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Autostat polyester films from MacDermid Autotype are being used by Metalgrapho in the production of a range of pre-pay electricity and water meters.

The Autostat film is heat stabilised, allowing Metalgrapho to give its products long-lasting high performance.

Metalgrapho is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and provides customised printing and engineering solutions.

Each of its products undergoes strict inspection and testing before it is dispatched.

Recently, Metalgrapho was asked to design a range of electricity and water meters, which would allow end users to pre-pay for their utilities by topping up cards at supermarkets and other retail environments.

With no need for a meter reader and no outstanding payments to investigate, the utilities companies would be able to make considerable savings and pass these discounts onto their customers, offering reduced rates.

For the system to work effectively, the meters would have to be simple to use and durable.

Metalgrapho set out to find a suitable film substrate that would allow them to produce a reliable and robust membrane keypad that offered good tactile response and aesthetic characteristics.

In particular, the film would need to enable high-definition graphics to be printed on the underside and circuit layers to be bonded to the graphics overlay.

‘We tested a number of films but none offered a high enough level of quality or durability, until we found Autostat,’ said Bruno Iseppi, director of Metalgrapho.

Autostat is a heat stabilised polyester film, suited to the circuit layers in membrane touch switches, keyboards and keypads.

Heat stabilisation allows circuit printers to cure conductive inks at high temperatures without affecting the registration or the lay-flat characteristics of the film.

As a result, Autostat is claimed to offer excellent stability and flatness with an absence of surface imperfections for a high-quality finish.

MacDermid Autotype

MacDermid Autotype is a world-leading industrial manufacturer of coated films and blended liquids for use in the printing, automotive and electronics industries. Founded in 1868, Autotype draws from its wealth of history embracing leading-edge technology combined with exceptional applications to help support its customers to succeed.

For over 140 years we have been leading innovators of high-quality precision coated films. Our product ranges include overlay films for membrane touch switches, stencil products and cleaning chemicals for screen printing, products for film insert moulding (FIM/IMD) and graphic display films.

Our extensive expertise in precision coating technology enables us to transform and enhance the performance of films for many high-tech and demanding applications.

We are committed to supplying products that meet our customers' exacting designs and application requirements, manufactured to standards ensuring a consistency of performance that meets their full requirements.

Operating from global locations — England, Chicago, Singapore and Shanghai — enables us to maintain worldwide coverage through experienced and dedicated sales personnel, responding in real time to the changing needs of local markets.

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