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Title:
CONTROL DEVICE, IN PARTICULAR FOR A DOMESTIC APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/177726
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a control device (10), in particular for a domestic appliance. The control device comprises at least one front panel (10) and at least one printed circuit board (22) arranged behind and parallel to said front panel (10). The printed circuit board (22) includes at least one cutout (12). The control device comprises at least one transparent or opal sheet (34) arranged in front of the printed circuit board (22). A conductive layer (50; 52, 54) is applied at the rear side or at the front side of the sheet (34) and arranged in front of the cut-out (12) of the printed circuit board (22), wherein said conductive layer (50; 52, 54) forms an electrode for a touch sensitive switch.

Inventors:
BUMANN, Veronika (Bodelschwinghstr. 1, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, 91541, DE)
HAUCK, Alexander (Bodelschwinghstr. 1, Rothenburg/Tauber, 91541, DE)
Application Number:
EP2018/056016
Publication Date:
October 04, 2018
Filing Date:
March 12, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTROLUX APPLIANCES AKTIEBOLAG (S:t Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, 105 45, SE)
International Classes:
H03K17/96
Foreign References:
EP1542363A12005-06-15
EP2690786A12014-01-29
EP1816747A22007-08-08
US20090090605A12009-04-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ELECTROLUX GROUP PATENTS (S:t Göransgatan 143, Stockholm, 105 45, SE)
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Claims:
A control device, in particular for a domestic appliance, wherein :

- the control device comprises at least one front panel (10) ,

- the control device comprises at least one printed circuit board (22) arranged behind and parallel to the front panel (10),

- the printed circuit board (22) includes at least one cut-out (12), and

- the control device comprises at least one transparent or opal sheet (34) arranged in front of the printed circuit board (22),

characterised in that

a conductive layer (50; 52, 54) is applied at the rear side or at the front side of the sheet (34) and arranged in front of the cut-out (12) of the printed circuit board (22), wherein said conductive layer (50; 52, 54) forms an electrode for a touch sensitive switch.

The control device according to claim 1,

characterised in that

the sheet (34) is a transparent or opal foil (34) .

The control device according to claim 1 or 2,

characterised in that

a further conductive layer (50; 52, 54) is applied at the front side or at the rear side, respectively, of the transparent or opal sheet (34) and arranged in front of the cutout (12), wherein said further conductive layer (50; 52, 54) forms a further electrode of the touch sensitive switch. The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the conductive layer (50; 52, 54) is applied at the sheet (34) according to a predefined pattern, wherein preferably the conductive layers (50; 52, 54) at the rear side and front side of the sheet (34) have different patterns.

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

at least one electronic and/or electric circuit is arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board (22) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the conductive layer (50; 52, 54) is or the conductive layers (50; 52, 54) are, respectively, electrically connected to the electronic and/or electric circuit at the printed circuit board (22) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the sheet (34) is aligned at the front side of the printed circuit board (22) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the rear side of the sheet (34) is connected to the front side of the printed circuit board (22) by at least one adhe sive tape ( 36 ) .

9. The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the printed circuit board (22) with the sheet (34) is pressed at the rear side of the front panel (10) by mechani cal fastening elements .

The control device according any one of the claims 1 to 8,

characterised in that

the front side of the sheet is connected to the rear side of the front panel (10) at least one further adhe- sive tape ( 38 ) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

at least one light source element (24) is arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board (22), wherein at least one reflector element (26) is arranged behind the cut out (12) and said light source element (24) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the sheet (34) is made of a dielectric material, wherein preferably the sheet (34) is made of polyethylene tereph- thalate (PET), polycarbonate (PC) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that the sheet (34) has a thickness between 0.1 mm and 2 mm, preferably between 0.1 mm and 1 mm, in particular between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm .

The control device according to any one of the preceding claims ,

characterised in that

the conductive layer (52) forms an outer electrode, while the further conductive layer (54) forms an inner electrode

The control device according to claim 14,

characterised in that

the conductive layer (52) encloses a non-conductive area having a predetermined shape, wherein the shape of the fur ther conductive layer (54) is congruent with said predeter mine shape .

Description:
Description

Control device, in particular for a domestic appliance The present invention relates to a control device according to the preamble of claim 1. In particular, the present invention relates to a control device for a domestic appliance according to the preamble of claim 1. A control device, in particular for a domestic appliance, includes often touch switches. For example, said touch switches may be of a capacitive type, an inductive type, an optical type or an infrared type. The touch switches do not reguire any mechanical elements.

