Product Information

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July 29, 2014

[Product Information]

Realizing Both Quiet Operation and Excellent Operating Feel

Alps Electric Develops and Commences Mass Production of “SKST Series” Quiet Middle-Stroke TACT Switch™

Alps Electric Develops and Commences Mass Production of “SKST Series” Quiet Middle-Stroke TACT Switch(TM) Use Enlarged Photo


TOKYO- July 29, 2014 -Alps Electric has developed the “SKST Series” TACT Switch™ (Quiet Middle-Stroke Type) for automotive use, ideal for controls inside vehicle cabins. Mass production is already underway.

Automobiles contain all kinds of switches that contribute to vehicle comfort and safety. Typical examples are controls for HVAC and audio systems located in the center console and controls for side mirrors and hands-free calls located in the steering wheel.

Besides compatibility with the tough conditions of the vehicle cabin environment, for example in terms of temperature and vibrations, these switches need to produce a premium operating sound and feel consistent with the image each automaker is trying to convey. In electric vehicles, where there is no engine noise, there is also a need to preserve the quietness of the cabin. Quiet operation and excellent operating feel are therefore important factors in the development of comfortable cabin environments.

Responding to these market needs, Alps Electric has now developed and commenced mass production of the SKST Series TACT Switch™ (Quiet Middle-Stroke Type) realizing both quiet operation and an excellent operating feel. As a TACT Switch™ with a 4N operating force and a long operating life of 500,000 cycles, the SKST Series achieves both quietness and excellent feel, enabling comfortable environments for operation of in-vehicle systems.

Alps Electric created the switch’s excellent operating feel by applying mechanical engineering technology which the company has built up over the years, optimizing the shape and material of metal contacts using proprietary know-how and innovating with the internal structure to achieve a 0.9mm middle stroke. The newly developed metal contacts are used in combination with a rubber stem, enabling additional enhancements in quiet operation.

Furthermore, extending the pre-stroke1 compared to earlier products improves flexibility in vertical attachment of switch knobs, facilitating integration into customers’ products.

1.Pre-stroke: The stroke distance from the point of switch operation to contact with the metal contacts

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TACT Switch™ achieving both quiet operation and excellent operating feel

  1. Both quiet operation and excellent feel achieved through development of original metal contacts
  2. 0.9mm middle stroke produces an excellent operating feel
  3. Pre-stroke structure facilitates integration by the customer

Principal Applications

Control switches for automotive applications, including steering wheels and audio systems

Industrial equipment, metrology equipment, etc.

Status of Operations

Mass production From July 2014
Sample price ¥200 (incl. tax)
Monthly output 3 million units (April 2015)
Development Furukawa Plant, Engineering Headquarters
(Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture)
Production Kakuda Plant, Production Headquarters
(Kakuda, Miyagi Prefecture)



Model SKST Series
Dimensions (W x D x H) 8.50mm x 8.50mm x 3.95mm
Operating force 4 N
Travel 0.9 mm
Operating life 500,000 cycles
Rating (max.) 16V DC 50mA
Initial contact resistance 100 mΩ max.

About Alps Electric Co., Ltd.

 Alps Electric (Tokyo: 6770) is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality electronic components for mobile devices, home electronics, vehicles and industrial equipment. With the philosophy of “Perfecting the Art of Electronics” Alps Electric supplies over 40,000 different components to about 2,000 companies all over the world. For more information, visit