C&K, a division of CoActive Technologies has recently reestablished itself in the market after being dropped by former parent company ITT Corp. The company’s continuing focus is on switches for the industrial, mobile and automotive markets, particularly for high-end devices.
“We definitely do not want to be into commodity products, we can’t be into commodity products, that’s not our goal. We prefer to have less volume but to stay in the high range of the product lines,” says Christian Blanc, general director for C&K.
Two new releases from C&K include the KMT series and the KSC ST series. The KMT series is a new line of ultra-miniature top-actuated tactile switches, which according to the company feature the industry’s smallest footprint with dimensions of 2.6 x 3.0 x 0.65 mm and a 0.13-mm travel. These tact switches have a life cycle of 150,000 operations and have both gold and silver plating options.
The KMT series also features a grounding pin option for ESD protection and an actuation force of either 1.6N or 1.0N. Applications include mobile devices such as cell phones, headsets and mp3 players and medical devices such as hearing aids and hand-held medical devices. Manufacturers currently using these switches include Siemens VDO, Valeo and TRW.
The KSC ST series is a new line of tunable tactile switches, which according to the company feature 100-percent controllable sound intensity. These switches feature an adjustable range of sound levels from a high greater than 50 dBa to a low of less than 30 dBa. These tact switches, which also feature silver or gold plating are suitable for applications where the sound of a switch is signature to a company, often in the case of car companies and companies developing electronic key fobs.
According to Blanc, car companies are particularly interested in tunable switches. “Some manufacturers ask us to have a very high pitch crisp noise, some others want a low-pitch, very round solid rubber noise,” he says. Most importantly for these companies is uniformity across all the switches that they use. “So not only do we have to give the same tactile effect, but the audible feedback has to be the same,” says Blanc.