Micro Switch celebrates 75 years of sensors

Spotlighting longevity, durability and impact on the industry, Honeywell celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Micro Switch technology with a gathering of employees, executives and media at its facility in Freeport, IL. The day included a historical review of sensors and switches and tours of production facilities.

10/01/2007


Spotlighting longevity, durability and impact on the industry, Honeywell celebrated the 75th anniversary of its Micro Switch technology with a gathering of employees, executives and media at its facility in Freeport, IL. The day included a historical review of sensors and switches and tours of production facilities.

One of the first Micro Switch products, the V3, was developed during World War II and named to represent “victory.” V3 switches are still manufactured at the facility in Freeport on seven automated production lines.

“This is a very special milestone for our industry, as the Micro Switch is one of the major contributing factors improving industrial productivity,” said Beth Wozniak, president of Honeywell Sensing and Control (S&C). “This is the story of how an invention 75 years ago built a very successful business.” Honeywell S&C is now employs more than 6,000 people in more than 100 countries.

Brad Kautzer, vice president of electromechanical products at Honeywell S&C, said the first Micro Switch was developed in 1932 by Philip K. McGall, a mechanic at C. F. Burgess Laboratories Inc. in Madison, WI.

Unable to find switches with stable operating conditions for its chicken brooders, the company sought to develop its own and the first precision snap-action basic switch was invented for the close-tolerance requirements of the equipment.

The Micro Switch came into being, continued Kautzer, “because of the need to precisely operate a chicken brooder, and 75 years later it is still found in many applications. It is a simple, elegant design that caught on because it offered benefits of size, weight, precision and reliability.” Although materials have improved, the initial device has remained the same.

Wozniak, who has been S&C president for 18 months, told Control Engineering that she predicts a healthy economic future for the product. “It is a great business to be in today,” she said, citing the company’s local design and global manufacturing capabilities as contributors to the product’s success.

Incorporated in 1937, Micro Switch evolved, and Honeywell bought the company in 1950, primarily for integration into HVAC products. Honeywell now makes more than 120 million Micro Switches annually.

www.microswitch.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.