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Switches Operate through Walls

Originally Published MPMN November 2002


Switches Operate through Walls

Units can be used in hazardous environments

Magnetoresistive technology enables switches to work on either side of a wall without the need to drill holes.

Switches, which can be either rotary or push-button, can be mounted horizontally or vertically on one side of a panel with the control electronics on the other side. Their mechanism allows the switches to work through plastics, marble, wood, glass, sheet stainless steel, and granite, explains Richard Chatham, managing director of Herga Electric (Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, UK).

Herga's Freemount Top switches make use of giant magnetoresistive technology and can accommodate various substrate thicknesses. Because their actuators are entirely passive, the switches are suitable for use in hazardous environments or in situations where EMC issues are a concern. "This system also avoids problems with sealing, as there are no holes that have to be made in the panel," says Chatham.

According to Chatham, the advantages of this switching technology include security (the button can be removed when not in use) and self-calibration, so a new switch does not have to be custom made for every application. He adds that other functions, such as timers, can also be incorporated into the switches.

Further advantages of the Freemount Top switches include easy installation using self-adhesive mounts, and resistance to most liquids and gases. The switches can also be custom labeled to carry the name or logo of the product being controlled.

Although the components are very new to the market, Chatham imagines they will find applications in the medical sector, perhaps in control panels. "But the best bit of this is not quite knowing where they're going to sell," he admits.

Although Herga is active as a supplier in several industrial sectors, the company does a good portion of its work in the medical field. "We're able to customize our products, and the medical world likes that," says Chatham.

Benjamin Lichtman

Herga Electric Ltd., Northern Way, Bury St., Edmunds, Suffolk UK IP32 6NN; phone: +44 1284 701422; fax: +44 1284 753112; [email protected];

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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