Keypad components and accessories

Mentor Components

Keypad components from MENTOR

Modern keycaps show their strengths whenever safety concerns are paramount. For instance, when an operator has to simultaneously monitor both the control panel and the resultant operation. The tactile response provided by the keycaps delivers direct feedback of the input. Further advantages of the keycaps is their robustness and sealing that prevents the ingress of dirt and dust. They can also be operated whilst wearing gloves.

Range of variants

MENTOR offers an extensive range of keypad components and accessories with a variety of designs for wide-ranging applications. It includes key caps and light fields with full illumination, individual full illumination and point illumination individual inscription inserts, as well as flat key caps for membrane keypads or switch plungers with or without point illumination. Matching SMD tactile switches, 7 segment displays and light guides for standalone indicators round off our range of standard items.

Matching accessories


The MENTOR range of keypad components also includes the keys to match the key caps. Thus, product developers can search a range of keys to find the perfect ones for their application and order them at the same time.

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Customer-specific key caps


On request, MENTOR can develop and implement customised solutions entirely according to your individual design specifications. Almost anything is possible: a range of sizes and heights, designs and key holders.

We look forward to receiving your ideas – contact us now!

To ensure that your key caps or light fields remain unmistakeable, we offer various printing methods for the optical design of the diffuser lens.

Keypad components

The illuminated key cap from MENTOR is designed for membrane keypads on a rigid circuit carrier (short stroke keypads). Individual key applications are also possible.

By using the illuminated key cap, the respective switching statuses can also be displayed visually.

Due to the 2-component design with diffuser lens and housing, homogeneous full illumination of the key can be achieved with just two LEDs.

They key cap is fitted on the key retrospectively. Thus, the colour of the LEDs as well as the tactile sensitivity of the keys can be individually adjusted by making corresponding settings. The key cap remains unchanged. (The keys and LEDs are not included in the scope of delivery.) By fitting different coloured LEDs or RGB-LEDs, different colours and thus also switching statuses can be signalled, entirely according to the requirements of the operating environment.

The light fields from MENTOR visualise switching statuses e.g. in keypads and control panels and are ideal, in particular, for installing input systems under operating membranes. They are the ideal addition to the illuminated key caps with which they can be combined easily to create individual operating solutions, e.g. as a signal or warning light, etc. The LEDs are fitted by the customer.

In addition to the classical key caps with homogeneous full face illumination, MENTOR also offers caps with additional spot lighting.

By means of this spot lighting, different switching statuses can be displayed in multicolour on just one key surface.

The key caps are available as standard versions with one or two spot lights. Switching statuses can be displayed visually in three different modes: Full illumination of the key surface, full illumination and spot lighting, or just spot lighting.

By fitting different colours LEDs or RGB LEDs, countless display options can be achieved. The multi-component design is the same as for key caps with only full lighting, other than the additional one or two transparent light output areas for targeted spot lighting. Likewise, the customer can determine how the SMD is fitted with LEDs and keys, so that maximum flexibility is offered. The key caps are available in the two familiar standard sizes (19 x 19 mm and 15 x 15 mm) and heights (9.7 mm and 12.5 mm), but of course are also available in special versions on request (other sizes, other key compatibilities).

Based on the principle of the familiar MENTOR key caps, the “pushbutton cap for individual inscription inserts“” consists of a standard 2-component housing, a modified diffuser cover plus an additional clip-on cover.

The perfect synthesis between the components ensures outstanding homogeneous lighting of the key cap surface using only two LEDs, although of course up to four LEDs can be used.

The housing and diffuser lens are supplied pre-assembled and the cover is supplied separately. The pushbuttoncaps and signal indicators are labelled individually via membrane inserts on which numbers, letters or symbols can be printed – entirely according to the customer’s requirements.
The printed membrane is inserted between the diffuser lens and the cover and is thus safely protected against abrasion and external influences. While classical MENTOR key caps are designed for use in membrane keypads, this variant without foil lamination is operated directly on the front panel. When fitting the SMD with keys and LEDs, Duo or RGB-LEDs can also be used, and the customer can put together a customised solution. A possible selection of corresponding LEDs and keys can be found on the following pages , and models from other manufacturers can also be combined. The key caps and corresponding signal indicators with custom foils are available in the standard size 15 x 15 mm as well as in the two heights 13.0 mm and 15.8 mm.
Special versions are available on request – contact us now.

As the optimal addition to our key caps, we also offer plungers for use with short stroke keys.

These are designed for keypad applications in which full face illumination is not desired. These low-cost applications can be freely combined with the key caps and signal indicators from the MENTOR keypad components range.

Two variants are available:
An illuminated plunger, which offers the possibility of up to four spot lights and a variant that was developed for pure key applications, without visual feedback.

The illuminated plungers were developed for use with CHIP LEDs. Thus, a large number of signal statuses can be displayed when using Duo or RGB LEDs. The plungers are available in the familiar sizes 15 x 15 mm and 19 x 19 mm and in both heights 12.5 mm and 9.7 mm and can be combined with the pushbuttons from series 1254.xxxx. All plungers have integrated twist protection to guarantee reliable fitting during the automatic assembly process.

The flat, illuminated key cap from MENTOR is designed for use in flat input systems with optional backlighting.

With minimal space requirements, it is possible to create robust, customized keypad designs.