US 2009/0090605 Al discloses a control device for an electrical appliance. The control device includes a front panel and a printed circuit board arranged behind and parallel to said front panel. The printed circuit board includes a cut-out. Said cut- out is covered by a polymeric film acting as light filter. An annular track is attached at the rear side of the printed circuit board and acts as a touch electrode for a touch switch. However, said touch switch is relative complex. It is an object of the present invention to provide a control device, which provides a touch switch by low complexity.

The object of the present invention is achieved by the control device according to claim 1.

According to the present invention a conductive layer is applied at the rear side or at the front side of the sheet and arranged in front of the cut-out of the printed circuit board, wherein said conductive layer forms an electrode for a touch sensitive switch .

The conductive layer applied at the sheet provides the electrode for the touch sensitive switch by low complexity. The electrode is arranged in a central position of the touch sensitive switch.

Preferably, the sheet is a transparent or opal foil. In particular, a further conductive layer is applied at the front side or at the rear side, respectively, of the transparent or opal sheet and arranged in front of the cut-out, wherein said further conductive layer forms a further electrode of the touch sensitive switch.

Further, the conductive layer may be applied at the sheet ac ¬ cording to a predefined pattern, wherein preferably the conduc ¬ tive layers at the rear side and front side of the sheet have different patterns .

Moreover, at least one electronic and/or electric circuit may be arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board.

Preferably, the conductive layer is or the conductive layers are, respectively, electrically connected to the electronic and/or electric circuit at the printed circuit board.

In particular, the sheet is aligned at the front side of the printed circuit board.

Further, the rear side of the sheet may be connected to the front side of the printed circuit board by at least one adhesive tape . For example, the printed circuit board with the sheet is pressed at the rear side of the front panel by mechanical fastening ele ¬ ments . Alternatively or additionally, the front side of the sheet may be connected to the rear side of the front panel by at least one further adhesive tape.

In particular, at least one light source element is arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board, wherein at least one reflector element is arranged behind the cut-out and said light source element.

The sheet may be made of a dielectric material, wherein prefera- bly the sheet is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), poly ¬ carbonate (PC) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) .

Further, the sheet may have a thickness between 0.1 mm and 2 mm, preferably between 0.1 mm and 1 mm, in particular between 0.1 mm and 0.5 mm .

For example, the conductive layer forms an outer electrode, while the further conductive layer forms an inner electrode. At last, the conductive layer may enclose a non-conductive area having a predetermined shape, wherein the shape of the further conductive layer is congruent with said predetermine shape.

Novel and inventive features of the present invention are set forth in the appended claims .

The present invention will be described in further detail with reference to the drawing, in which FIG 1 illustrates a schematic sectional side view of a control device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention,

FIG 2 illustrates a schematic front view of a sheet with conductive layers for the control device according to a first embodiment of the present invention,

FIG 3 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet with the conductive layers for the control device according to a second embodiment of the present invention,

FIG 4 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet with the conductive layers for the control device according to a third embodiment of the present invention, and

FIG 5 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet with the conductive layers for the control device according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention.

FIG 1 illustrates a schematic sectional side view of a control device for an appliance according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. In this example, the control device is provided for a domestic appliance.

The control device comprises a front panel 10, a printed circuit board 22 and a transparent or opal sheet 34. In this example, the front panel 10, the printed circuit board 22 and the sheet 34 are arranged vertically. A front side of the control device is represented on the right hand side of FIG 1, while a rear side of said control device is represented on the left hand side of FIG 1. The printed circuit board 22 is arranged behind the front panel 10. The printed circuit board extends parallel to the front panel 10. The sheet 34 is arranged in front of the printed circuit board 22.

The printed circuit board 22 includes a cut-out 12. A printed icon 39 and a printed non-switchable area 40 are applied at a rear side of the front panel 10. The printed icon 39 is arranged in front of the cut-out 12 formed in the printed circuit board 22, while the printed non-switchable area 40 encloses said printed icon 39. The printed icon 39 and the printed non-switch- able area 40 are arranged within one plane. In general, the control device may comprise one or more printed icons 39 at the rear side of the front panel 10 and one or more cut-outs 12 formed in the printed circuit board 22, wherein the printed icons 39 are arranged in front of corresponding cut-outs 22.

