Controlling the power is everything. And in industrial environments, it is essential to have human-machine interfaces you can count on. Whenever you start or stop a process, the response must be assured. A selector switch is the integral member of an electrical panel. It can be used in any application and they are produced in many different types.
Before moving on to its types, let’s define this device.
A selector switch is a mechanical switch that can be turned right, center or left to open or to close the electrical contacts. It is mostly used to start/stop devices or to switch between two/three electric circuits. It is a link between man and machine.
Selector switch provides flexible control options in a minimal amount of space. It performs multiple functions and only inhabits the space of a typical pushbutton.
It should be ordered in parts (operator + holder + contact block + Led block) and installed in an enclosure.
Selector switches are used to select one of several circuit possibilities such as manual or automatic operation, low or high speed, up or down, right or left, and stop or run.
The switch function can be maintained or momentary. In a maintained the actuator stays in thrown position (on-off). In a momentary, the switch must be held in position; it reverts to the normal position when an actuating force is removed.
A selector switch consists of below parts:
Contact block: The part of a selector switch that encapsulates the contact.
Holder: Contact blocks are held to the back of a device with a contact block holder.
Operator: The part of the device that is touched to operate, i.e., the selector switch knob
Lamp block: The part of a pilot device that holds and activates the light bulb when it receives the appropriate signal
Types of selector switches
The selector switches come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and materials. It can be either plastic or metal. And the mounting diameter could vary from 16 mm to 30mm.
Followings are the actuator types of selector switches:
Short handle selector switch
The short handle selector switch has a short handle. It is the typical type. It is also the cheapest.
Long handle selector switch
The long handle selector switch has an extended handle for easy access. It can be actuated easily. It is more expensive than a short handle selector switch.
Key operated selector switch
The key-operated selector switch is used for safety-related issues. The key can be removed in various positions and when it is removed no other action can be done.
Illuminated selector switch
The illuminated selector switch has a lamp element for illumination. It saves space and cost, combining two functions into one operator.
Non-illuminated selector switch
The non-illuminated selector switch does not have a lamp element. Its operator is stronger than an illuminated switch.
2 position selector switch
2 position selector switch switches between two electric circuits. For example. 1-0 or 1-2. It can be maintained or momentary.
3 position selector switch
3 position selector switch switches between three electric circuits. For example. 1-0-2 or 1-2. A three-position selector switch can be used to select either of two sets of contacts or to disconnect both sets of contacts. It can be maintained or momentary.
Applications of selector switches
Some of many industries with selector switch needs:
- Material handling – packaging, moving, warehousing, distribution
- Genset and UPS
- Oil & gas mining/extracting, refining, processing
- Food & beverage
- Manufacturing – automotive/heavy equipment, machining, marine, glass & plastics
- Metals – mining, refining, processing, forming