For something so small, it’s amazing just how integral a float switch is for many different industries.
Food processing, breweries, chemical processing, oil and gas – the list of sectors that utilise float switches goes on and on. This is for good reason. With the right float switch, a business can quickly reduce costs while increasing productivity at the same time.
Yet for newcomers to the world of float switches, there are plenty of questions that require answers. This article will seek to supply those answers, as well as providing you with the incentive to purchase the right float switch for your manufacturing needs.
What is a float switch?
If you are unsure what a float switch is, this is a good starting point.
For the uninitiated, a float switch assists with measuring liquid levels. From a residential point of view, you will find a rudimentary float system within your toilet cistern. Once the float reaches a certain level, the cistern will stop filling with water. For industries, however, a much more accurate and robust device is typically required.
As an example, if an industry needs to measure liquids within a hazardous environment, one which has flammable gases for instance, a float switch that is explosion-proof and stainless steel will be required.
Go with a high-quality developer
First of all, it’s important you select a float switch developer which has a reputation for producing high-quality, bespoke products.
When you consider how vital a float switch is in the manufacturing process, you obviously want a device that’s up for the job. Not only that, but a professional developer will also be able to point you in the right direction for the right float switch to match your needs.
A vertical or horizontal float switch
When choosing a float switch, the first decision is a simple one on the surface: vertical or horizontal.
The choice is dependent on the vessel the float switch will be used in. If your industry uses a tank that has no side access and is set in the ground, a vertical mounted switch will be required.
If the vessel is long and goes from floor to ceiling, a horizontal mounted float switch is the best bet. That said, if the tank is narrow and deep, the better choice might be a downhole submersible sensor.
Selecting the right material
When picking the material for the float switch, there are three main aspects to consider: the liquid type, pressure conditions, and temperature.
A plastic float is useful for handling less harsh conditions where conventional acid is present. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is fantastic for dealing with high pressures and heat. Due to its resistance against corrosion, stainless steel is also perfect for food processing.
In certain cases, your industry might require a float switch that benefits from two-stage functionality.
For example, the liquid in a tank might need to rise to a certain level for a pump to activate. Yet if it continues to rise to a dangerous level, the second stage of the float switch is triggered, which could cut off the liquid or trigger an alarm.