Snaptron specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality metal dome switches and related products. Their primary focus is providing tactile dome switch solutions for various industries, including consumer, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, defense, and more. Snaptron’s products are critical components in different electronic devices, ensuring reliable and responsive user interfaces.

Interview with Nicole Kangos, Marketing Manager at Snaptron.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Nicole Kangos: Snaptron’s main area of activity is the production of metal dome switches in addition to in-house automation and test equipment. These dome switches are widely used in numerous electronic applications, including consumer electronics, industrial control panels, medical equipment, automotive controls, and more.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

N.K: Snaptron recently announced the release of its first surface-mount metal dome, the S-Series, also known as a surface-mount device (SMD) dome. Snaptron’s S-Series domes are standard four-leg metal dome switches with two solderable tabs. The tabs allow the dome to be soldered directly to a printed circuit board or flex circuit without impacting performance. 

Traditional methods of adhering metal domes to the circuit board require the use of adhesive tape or placement into spacer pockets. This process is typically done semi-automatically or manually and requires an assembler. A major benefit of a solder dome is the ease of assembly and the ability to use existing surface mount technology (SMT) equipment to place these domes.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

N.K: Snaptron offers a diverse range of metal dome switches and related products. These include various shapes, sizes, and actuation forces to cater to different customer needs. Additionally, we offer customized solutions to meet specific requirements– we currently boast the shortest lead time in the industry for custom parts. 

Snaptron carries the largest selection of standard dome switches on the market–with 15 different standard metal dome styles, in sizes ranging from 4mm to 37mm and forces ranging from 40g to 6,800g.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

N.K: Market trends in tactile dome switches and user interfaces show a shift towards compact designs due to smaller components and limited PCB space. Manufacturers are increasingly integrating tactile touch with capacitive touchscreens to offer a more intuitive and interactive user experience. Moreover, there is a growing demand for tactile feedback in safety-critical applications, such as automotive controls and medical devices, where users rely on the sense of touch for precise and reliable input. These trends reflect the industry’s focus on enhancing user satisfaction, safety, and responsiveness in various electronic devices and systems.

In addition, the manufacturing of tactile switches and related PCB components is increasingly being done using Surface Mount Technology (SMT) equipment. SMT allows for precise and automated assembly of tiny components, ensuring higher production efficiency and accuracy. As the demand for tactile dome switches continues to grow across various industries, the need for SMT manufacturing capabilities becomes even more crucial to meet the market requirements efficiently and cost-effectively.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

N.K: Snaptron’s most innovative products currently on the market are:

S-Series: A line of surface-mount tactile dome switches that are adhered to the circuit in a standard reflow process. Which drastically speeds up production and reduces overall costs.

DT-Series: These switches can close two electrical circuits in a single dome switch. The first contact occurs by applying light pressure to the switch, which provides little to no tactile feel. Additional pressure snaps the dome, closing the circuit.

RG-Series: The RCG tactile dome provides a circular contact surface area which helps reduce impact from contamination, debris, or off-centered actuation. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

N.K: The global economic downturn has impacted Snaptron and the broader tactile switch market, leading to fluctuations in demand and spending among consumers and industries. Like many other manufacturers in the electronics space, we face challenges in hiring and finding talent, particularly skilled technicians. In response to economic uncertainties, we are continually shifting towards cost-effective solutions for production, optimizing manufacturing processes, and sourcing materials more efficiently. Additionally, we’re exploring new opportunities in emerging sectors where our products could fit into new applications, allowing us to diversify our revenue streams.