A conductive layer 50 is applied at the rear side and at the front side of the sheet 34 in each case. Said conductive layers are 50 is arranged in front of the cut-out 12 of the printed circuit board 22. Said conductive layers 50 form two electrodes for a touch sensitive switch. In general, one or more conductive layers 50 are applied at the rear side and/or at the front side of the sheet 34. The conductive layers 50 are electrically connected to the rear side of the printed circuit board 22 via two lines 60. Preferably, the sheet 34 with the conductive layers 50 is aligned at the front side of the printed circuit board 22. In this example, the rear side of the sheet 34 is connected to the front side of the printed circuit board 22 by an adhesive tape 36. The sheet 34 is made of a dielectric material. For example, the sheet 34 is made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), poly- carbonate (PC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or the like. Preferably, the sheet 34 has a thickness between 0.1 mm and 1 mm.

Optionally, the printed circuit board 22 with the sheet 34 is pressed at the rear side of the front panel 10 by mechanical fastening elements. Alternatively or additionally, the front side of the sheet 34 is connected to the rear side of the front panel 10 by at least one further adhesive tape 38. Further, the control element comprises a number of light source elements 24 and a reflector element 26. Preferably, the light source elements 24 are light emitting diodes (LED) . The light source elements 24 are arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board 22. Preferably, the light source elements 24 are arranged beside the cut-out 12 of the printed circuit board 22. The reflector element 26 is arranged at the rear side of the printed circuit board 22 and covers the light source elements 24 and the cut-out 12 of the printed circuit board 22. Light gener ¬ ated by the light source elements 24 is reflected by the reflec- tor element 26 and passes the cut-out 12, the adhesive tape 36, the sheet 34, the further adhesive tape 38, the printed icon 39 and the front panel 10.

FIG 2 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet 34 with conductive layers 52 and 54 for the control device according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

A first conductive layer 52 forms an outer electrode, while a second conductive layer 54 forms an inner electrode. The first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 may be arranged at opposite sides of the sheet 34. Alternatively, the first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 may be arranged at the same side of the sheet 34. The first conductive layer 52 includes a rectangular path and two tongues. Said tongues extend into the inner area enclosed by said rectangular path. An E-shaped non-conductive area remains inside the first conductive layer 52. The second conductive layer 52 is arranged within said E-shaped non-conductive area. The second conductive layer 52 is congruent with the E-shaped non-conductive area. The distance between the first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 is minimised. FIG 3 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet 34 with the conductive layers 52 and 54 for the control device according to a second embodiment of the present invention. The first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 may be arranged either at opposite sides of the sheet 34 or at the same side of the sheet 34.

The first conductive layer 52 includes a rectangular path and two tongues. Said tongues extend into the inner area enclosed by said rectangular path, wherein an H-shaped non-conductive area remains inside the first conductive layer 52. The second conductive layer 52 is arranged within the H-shaped non-conductive area and is congruent with said H-shaped non-conductive area. The distance between the first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 is minimised.

FIG 4 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet 34 with the conductive layers 52 and 54 for the control device according to a third embodiment of the present invention. The first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 may be ar- ranged either at opposite sides of the sheet 34 or at the same side of the sheet 34.

The first conductive layer 52 is formed as a rectangular path. The second conductive layer 52 is also formed as a rectangular path and enclosed by the first conductive layer 52.

FIG 5 illustrates a schematic front view of the sheet 34 with the conductive layers 52 and 54 for the control device according to a fourth embodiment of the present invention. The first conductive layer 52 and the second conductive layer 54 may be arranged either at opposite sides of the sheet 34 or at the same side of the sheet 34.

The first conductive layer 52 is formed as a U-shaped or horseshoe-shaped path. The second conductive layer 52 is also formed as a horseshoe-shaped path and enclosed by the first conductive layer 52.

Although an illustrative embodiment of the present invention has been described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to that precise embodiment, and that various other changes and modifications may be affected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. All such changes and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims .

List of reference numerals

10 front panel

12 cut-out

22 printed circuit board

24 light source element

26 reflector element

34 transparent or opal sheet

36 adhesive layer

38 further adhesive layer

39 printed icon

40 printed non-switchable area

50 conductive layer

52 first conductive layer

54 second conductive layer

60 line