May 2011 - All the benefits of steel, none of the drawbacks

TubeSync ProductMAPP Systems is a classic example of the spirit of entrepreneurship that is driving the economy of this country, even at challenging times like these.  Since their foundation in 1989 MAPP Systems has provided other small and medium size companies with a number of services in dye cut labelling and membrane switches manufacturing.   The company takes huge pride in offering customers cutting edge solutions and bespoke services, unafraid of  tackling the most demanding jobs, even those that competitors may have overlooked.

Having manufactured membrane switches for well over two decades MAPP Systems is fully familiar with the Autotex range of printable polyester films by MacDermid Autotype, one of the global leading producers of coated industrial films.  The Autotex range is the international yardstick for durable and screen printable, textured polyester films that, even when embossed, can give a switch life performance of over five million actuations. 

In addition to its outstanding flex life, attractive appearance, scratch and chemical resistance, Autotex is also compatible with Windotex a screen printable windowing lacquer, producing clear, scratch resistant windows.

The secret of Autotex’s success is in its texturisation and subsequent versatility of application.  Recently, MacDermid Autotype was able to produce a new range of films that closely simulate the texture of brushed steel.   Called Autotex S, the new film is easy to handle and has been primed to be receptive to most industrial inks, in particular metallic ones, to replicate the cosmetic features of steel.

Stephen Morse, MAPP Systems Managing Director, was quick to identify the potential of the new MacDermid Autotype product, introducing two of his clients to the new range; one for the production of a control panel on an amplifier system, the other for a line of portable printers.   The results were astonishing as Stephen Morse explains, “When we presented the prototype to our clients they thought that we had used wafer thin steel and they simply couldn’t believe that it was in fact a PET film” he goes on explaing “the beauty of Autotex S is that it offers a number of advantages over conventional stainless steel materials.  High quality keyboard or graphics panels can be produced at much lower cost, as well as being easy to emboss, ideal for use in applications where keys or panel areas need to have raised edges especially for domed switches thanks to the material’s excellent flex life.  Applying buttons to a steel surface would require separate components, decreasing the number of potential applications, as well as making the finished product much more expensive.”

Unlike stainless steel, Autotex Steel does not show fingerprints, and can easily be printed with clear display windows or contain secret-until-lit graphics, with the film offering excellent colour rendition and light transmission in clear areas.  Graphics are normally reverse printed, so are protected from wear and abrasion by the body of the film substrate and the textured hardcoat layer.  This layer has also been formulated to resist a wide variety of common industrial solvents and cleaning fluids, including alcohols, ketones, weak acids and hydrocarbons. Paradoxically, Autotex S has greater scratch resistance and a more cosmetically long-lasting appearance than steel, without requiring specialist cleaning materials to return the switch to pristine conditions.

With a keen eye for detail and for offering customers the best possible solution, MAPP Systems was able to identify a winning product that once again exceeded clients’ expectations.

MAPP Systems and MacDermid share a common philosophy for excellence, providing customers with effective and efficient solutions, as well as opening up prospective areas of material development to meet ever increasing market demands.

For further information contact Kate Wilmore, MacDermid Autotype, Grove Road, Wantage, Oxon.  OX12 7BZ.  Tel: 01235 771111.  Fax: 01235 771196. Email:  Web: