Molex designs capacitive touch switch into washing machine
A global leader in membrane switch and capacitive user interface technology. With manufacturing capabilities strategically placed around the world, Molex provides local sourcing; engineering and design support in ISO9001, ISO 14000, and TS16949 certified facilities. Fully equipped reliability labs in each location qualify products prior to final tooling and can provide in-depth analysis.
Our capabilities include double-sided circuits for space-constrained applications; LED bonding for high-volume applications; and vertically integrated assemblies including PCBs, copper flex circuits, connectors and cables. Our solutions directly address today’s electromechanical engineering requirements in the appliance, consumer, automotive, industrial, datacom, transportation, and medical industries.
Molex is working with a multinational washing machine manufacturer to develop capacitive touchpad panels for two high-end Class-A energy saving washing machines.
The capacitive switch panel designs incorporate solid-state circuitry in a robust interface that is highly resistant to multiple key presses, water, dirt, contaminants and EMI.
Molex capacitive overlays and panels allow easy appliance cleaning and are available in a variety of cosmetic options, including in-mould decoration (IMD), glass or virtually any non-conductive material.
“Capacitive switch technology offers a proven upgrade to mechanical controls in electronic user interfaces,” said Steve Fulton, engineering manager, Molex.
The washing machines feature multiple wash cycles and will require numerous tightly spaced capacitive key sensors and icons.
“The washing machine user panels encapsulate imaginative ideas and robust engineering for enhanced functionality, with exceptional product reliability and energy savings,” said Fulton.
A single 44-pin microcontroller handles all panel functionality.
Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter communication for sensor reporting and lighting control ensures consistent responsiveness and panel lighting levels in the user-controlled bright and dim modes.
The power button has been integrated into the Molex capacitive panels to provide additional power savings when the appliance is not in use; a dead front appearance hides the icons until the power button is activated.