Global membrane switch market size is expected to witness commendable growth over 2021-2027, given its extensive usage in commercial and industrial applications due to compact profile, reliability, low costs, and resistance to harmful elements. In addition, the rising awareness about the benefits of membrane keypads over mechanical keypads, including easy maintenance and better protection against hostile conditions, will drive the membrane switch material demand. Membrane switches refer to a type of human-machine interface and electrical controls constructed from layers of flexible materials like plastic films. The compact and efficient construction of this slim-profile plastic keypad makes it suitable for an array of applications such as lighting, industrial controls, and medical.
Rapid increase in sales of consumer electronics, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the key factors propelling the membrane switch market trends over 2021-2027. With the pandemic sparking higher demand for tablets, computers, and other consumer goods, the membrane switch technology will gain widespread prominence, on account of its usage in electrical devices to control the circuit. Furthermore, the rising consumer spending on agriculture in developing countries is also likely to boost the deployment of custom membrane switches, including UV- or water-resistant switches, suitable as per the operating environment.
Based on application, the industrial segment will account for a considerable share in the membrane switch industry by 2027. This is considering the usage of the membrane switch technology in control panels and other systems across the burgeoning industries like aerospace. Growth from this segment can also be credited to the mounting sales of home appliances, alongside the growing investment in the railway industry. Given the use of resistance and capacitive touch membrane switches in railway transport and other industrial controls, the favorable business landscape of these sectors could assert a positive influence on the market share over the coming years.
Regionally, the Europe membrane switch market will depict a high growth rate through 2027, driven by the strong focus on the expansion of the value chain of electronics and embedded systems in the region. In 2020, European nations, including Germany, France, and Italy, inked a commitment to invest around $145 billion in the local production and design of semiconductors and processors. This factor, coupled with the significant recovery of the regional manufacturing sector from the pandemic, could augment the need for membrane switches to serve as a human-machine interface in industrial electronics.
Some of the key membrane switch industry players include Sunwoda, Guangzhou KD Touch Electronics, Lustre-Cal Corporation, GOT Interface, Henkel, ElecFlex, You-Eal Corp., KEE Group, Bolin, Epec Engineered Technologies, Douglas Corporation, Molex (Koch Industries), and XYMOX, among others. These companies are focusing on strategies such as business expansions, new product launches, and partnerships to boost their footprint across the global market.
The implementation of lockdown and other strict measures during the novel coronavirus pandemic have posed a dramatic impact on both the supply- and demand-side of the manufacturing industry. The economic downturn and the overall production slowdown have led to employment loss across various countries. Such disruption in the production network was further compounded by reduced disposable income and other issues. These aforesaid challenges across the industrial sectors may have hindered the steady growth of the membrane switch industry over the past months. However, the rising focus on driving the production of consumer goods to address pent-up demand may aid industry recovery in the near future.
For example, home appliances major Usha International announced plans to reach 40% retail sales growth in FY2021. This, along with the increasing smartphone consumption could boost the requirement of membrane switches for use in touch screen phones, as well as in panels used for controlling home appliances.