Control mechanisms used to operate home appliances such as washing machines or microwaves differ across regions and countries. Operating buttons that contain membrane switches with a plate spring inserted underneath a vinyl chloride sheet are prevalent in Japan, however, in Europe and North America, appliances with dial control knobs are more commonly used. As the latter requires a more precise operating feeling and sound, new electronic components featuring such characteristics need to be developed.
Envisaged for application in control mechanisms for washing machines and microwaves, this encoder features a large click torque of 60±20mNm (millinewton meter) enabling a precise operating feeling and clear operating sound as the user operates the appliance with a large dial. The high-frequency clicking sound sends an audible signal to the user confirming the operation. Making use of its long-cultivated simulation technology, ALPS was able to incorporate a rotating cam and a plate spring to produce this clicking sensation and sound.
As the product will most likely be used in places with frequent water exposure, it is also designed to be waterproof. Waterproof capability is compliant with the IPX7 (*1) standard, which means it is able to withstand water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1 meter.
Further, this is an absolute type encoder capable of detecting operating positions with signals and features a variety of either 12 or 16 positions.
*1: The IP (International Protection) Code classifies the degrees of protection against the intrusion of solid matter and ingression of water, whereas IPX does not measure the capability of protection against dust, but against water.
Encoder with large click torque and waterproof capability
1. Precise operating feeling with large click torque
2. Clear operating sound signals operation confirmation to user
3. Waterproof capability compliant with IPX7
4. Position variety of 12 or 16 positions
Control mechanisms of white goods such as washing machines, microwaves and ovens