Switches are fundamental components in any electrical circuit. They are used to close the circuit and allow the flow of current to power connected appliances, devices, tools, machinery, or equipment. And open the circuit, to cut the flow of power. While simple in use and working principle, there will be stark differences as to how switches perform, the current loads they can safely transfer, and the way they ensure consistent power supply. The general divide is between switches used in residential and everyday purposes to turn on simple objects like lights or small kitchen appliances, and heavy-duty varieties used in industrial and commercial settings and powering large-scale machinery and power-hungry equipment.
Industrial switches in areas like mining and construction sites, agriculture and farming, food processing, manufacturing, and all types of light and heavy industry must function in particularly harsh environments. They’re exposed to various chemicals, water, dust, and high temperatures, prone to knocks and impact, and most often with higher loads and voltages. To ensure they work like they’re meant to, industrial switches need to be made tough, and in designs that are lightweight yet easy to install or replace when the need arises.
Fortunately for specialist usage outside the home, buyers can choose switches from the iconic Australian brand, Clipsal. The company produces a range of switchgear for different applications and settings and makes buying easier by offering distinct product lines. The Clipsal 56 and 66 Series consist of switches, outlets, plugs, sockets, combination switched socket outlets, enclosures, and a range of related accessories and parts, all made to the same high standards and meant to work together.
When it comes to switches, Clipsal offers rotary surface switches, such as the 3-pole, 32 Amp 56SW332, changeover and reversing switches, push-button control stations, key-operated switches, surface and sunset switches, and socket and switch combos.
Types of Industrial Switches
Rotary Surface Mount Switches
The 56 series of Clipsal rotary surface switches are available in 1 to 4 poles, amperage ratings of 10 to 63A, and voltages of 250, 440, and 500V. They consist of a positive rotary switch action, with the ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ positions clearly marked (and laser engraved). Switches rated for 20A or ore come with earth and neutral connections and with industrial grade 6mm2 cabling.
All have the provision for padlocks, meaning no unauthorised use. To ensure they last in adverse conditions, all 56 series surface switches are IP66 rated, meaning they’re protected from high-pressure water jets and dust ingress. Switches are also colour-coded, with the standard grey variants good for most applications and orange switches where chemical resistance is a must. Typical examples here include the single pole 10 Amp, 250V 56SW110 for general low-voltage operations, and the triple pole 56SW320 rated for 20 Amps and 500 Volts.
Safety Surface Switches
In the event of electrical faults, safety switches are used to quickly disconnect the circuit and prevent potential injury, equipment damage, or electrical fires. Clipsal’s safety surface mount switches ensure that circuit isolators are highly visible and feature a red rotary knob, set against a yellow backplate. This helps reduces response times in the event of an emergency.
These are used in countless industrial applications, ensuring ease of use, compact dimensions and high visibility. Clipsal has a range of 250 V single and twin sliding switches, with amperage ratings from 10 to 15A, and IP56 protection.
Heavy Duty Surface Switches
These are supplied in 3 or 4-pole configurations, have amperage ratings between 25 and 63A and can take up to 690 Volts, meaning they are motor-rated. The switch actuator is in the standard red/yellow and features three padlocking positions. Installation and mounting are simple, made to fit a standard DIN drop-in cradle, and the extra space provides room for extra thick cabling options. Like sliding industrial switches, these too are IP 56 rated and can be optioned in white/gray or chemical orange.
Changeover and Reversing Switches
Changeover switches are used to interchange the source of power supply to an electrical load. Clipsal has 2 and 4 pole 20A 500V switches, either with manual or automatic changeover, regulated by a rotary knob. Reverse switches are used to reverse the change of direction in 3-phase motors. Here the company has the 3-pole 56SW320R. Both industrial switch types are IP66 rated and come in grey.
Push Button Control Stations
Stop/start control stations are easily operated with a range of different push button switch combos. This can include a single (green) button start control, a red button stop control, a mushroom red stop and standard green start button in a stop/start combo switch, and a red mushroom emergency stop switch. All are in 10A and 250V ratings and come with the standard IP66 water and ingress protection.
Clipsal also has key-operated switches, with standard or medium security rotary handle locking in the off, and on, and off positions, rated for up to 63A in 3-phase 500V and in 1 to 3 pole designs. The standard 56SW332 mentioned above becomes 56K1SW332 with off locking or the 56k2SW332 with on and off locking function. There are also programmable surface mount timer switches with memory function and 7-day battery reserve, and sunset switches to automatically switch on lights. Here we can also mention the combination switched socket outlets to protect plugged-in loads.
Why Choose Clipsal?
Clipsal has been supplying Australian and international customers with innovative, reliable, safe, and durable products that meet and exceed expectations for well over a century. They are to go-to brand whether you’re looking for residential or industrial electrical supplies. All switches listed above have gone through thorough testing, are rated against Australian and international standards, and provide safe operation in any conditions. Designs are lightweight, in standardised sizes, and made of durable and innovative materials. Shop for industrial switches and switchgear at specialised hardware and electrical stores.