Limit switches are used to convert a mechanical motion into an electrical control signal. The mechanical motion is usually in the form of a cam, a machine component or an object moving toward a pre-determined position. The cam engages the limit switch lever or plunger which makes or breaks an electrical contact inside the switch. This electrical control signal is then used to limit position or reverse the machine travel or to initiate another operating sequence. It can also be used for counting, sorting or as a safety device.
Typical limit switch applications are in the control circuits of solenoids, control relays and motor starters which control the motion of machine tools, conveyors, hoists, elevators and practically every type of motor driven machine. Experience has shown that most limit switch failures are caused by faulty installation. In some cases a perfect installation is not possible, but in the majority of cases, proper application of the limit switch would have prevented failure.
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