Digital Switching Systems Continues to be the First Choice for Custom Keypad Design and Production

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From concept and design to full-scale production, Digital Switching Systems’ experience in flexible and rugged keypads makes it the ideal partner for custom keypads

Custom Keypads by Digital Switching Systems

Custom Keypad Design and Production by Digital Switching Systems

Digital Switching Systems combines its experience in both flexible and rugged keypads to offer custom keypads built with the same high standard of quality that Digital Switching Systems is known for and specifically designed for the customer’s needs.

Digital Switching Systems (DSS), a leading provider of rugged open-source keypads, is continuing its legacy as the go-to partner for custom keypads for manufacturers across multiple industries. As a leading provider of digital keypads, Digital Switching Systems combines its experience in both flexible and rugged keypads to offer custom keypads built with the same high standard of quality that Digital Switching Systems is known for and specifically designed for the customer’s needs.

“Ultimately, no two applications are exactly alike. That’s why Digital Switching Systems has always focused on producing keypads that are not only rugged, but flexible,” said Eric Vaughn, President of DNA Group, parent to Digital Switching Systems. “Our years of experience in creating flexible keypads for many different applications has given us incredible insight into what works and what doesn’t when designing custom keypads for specific customers. This has proven to be a very unique value proposition for customers and is what continues to set Digital Switching Systems apart as a leader in custom keypad design and production.”

All Digital Switching Systems custom keypads are completely sealed units that are designed for rugged applications and carry IP67 and NEMA6 ratings. As a leader in flexibility, Digital Switching Systems offers customers a wide variety of protocols, including CAN/J1939, CANOpen, RS485, RS232 and NMEA 2000. This flexibility also allows customers to use either Digital Switching System’s standard keypad firmware or the customer’s own custom firmware using an API.

Digital Switching Systems incorporates state-of-the-art status indicator design and technology for each custom keypad. From one or multiple LEDs within each button to a wide spectrum of colors and backlighting, Digital Switching Systems is an expert in keypad status communication with the user. Digital Switching Systems also provides custom artwork and design for laser etching buttons and logos in custom colors on the keypads. The company can also provide digital display keypads for more complex customer needs.

Custom keypads can be produced as either digital or analogue units, and can be designed in any shape, size or color with as many buttons and configurations as needed.

Customer Case Study #1
A manufacturer for the crop production industry was developing a new sprayer model and needed two new keypads. The manufacturer already had sizes, shapes and designs for the CAN/J1939 keypads in mind. When Digital Switching Systems showed the manufacturer its PK1000 keypad, the manufacturer was impressed with the look of the keypad and asked Digital Switching Systems to implement its designs for the two new keypads.

In working with the manufacturer, Digital Switching Systems pointed out that in their original designs, the size of the 6-button radio keypad needed to be adjusted to fit the components required for J1939 circuitry. Digital Switching Systems also leveraged its expertise in keypad usability and suggested it alter the button design for both keypads so they had the right tactile feel for response and feedback. Digital Switching Systems also noticed that the original indicator LEDs from the manufacturer’s design would not be easily visible in bright daylight and was able to modify the red/green LEDs on the 16-button spray control keypad to be more visible in direct sunlight.

Digital Switching Systems was able to successfully produce the new keypads an leverage its industry-leading expertise in keypad design to greatly enhance the finished custom keypad.

Customer Case Study #2
A manufacturer of control switches and communication accessories for demanding applications needed help solving some ergonomic and reliability issues with a keypad used in a commercial forklift. The existing keypad in the forklift was failing prematurely and was causing operator hand and arm discomfort. The feel and actuation forces for the keypad were critical, as these commercial forklifts are used daily and the keypad is a constant part of the operator’s duties. Environmental circumstances also needed to be considered as going from extreme heat and humidity to extreme cold occurred regularly.

Digital Switching Systems was able to deliver a design that uses silicon rubber to provide a cushion for the fingertips and implemented snapdome technology to give a consistent low actuation force with good tactile feedback, solving the manufacturer’s ergonomic and reliability issues.

To learn more about Digital Switching Systems’ custom keypad capabilities, please visit

About Digital Switching Systems:
Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Digital Switching Systems is a leading provider of rugged, open-source keypad solutions for the industrial, outdoor equipment, marine, military and transportation industries. A subsidiary of DNA Group, Digital Switching Systems continues to bring to the forefront state-of-the-art devices and software applications for remote, networked control of low voltage DC power applications through the DSS family of components powered by omni-BUS™. For more information about Digital Switching systems, please visit

DNA Group, Inc. is a manufacturer of custom controls for the portable appliance, white goods and consumer products market. To learn more, please visit

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Vivian Burgon
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