Keyboard reliability from Access IS
Access has manufactured custom keyboards for over twenty years and has built a reputation of delivering high reliability keyboards into many industries world wide.
AKB, AKC and ATB keyboards manufactured by Access share the same base design, which has been improved and refined as new technologies are developed and in response to reliability data gathered from deployed keyboards.
The base design which incorporates a robust keyboard housing, a steel-subframe, high-reliability mechanical keyswitches and two-shot molded keys ensure keyboard life that typically out-lives the system in which it is used.
Reliability in the field
One of the most demanding environments for Access keyboards is in airports around the world. In a sample of 23,900 keyboards shipped, only 204 were returned in the warranty period, a returns rate of only 0.9%. When considering all returns, including keyboards subject to misuse / accidental damage and beyond the keyboard's warranty period, the number of keyboards returned was a mere 552 units.
Service and repair
The Access design is modular and designed to be easily serviced and repaired, significantly reducing the cost of using an Access keyboard through the life of a system. In addition, Access has developed a network of service and support centres around the world, reducing the time and cost of ongoing keyboard maintenance and repair. Please visit our service and support page for more information.
All AKB, AKC and ATB keyboards have a number of things in common, each contributing to the keyboard's reliability. A number of the keyboard features are shown as follows.
The 1.5mm steel subframe provides a rigidity unusual in computer keyboards, and is the means by which each mechanical key is mounted, and protected from the mechanical shock caused by other keys being operated. The keyswitches are industry leading gold cross-point contact mechanical devices designed for a minimum of 50 million operations. Keycaps are two-shot molded, which means the legend passes through the key, making the legend impossible to wear off. Finally, all keyboard electronics are mounted on a high-quality rigid printed circuit board.
Quality thorough keyboard design
Access has a long record of investing in research and development and has invested in modern development tools. All the design disciplines including 3D mechanical design, PCB layout, EMC testing, embedded software development, software device driver and test utilities are performed in-house.
Access has an engineering workshop equipped with a computer controlled machining centre which allows concepts to be prototyped quickly. Access' embedded software has become exceptionally flexible to allow new designs to be released quickly. All software is written in C which allows the code to be adapted for different microprocessors without a substantial rewrite. Software development is therefore cumulative and Access has many man years of intellectual property and expertise.
Quality through manufacturing
Access is an ISO9001:2008 manufacturer. Our processes, systems and personnel are all geared towards providing customer satisfaction through the reliability we offer in the service we provide and products we deliver. The company is committed to a process of continuous improvement.
During manufacturing keyboards pass through quality inspection gates at every stage of manufacture. Automated test is extensively used. AOI (automated optical inspection) is used for all surface-mounted boards, with every component identity verified through character-recognition, and boards fully checked for unwanted short circuits. An Access developed 'magic eye' system checks key legends to ensure the correct placement of every key on every keyboard manufactured by Access.
In-house developed PC-based test stations check the functionality of every key and key-stroke combination. In addition to checking the basic operation of the keys, these tests check that any custom-specific programming downloaded to the keyboard functions as intended.
Finally, every keyboard is visually inspected prior to packing, to make sure the keyboard you order is delivered to you to the standard you would expect of Access IS.