If you’re new to the world of industrial automation — or better yet, limit switches — then you might be wondering what exactly they are, how they’re used and why they contribute to business productivity. To answer these questions and more, this blog is designed to help provide an introduction to limit switches.
What Is A Limit Switch & How do Limit Switches Work?
Limit switches, also known as limit controls or actuators, are mechanical devices used in a variety of automated processes. Limit controls are usually used to detect the endpoints of a machine’s travel and stop the machine. They are also used in applications where there is a risk of damage to the equipment if it goes beyond its normal range.
Limit switches can be mechanical, electronic or magnetic. Mechanical actuators are the most common type of limit switch. They work by detecting when a lever is either pressed or released. Electronic actuators use an electronic sensor to detect when a magnet is near or away from the sensor’s face. Magnetic limit controls use an electromagnet to detect when another magnet is near or away, with no physical contact needed between them!
Limit switches can be single-action (one-way) or double-action (two-way).
- Single-action limit actuators operate when the movement of an object reaches one direction only, while double-action actuators operate in both directions (i.e., push and pull).
- Double-action limit controls are less common than their single-action counterparts because they require more mechanical parts, increasing cost and decreasing reliability!
6 Ways Limit Switches Can Help Your Business Be More Productive
Limit switches are devices that are used in manufacturing industries to control the precise movement of machines. All the machines have limit controls installed in them. These actuators help to stop the machine when it reaches its maximum position or minimum position. Limit controls are an important part of any machine, and they play a vital role in increasing the productivity of businesses. Here are some benefits of using limit switches:
- Preventing Accidents
Limit switches are designed to stop machines from operating if they move beyond certain parameters. This prevents accidents from occurring due to improper operation of machinery. For example, if a worker accidentally leans too far over a conveyor belt carrying hazardous materials, the movement of the belt will trigger a limit switch and shut down operations until it’s safe for workers to return to their stations.
- Reduced Down Time
Limit switches can help reduce downtime in a business setting. When an employee is running late or has left early, there is no one to monitor whether or not machines are functioning properly. The use of actuators can help prevent machines from breaking down during these times, which will, in turn, reduce the amount of time it takes to repair them once they do break down.
- Increases Safety Standards
Limit controls increase safety standards because they stop machines automatically when they reach their maximum or minimum positions and prevent accidents from happening while working with dangerous tools and equipment like saws, hammers etc., which can cause serious injuries if handled improperly by untrained people or by people who do not know how to use them properly.
- Quality Control
Limit switches can also be used for quality control purposes by monitoring different parameters such as temperature, pressure or speed of a machine etc. If any parameter crosses its set limit value, then an alarm is triggered, thereby alerting you about any possible malfunctioning or damage done to your machinery, thus saving both time and money.
- Increased Productivity
The use of limit controls also helps increase productivity by reducing errors made by employees who do not have proper training or schooling on how to operate machines safely and efficiently. This makes it easier for employees to manage their workloads, which in turn, allows them to work more efficiently. This also ensures that employers will receive high-quality products from their employees at all times, helping them maintain good customer satisfaction ratings.
- Reduce Maintenance Costs
The cost of maintenance is reduced significantly as machines can be run for longer periods without any breakdown because actuators act as safety devices that prevent accidents by stopping any dangerous movement of a machine part quickly in case of emergency or even before it happens.
Limit switches are inexpensive and easy to use, highly reliable, and provide clear indications of machine status. Limit controls are an excellent low-cost alternative to expensive encoders that can run into thousands of dollars.