The structure of the flat key cap is comparable to the familiar key cap variant for short stroke keypads.

The 2-component housing with opaque body and end diffuser lens also enables fully homogeneous lighting with four SMDMicro SIDELEDs even in the flat key cap design. The slightly convex geometry of the diffusor allows key labels to be inserted. For maximum design variety, the flat key cap variant is based on the modular design principle: the key caps are equipped with SMD-LEDs and keys or snap domes by the customer, so that the actuating force and LED colours can be individually combined. SMD-Duo and RGB-LEDs can also be used for even more colour design options. The flat pushbutton caps are available in dimensions 12 x 12 mm and 15 x 15 mm. On request, special variants with other external dimensions and colour mixtures are also possible.


Advantages at a glance:

  • Modular system enables maximum individuality
  • Homogeneous lighting with four SMD-Micro SIDELEDs
  • Free choice of actuating force
  • Freely selectable LED colours, as well as SMD-Duo and RGB LEDs


Fields of application of membrane keypads

Membrane keypads defy tough environments with high climatic or mechanical requirements. Above all due to their resistance to fluids and dust as well as their resistance to chemicals and UV radiation, they are used in fields of application with high demands with regard to surface resistance, such as in mechanical and plant engineering, medical technology or automation. With their very low height, membrane keypads are ideal for integration in customer-specific operating layouts. Another advantage over touchscreens, for example, is the functionality and user-friendliness through tactile confirmation by the keys, in particular also when wearing gloves.

The series 1254 SMD push-buttons can be combined with the entire MENTOR keycap range and merged to create individual control keypads.

The keycaps are simply attached to the keys and grouped together in any design on the PCB. The tactile switch has a body of 6.2 mm x 6.2 mm and a total height of 7.3 mm. The range includes keys with four different actuating forces so that the customer can select the tactile sensitivity entire according to his own requirements, based on the type of use. Depending on the variant of tactile switch, up to 1 million switching cycles can be achieved.


The tactile switches can be used in temperature ranges of between -25°C and +70°C.
For automatic fitting, the SMD tactile switches are available in rolls, each with 700 pieces.

The MENTOR range of keys can, of course, be soldered lead-free in accordance with the RoHS guidelines.
Other keys and switches can be found in our “FEL and standard elements” SMD catalogue.

7 segment displays are classical, low-cost display elements, which interact in combination with other different input and output elements, such as keypads.

Mechanical height differences between the individual components usually have to be compensated for. For assembly with SMD technology, either DIL sockets or elaborate sandwich boards are currently used to compensate for the height differences at the PCB edge.


The patented 7 segment display from MENTOR resolves this problem through infinitely variable heights of between 4.5 mm and max. 17 mm, which are produced individually according to the customer’s specifications, using tool change actions. These customised 7 segment displays can be adapted to any design specifications and are therefore unique in comparison with conventional solutions.

Advantages: a more efficient installation process with low costs and valuable time saving.

Unlike conventional 7 segment displays, MENTOR’s 7 segment displays are not supplied with integrated LEDs. This means you can choose your own colours for the display.

During the installation process, the PCB is first equipped with the selected SMD ChipLEDs in design 0603, and then the 7 segment display is fitted.

Low current LEDs can also be used for cases in which a lower current consumption is essential. The 7 segment display is produced using a 2-component method: the opaque housing is based on multi-chamber technology with a transparent light guide as the segment indicator. In order to display different number sequences, the individual displays can be lined up next to each other seamlessly. In the standard range, the 7 segment displays are available in three digit sizes 7.62 mm, 10.16 mm and 14.2 mm as well as in heights 9/7 mm and 12.5 mm. This means they can be ideally combined with the key caps and illuminated panels from the extensive MENTOR key caps range.

Advantages at a glance:

  • Innovative 7 segment display with infinitely variable heights
  • Height variability resolves the problem of sandwich boards
  • Free choice of LED colours, as well as the possibility of using Duo and RGB LEDs
  • Low current LEDs can be used
  • Faster and more cost-effective installation process than THT
  • In the event of an LED defect, the modular design allows for replacement of the individual component, conventional segment indicators have to be replaced in their entirety

Stand-alone LED indicators can be positioned on the PCB regardless of the key position and used as signal indicators. Arranged individually or in groups, the light guides can indicate different switching or activation states, for example, or can act as classical On/Off or Caps Lock indicators. MENTOR offers individual or multiple light guides, which are perfectly coordinated to the two standard heights (9.7 mm or 12.5 mm) of the MENTOR keypad components. In this way, the LED indicators can be conveniently combined with all key caps and light fields from the catalogue range to customised keypads.


The individual light guides with planar LED coupling area are available in two designs with a diameter of 3.2 mm (1282.x) and a diameter of 2 mm (1292.x). Thanks to the countersunk head, the light guides can be used flush with the front panel. Also available in colour, on request.


Quad indicator 1296.x
The four segment indicator with 2 mm diameter spherical emission surface area is designed for use with CHIP LEDs of size 0805 or smaller. The black cover protects against overexposure, so that even mixed colours are possible, and guarantees secure seating of the light guide by means of two push-fit pegs. You can find our complete light guide range in our extensive World of Light Guides.

MENTOR_Tastaturkomponenten_TK mit Vollausleuchtung_layout

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