How Mechanical Keyboard Switches Are Made In Japan!

by birtanpublished on April 6, 2021

so it all started with an Instagram post I was in Kyoto I saw a big honor and sign behind me I was like you know what I would like to take a photo with this so you could hear the clicks from when we here I said and now I'm good people we're in Japan you probably know Omron by their wide product catalog they over have over 30,000 parts everything from automotive stuff we have some game consoles we have some printers we have some um run switches inside the washing machine and you probably know them you most likely have an Armour on switch inside your gaming mouse everything from

20 million clicks to 50 million clicks even the side clicks are made by Imran and of course we have one of my favorite keyboard switches of all the roamer gene so you guys probably know the Romer G from these large keyboard switches now what they're actually in the process of doing is miniaturizing that they're coming out with a B 3 K L and L is for low profile and what they've done is they've taken that roller G and done an evolution to it and that evolution just means optimizing the feel giving it a clicky feedback and making sure that it fits in really low profile devices like

Gaming notebooks low profile gaming keyboards and just regular typing keyboards and that's really what we're here for this is the original Romer G which is also known as a B 3 K and this is what is the B 3 K L you can actually see how small it is so how did they fit all of that technology into such a small space well we're about to find out we're here to check out how they are made how they're designed and finally how they're tested to failure to make sure that Imran gets the best product possible into your hands all right so let's begin with a quick overview of the b3 KL it's

A clicky switch meant for low profile keyboards and notebooks there is no LED built-in to minimize on the bulk of the body instead we have a lens that the center just like on the b3 k or the romaji for best possible illumination total key height is 6 millimeters total travel distance is 2.5 millimeters and the actuation point happens at one point six millimeters with the operating force of 55 grams right now it's only being used on the Auris 17 notebook but we'll also be coming to cool master keywords in the

Future I found a design section and conversation to be pretty fascinating because Emraan already had the b3k but miniaturizing all of those main components was not easy and the entire process from that initial design to production took about three years twice as long as it took to design the b3k a few reasons for this include miniaturizing all the components while maintaining quality was difficult and small components also made mass production challenging and expensive and extra effort was put into longevity of the switches which are rated at 15

Million clicks now a really cool fact is that you know why did they go with the clicky rather than tactile or linear and they learn from the ROM or G that creating linear first and then adding components inside the limited space of the switch for tactile or clicky becomes complicated and expensive so it's better to fabricate and perfect a more complicated one like the clicky type and then roll out tactile and linear switches later another challenge was keeping the centered mounted led positions from the Roma g4 even RGB lighting and here the issue is that low

Profile you know with the LED and the key cap are very close so it's hard to disperse lighting and LED isn't actually part of the switch instead it's mounted to the PCB and Emraan realized that the spring was actually causing a shadow so they use this concentric optical design on the button to this first life properly and it now looks really even stability of the switch was also important so the butterfly mechanism is therefore balanced and also keeps the centered mounted LED so there's nothing interfering with that section they also went through a lot of analysis focus

Groups and redesigns to make sure the switch feels good so there's the slider that makes contact with a specially shaped gold contact and this allows the trigger and click to happen at exactly the same time unlike on other blue switches so here's the breakdown of the switch itself not that many components and kind of crazy to think that three years went into designing this but yeah that's the background of the b3 KL but now let's get into some of the behind-the-scenes stuff starting with quality testing the gamer storm castle 240 X gives you a peace of mind with

Anta leak tech inside by reducing pressure buildup as temperatures fluctuate Plus this one the best looking pump designs with the removable mirror cover and swappable logo pieces with full addressable RGB support for that extra bling check it out the low all right so now that you guys seen what goes into the design of this b3k L switch let's talk about what's happening behind me with all those clicks and clacks so this is a durability machine you're gonna run this for 15 days 1 million clicks per day that is a lengthy procedure they have a total of 11 of

These machines that run before mass production to verify the durability of something like the b3 Cal switch to make sure that it meets the requirement of 50 million clicks lifespan to be a minimum they stop this machine every day after a million clicks to make sure all the switch our switches are running fine if there is a error discovered they take it out they make sure that the three Skanda thing and to see exactly what went wrong and they restart the procedure again from zero and yeah making sure the durability of the b3 KL is on point for 15 million clicks so guys we're talking

About durability and next to me here are environmental testing chamber so they test the extremes of the switches the three bkl is actually certified for operation minus 40 to plus 70 degrees Celsius and now each of these testing chambers will test those switches for 96 hours in the extreme heat the extreme cold and the extreme humidity so that allows them to certify them for a wide range of operating conditions if one of those switches breaks it's typically brought here and now this is a scanning electron microscope and what it does is it goes into really fine grain detail to

See exactly what broke so let's check this out so right now this is one of the contacts that is sheared off and they can actually go directly in and go submillimetre and see if there's a stress fracture in any of the materials or if it was actually an issue with another part of the material which broke off so here you can actually see that part of it sheared off and what they're going to do now is they're going to further analyze this to see if they can modify their development process to improve as time goes on so guys they all have a x-ray machine and now what this

Does is it analyzes the switch either pre production or post-production if something breaks inside so they can see the internal components without having to take the switch apart so we are heading to the production line right now but a quick note about the my switches the 20 million clicks the 50 million clicks switches they are actually manufactured in China by the entire production facility in line is made here in Japan so all the Quality Assurance is done here so Omron gets their quality and if you see a made in China sticker on an on run switch for your you know

For your mouse you know why alright so the production tour was fascinating but we can't show you the switch assembly in detail to protect their know-how and prevent competitors copying the process but they do pump out 2,000 units per hour they run for 24 hours a day for 20 days so about a million switches total was produced in this initial production running it is quite impressive to see what Quality Assurance elements they have built into the line like these tolerance checkers that spit out any out of Tolerance switches and also the monitor pressure in the Machine once the

Switch is a samoto this last step measures electrical conductivity to make sure contact is being made and it checks for the actuation points and other electrical characteristics now at any point if there's an issue and the switch is rejected it is not actually thrown out all a check to see what the problem was and then adjustments are made so about 3.5 to 5 percent are rejected through the process and at the end here we have this module that sorts the type of air that they can log and the flarg quantities are rejected based on one particular air they will analyze it in

More detail and adjust the production line accordingly once they are packaged in the bag of 100 there are random inspections per badge percentage from every law of is checked and validated before everything is shipped to the consumer and finally here's a sound sample from the Auris 17 gaming notebook so guys this has been an incredible journey coming to Japan seeing what Imran is all about and seeing the whole development and talking to the engineers of what made the B 3kl possible and that d3 kale I can't wait to see it in more products the entire production line is

Just so interesting to witness how it's made and what comes out of it in the end what goes in the beginning all the little parts and I hope you guys enjoyed this journey with us as well stay tuned for more content check out some other relevant videos down there and somewhere around the screen and we see you and we'll see you the next one yes bye bye there's a cameraman right now yeah that's Justin and there's there's his posse yeah we got the rest of the crew glad the rest of the crew

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