Micro Switches and Things to Consider While Using Them

Do you know what is common among vending machines, printers, refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens and photocopying machines? It’s a technology called micro switch. This technology is not confined to these machines and you will find many of them in almost every household or office premises. Let’s find out more.

Some people refer to this technology as Snap-Action switch or basic action switch as well. By having a closer look at this term and characteristics of this technology, it can be stated that this technology has been named so because of its miniature structure which is activated with very minimal force.

Let’s now get into further details and functionalities of this technology. It is an automated development which doesn’t always require human interaction and is normally complimented by movement of equipment on which it is installed. One thing which distinguishes it from other switches is its effectuation at pre-defined positions. Micro switches are available in the market with a wide range of sizes these days but in order to keep things simple, we can categorize it according to its size into three categories:

Miniature (having an approx. width of 28mm)
Subminiature (having an approx. width of 20mm)
Ultra subminiature (having an approx. width of 13mm)
These sizes are then combined with relevant terminals and actuators. Therefore, it is essential to opt for the right terminals and actuators. In terminals, we have cables, pins and other connects while in actuators, we have plungers, levers and rollers.
While handling these switches, it is important to take few considerations into account for a safe and reliable experience. Let’s first talk about the type and size of load. Load is an important factor while dealing with switches because all loads have different capacities of drawing the current when initially turned-on like inrush current of a motor will always be higher than that of a relay.

Having said that, it is also important that high current micro switches are not used to switch medium-small loads and that is why experts always recommend to use gold-plated connections when installing them. Ingress Protection ratings (IP ratings) are international standards defining the levels of effectiveness by which mechanical casing is protected.

For these switches, IP rating up to IP67 is advisable which will keep them durable even in damp or grimy conditions. Another key consideration is the usage of circuits that have the ability of contact protection. These circuits are especially designed to neutralize the surge of load and current. Next important point is the shape of the switch. If the shape is round, it will be helpful in preventing the shocks to actuator. And there is a last advice which suggests that the bolts of the switch must not be too tight or in other words, the screws must not affect the body of switch through its stiffness.

Micro switch is indeed a technology from which you can’t take our eyes off as it plays a significant role in handling numerous appliances around us. I hope these recommendations will help our readers in opting for the right set of switches and compliments associated with this technology.

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