Mechanical vs. electronic pressure switches: Functionality

How can you decide whether to utilize mechanical pressure switches or electronic pressure switches in your application? Each type of pressure switch has individual advantages, but additionally its limitations. The main differences in functionality between mechanical and electronic pressure switches are the way the applied pressure is used to operate the switch, the sort of switch technology, and the way the switch point could be adjusted.
Functionality of mechanical pressure switches
A mechanical pressure switch converts the pressure of a fluid right into a mechanical movement that actuates the mechanical switch contact in the pressure switch. The switch has the preset or an individually, mechanically adjustable switch point. Every time the switch is actuated, a mechanical pressure switch sends a power switching signal, but will not require a voltage supply.
Ordinarily, mechanical pressure switches are simple devices that are either created for cost-effective applications or optimised for long-term use, based on how often the switching signal must be transmitted. The switches are thus designed either for a low application rate (hardly any switching cycles e.g. safely applications) or for a high application rate (frequent switching changes e.g. in process control). The hysteresis is usually not adjustable, thus the reset point for switching can’t be configured and is preset by factory setup.
Mechanical pressure switches can be used to switch high currents, such as pumps and drives. However, mechanical contacts often have problems switching the low voltages in PLCs and modern electronics, unless expensive, gold-plated switch contacts are used.
Functionality of electronic pressure switches
An electronic pressure switch generates electronic switching signals and, very often, also yet another, analogue output signal proportional to the pressure. They are either programmed at the factory to the required switch points or they include a programming interface with integrated display and buttons.
Electronic pressure switches have integrated, programmable logic. Untapped permits the switch points and the output signal to be adapted to the application-specific needs. Delay time, switch point, reset switch point, hysteresis or window function, normally closed or normally open, and more functions could be programmed in modern electronic pressure switches.
Sniveling of an electronic pressure switch also provides a continuous pressure indication and shows if the switch outputs are active or not. Last but not least, modern technologies, such as the use of IO-Link, enable programming remotely via signal cables.
Note
Further information on mechanical pressure switches and electronic pressure switches are available on the WIKA website.
Also read our articles
Mechanical vs electronic pressure switches: Application areas
Mechanical pressure switches: So how exactly does one set the switch point?
Pressure switches in booster pumps

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