Specifications versus Applications

It is challenging to create a general specification sheet for a product that exhibits application-dependent performance. HSI spec sheets are meant to provide users with useful information about the expected performance of standard products. In most cases our reed switches are more capable than the spec sheet ratings suggest, but safety factors are necessary to guarantee compliance across a broad range of applications.

Voltage versus current

Let’s say that you are looking at a small Form‐C switch with rhodium contacts rated at 3W, 120V DC, and 0.25A. Can you switch this reed at 120V DC and 0.25A and expect 10 million operations? No. The effective load on this switch would be 30W…more than 10 times the maximum power rating! The switch can be operated at max voltage, or max current, but not at the same time.

Interchangeable Magnetic Components

You are searching for a sensor that will operate at 0.5” and release at 1”.  The spec sheet provides the dimensions, electrical ratings, operation direction, and actuator part number, but you would like to use a different actuator and you aren’t sure yet about the approach direction. The operational information is specific to the actuator being used in the manner and orientation listed. An actuator (magnet) can be purchased with a host of different parameters that affect the operational range of the switch (size, shape, material, Gauss strength, field direction, etc.).

Off the shelf doesn’t work

So what do you do if your application doesn’t exactly “fit” the spec sheet for one of our standard products? Just give us a call or shoot us an e‐mail and we would be glad to provide specific application assistance. That switch can probably handle the heavy load without failure if you operate it at a reasonable rate and only need it to last for 100k cycles. If you need it to handle that load and still reach 10 million cycles, we can provide a larger switch, customize the Rhodium thickness to provide a higher power rating, or provide you with a tungsten contact switch. That sensor may work just fine with your current actuator approaching from the side instead of end‐on, but the operate and release distances will differ from the spec sheet listings. We can tune a standard product or custom engineer a new sensor for your specific application.

HSI has the technical expertise to answer your questions and multiple product lines to meet your application needs.  Custom reed switches and proximity sensors are what we do…better than anyone in the industry.