Many applications would be better suited using a membrane switch (low profile, flat surface keypad assembly) along with a rigid printed circuit board (PCB), replacing screen-printed silver conductors on polyester sheets.
Printed circuit boards with gold plated switch contact pads and gold plated dome switches greatly improve the reliability of your application, offering longer operating life with lower switch resistance and contact bounce.
When using a PCB membrane switch combo in your design, there is also the ability to use soldered LEDs, other electrical components and a better selection of connectors on the printed circuit board. These options are comparable to the cost of printed silver membrane circuits.
Membrane Switch Designed with a Printed Circuit Board
User interfaces with printed circuit boards perform much better in applications where temperature range, vibration, and extended shock may occur. In silver printed membrane switches, the weakest part of the assembly is the fragile tail and connector.
Perhaps the best improvement over using silver printed membrane switches is to use high reliability, circuit board based keyboards and keypads with conventional soldered connectors for termination.