs of our customers and their users.
Graphic Overlay Materials – Polycarbonate, Polyester, Other
Sensigraphics offers variety of overlay materials for graphic overlays with thickness ranging from 7 mil to 30 mil. Material choice depends on the end user application and the environment in which it will be used, including exposure to sunlight and chemicals. Cost is also a consideration. Polycarbonate and polyester are the most commonly used materials.
Polycarbonate (also known as PETG or Lexan) is easy to die cut, print and texture. However, it may show signs of wear after 100,000 actuations. If the environment where the membrane switch is to be used is subject to chemicals, a hard coat should be used for protection. Polycarbonate is optically clear at any thickness and provides a crisper emboss. Polycarbonate is lower in cost than polyester. Most users think polycarbonate looks better than polyester.
Polyester (PET) is thinner but is a more resilient material that shows no sign of wear after 1,000,000 actuations. It also has superior resistance to chemicals and harsh environments. Polyester is more expensive than polycarbonate.
Request the Sensigraphics Design Guide for more information about graphic overlay materials.
Graphic Overlay Options
Options available for a graphic overlay include:
- Custom printing
- Textured surfaces
- Color matching – see below
- Embossing – pillow embossing or ridge embossing
- Adhesives customized for what it will stick to:
- High mass – for heavily textured surfaces
- Low surfaced – for powder-coated or low surface energy plastics
- High strength – as required for the surface
- Chemical resistant surfaces
- Ultraviolet (UV) hardcoats
Sensigraphics Color Matching for Graphic Overlays
A comprehensive ink lab, computer-controlled color-matching and consistency make production runs at Sensigraphics unceasingly match the target color. Sensigraphics’ graphic design team has decades of experience creating new images for graphic overlays. We are cognizant of how colors contrast with one another, and maximize the legibility of the text and symbols on the graphic overlay. Simply provide a sample of any color and we will match its pigments with computer-controlled color-matching technology.
While Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are a common color reference, please note that the PMS system was devised for the offset printing world, and graphic overlay colors printed on a clear or frosted substrate will not appear as they do in a Pantone color guide printed on white paper.
Graphic Overlay Features/Benefits
Graphic overlays are manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, but share these common features and benefits:
- Sub-surface graphics – printing is done on the inside of the graphic overlay so it doesn’t degrade its graphic identity and won’t wear out from use or cleaning
- Short lead times – approximately 3 weeks after artwork approval
Sensigraphics offers a variety of graphic overlays, including:
- Custom graphic overlays
- Touch panel graphic overlays
- Membrane switch graphic overlays
- Front panel graphic overlays
- Back panel graphic overlays
Sensigraphics Design and Manufacturing Process
Sensigraphics utilizes state of the art equipment, lean manufacturing techniques and principles and ISO certified procedures to provide customers with an exceptionally streamlined and efficient development process for graphic overlays. Benefits include reduced lead times, higher quality control, and highly competitive costs. Click here to learn more about Sensigraphics’ lean manufacturing processes for graphic overlays.
How to Work with Sensigraphics for Custom Graphic Overlays
Sensigraphics works with customers at various stages of their product development process, from prototype to production. Sensigraphics can offer design and engineering support for early-stage product development or can simply provide a quote for the desired quantities of fully-engineered and ready-to-manufacture graphic overlays.
Sensigraphics recognizes that each project is unique. Sensigraphics’ team brings expertise, decades of experience, innovation, and quality to each engagement.
Contact Sensigraphics for Graphic Overlay Manufacturing
Please complete the contact form for further assistance with custom graphic overlays from Sensigraphics.