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How to Select the Correct Safety Switch

Posted by Chris on January 5, 2017.

Choosing the right safety switch for your guard, gate or machinery is vitally important. Without sounding too dramatic, it could be a matter of life or death! As a distributor of Mechan Controls safety products we are able offer a large selection of safety switches but choosing the correct one isn't always easy.

The Mechan Magnasafe range shown below is an exceptional offering of non contact safety switches that is available in a large variety of options. The options include different materials, contact configurations, cable input types and physical sizes.

Mechan Magnasafe

Safety Categories

Some machines are more dangerous than others and need to be protected by safety equipment with a safety categorization of Category 2, 3 or 4. Category 2 or 3 is based upon whether the machinery has the potential of inflicting non-life threatening injuries such as a cut or bruise.

Category 4 is for more dangerous machinery that has the potential to inflict more serious life threatening injuries, decapitation or loss of limbs. It is important to know which category your machinery falls under.

Materials

We offer safety switches in ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or stainless steel grade 316 versions, both are sealed to IP67 making them fully resistant to dust and water. If you’re looking for a non-contact safety switch for the food industry then we’d recommend the stainless steel version.

The advantages of using a stainless steel safety switch over ABS are:

  • More durable – will withstand impact in the harshest of environments
  • Less prone to overheat – The stainless steel body acts like a heat-sink
  • Stronger fixing holes – ABS version can be over-tightened and damaged on install
  • More hygienic for the foods industry

The downside of stainless steel versions is the cost; they cost almost twice as much as ABS. All Mechan non-contact safety switches are built to last, the robust design makes them ideal for harsh environments.

Cable Input Lengths

We have various cable input lengths to choose from which range from 3 to 10 metres. Or we have QD connector versions which have a socket for use with separate plug in cables. Or finally we have the LQD version which is a leaded connector device version. LQD connectors are generally used on the smaller safety switches and have a input cable which is around 150mm and a plug-in connector attached to it.

Contact Configurations

We offer various contact configurations for each type of safety switch ranging from a 1 normally open contact to 2 normally open and 1 normally closed.

Voltage & Current Ratings

The voltage range that we offer on our website is predominantly 24V DC which is the most popular choice for machine safety in the UK. If you need another voltage such as 110V AC or 230V AC we can offer this in many of the Magnasafe versions.

The current ratings vary from 0.2 amps to 3 amps but if you need something with a higher current rating, just give us a call on 01706 860011 and we’ll see what we can offer.

Coded

The Mechan Magnasafe range is non coded meaning they can be reset using a magnet. This is apart from the MS5 which is tamper resistant. If you require a coded safety switch we would recommend the S-Type range which is electronically coded. Or the HE-Series which is solid state coded.

Cross Reference

Do you currently use another brand such as Allen Bradley (GuardMaster) but want a more economical solution? We have cross references available on most of our product listings that compares Mechan safety switches to the popular Allen Bradley range.  Mechan safety switches have the same dimensions and fixing centres so changing to Mechan is simple and saves you money – savings as much as 35% can be achieved on some models!

Dimensions

If you’re replacing an existing safety switch you’ll want something that is either identical or similar in size that’s why we offer so many different variations of safety switches.

Mechan Controls

Mechan Controls are a UK based manufacturer of safety equipment with over 30 years of experience within the industry. Producing high quality and reliable products that are built to last. They offer a range of products that provide solutions from simple gate safety to automated machine safety systems.

Special Requests

If you’re looking for something really specific or unsure about which safety switch to choose, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We’re sure we can always provide the best safety solution for your application even if it involves a site visit or designing something totally bespoke just for you.

Expert Electrical Supplies is much more than just a website, we have been trading for over 12 years and understand that customers need the right product at the right price.  We’re happy to hold stock for any ongoing projects to ensure you receive your order as and when you need it.

Feel free to browse our selection of products or if you're unsure about which product to choose give us a call on 01706 86001 or email us at sales@expertelectrical.co.uk.

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