Pressure Switches vs. Pressure Transducers

Pressure switches and pressure transducers are both common devices that may be found in a variety of industrial applications, and despite having somewhat similar roles, the two components are distinct from one another and should not be conflated. Depending on the type of application and the various safety and performance requirements for optimal operations, the choice between each component will vary. In this blog, we will discuss pressure switches and transducers in more detail, allowing you to have a better understanding of when to use each.

In general, a pressure switch is simply an ON/OFF switch that changes state when pressure is induced. To do this, pressure is transformed into a signal that causes contacts to either break or come together, changing the state of the circuit based on the measured pressure medium. As a result, pressure switches act as electromechanical devices that manage a process such as the functionality of a valve, pump, or tank. Oftentimes, pressure switches are used in applications where one would want to control how much media enters or exits a space, or when one wants to keep a tank from becoming too dry or hot.

While pressure switches are simple to operate, they are not always the most accurate device as actuation will typically occur within a range of values instead of a single value. Additionally, the health and operability of a particular pressure switch can only be confirmed with direct testing, meaning that it will need to be disconnected from whatever system it is installed in. Due to the need for uninstallation, pressure switches are generally checked on a periodic basis, such as annually.

Pressure transducers, often referred to as pressure transmitter components, are also electromechanical devices. With a pressure transducer, various process variables are continuously measured over a range; though, instead of making or breaking contacts based on their readings, pressure transducers simply relay a read-out signal to a remote system to collect specific pressure values. This basic functionality allows for pressure transducers to serve more complex processes, such as working with a logic board or remote device through sending interpreted pressure readings. For their applications, pressure transducers regularly find use for industrial inlets and outlets, chemical mixture equipment, and safety systems.

To best determine which device type is best for your needs, there are a few factors that you can consider. For example, you should determine whether your operational values can work on a range of limits or if they need to be very precise. Additionally, if a local display is required, then a transmitter may be useful as switches do not provide any sort of local display for signal outputs. As a last common consideration, determine what the consequences would be if operational variables exceed or drop below predefined limits. If this would cause damage or an unsafe condition during typical processes, then perhaps a transmitter is better for its ability to work as a safety device alongside other systems. Once you determine what the best fit would be for your particular needs, let the experts at Internet of Components save you time and money on the sourcing process with our unrivaled inventory of items and rapid lead times.

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