Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays


Low-profile touchless switches

November 2022 Operator Interfaces, Switches & Relays

IDEC has introduced a new line of CW low-profile touchless switches suitable for many hygienic industrial and public automation applications, addressing cleanliness concerns for protecting against COVID-19 and other contamination. Touchless switches are durable and reduce total cost of equipment operation.

The switches are designed with a sleek and nearly flush (just 2 mm lip) low-profile surface silhouette. They are built for an industry-standard 22 mm mounting hole and require only a shallow 35 mm space behind the panel face, plus room for the wiring connector. The typical installation pitch is 30 mm width and 50 mm height. Operating temperatures range from -25°C to +55°C.

A rubber washer and locking ring ensure IP65/67 and NEMA Type 4X ratings are maintained. The CW1H housing and bezel is black plastic resin, and the CW4H is silver aluminium alloy. Although the switches are rated for outdoor use – made from weather-resistant materials and highly resistant to visible light – excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from direct sunlight can cause material degradation and colour fading, and even false signals. Additionally, as with almost any signalling device, dirt and water droplets can impact operation. Therefore, designers should check product performance before use, and consider degrees of physical protection.

The switch’s front face contains a central emitter and receiver sensing lens, and an LED indicator ring. Infrared LED diffuse reflection technology is used to detect objects. The detection distance is adjustable, typically ranging from 70 to 270 mm depending on the colour, material and surface condition of the object to be detected. For example, dark gloves can be detected, but at a shorter distance than a bare hand. When two switches are installed close together, their emitting frequencies are automatically adjusted for mutual interference prevention, ensuring the switches do not trigger each other.

The switch output is a non-contact photoMOS relay, available without a timer or with a 0,5 s on-delay and a 2,0 s off-delay. Reverse connection protection is included, and the switch operates at a nominal 12-24 V DC with 100 mA maximum load current. The two-colour LED ring, which can be controlled externally to illuminate in red or green, provides status feedback for users.


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