The following is the first of a five-part blog series contributed by Bimba Manufacturing Company. The series looks to identify some of the advantages to using electrical switches in place of timers in machine controls circuits.
- Real Time Feedback
Switches provide real time electrical feedback on machine component positions; timers do not. Switches are available in many styles ranging from inductive proximity switches, mechanical limit switches, magnetic reed switches or solid state switches, just to name a few. These switches can be mounted either on the driving device (i.e actuator) or the driven device (i.e. conveyor stop or gate). When activated, the switch will send a signal in the form of an electrical output. This output can be used in a wide variety of ways including turning on a PLC input, lighting a lamp, sounding a horn, etc. to signify that this specific machine operation and related parts have reached their intended destination. Timers simply send an output when the timing cycle is completed, with no direct link to machine component positioning.
The series continues next week with the second benefit to using switches over timers.