Case Study: Overlays and Spacers for Automatic Door Controllers

GSM Graphic Arts works with a wide range of industries and businesses, as we’re capable of manufacturing products that meet their exact specifications. One of our latest projects is no different and showcases our range when it comes to graphic overlays.

So, take a look at how we created an overlay and spacer that will last a very long time whilst exposed to the elements and adverse weather conditions.

The Brief

GSM Graphic Arts was recently approached by a company that makes automatic door controllers used in farming and agriculture. These controllers are used around the world in many different climate conditions, from Australia’s sunlight to Canada’s freezing winters.

overlay for chicken house

The controllers required an overlay to fit over an existing moulded case; this case had 3 push button switches and an LED display unit, but it was specified that the switches would be used infrequently once the unit was set up.

Because our graphic overlay work is so extensive, from embossing and cut-outs for switches to transparent LED windows and anti-glare LCD windows, we knew we could provide our client with exactly what they were asking for.

The Solution

As the controllers would be positioned outside, the customer wanted an overlay that would seal the unit by incorporating a clear display window and embossed buttons. However, the concern was the height of the moulded buttons in the case, which were measured at 1mm high, meaning we had to look at different embossing options to see how we could achieve this height.

Therefore, we looked at different embossing options to see how we could achieve this height or embossing, but it seemed that this would incur CNC-machined tooling at a cost in the region of £1500.

Upon further investigation, it was felt that this tooling wouldn’t necessarily guarantee the emboss height required. Additionally, there were concerns regarding the durability of the embossing at that height, so we decided to take a step back and return to basics.

After discussing the matter further with the customer, we agreed to sample a standard emboss tool that gave a switch emboss height of 0.4mm at a cost of £200; we’d then also produce spacer samples of different thicknesses, which would be used behind the overlay to bring the embossed switch to the correct height.

overlay for outdoor chicken house

The Final Product

The samples were produced and sent to the customer for evaluation. It was decided that the 0.375mm spacer assembled behind the overlay achieved the switch action required when pressed whilst still clearing the switch.

The overlay and spacer stayed within the 0.5mm recess depth, ensuring that the edges of the assembly remained protected.

We have now produced 5000 of the overlays and spacers with the customer’s confidence that the control panel overlay meets the required specifications.

Overlay for outdoor controller

Get in Touch with GSM Graphic Arts Today

If you require graphic overlays or any other products we offer at GSM Graphic Arts, you can rest assured that we’re capable of manufacturing items of the highest quality that meet even the strictest standards of your sector.

Contact us today if you’d like more information on this project or if you wish to make an enquiry. We’re happy to help and answer any questions you may have.