Answering the growing industry demand for the 'intelligent factory', an energy harvesting evaluation kit has been introduced by CHERRY. Targeting applications where a complex wire assembly and/or batteries would be inappropriate, the required RF-energy is created by the mechanical actuation of the switch and the data is transmitted wirelessly using RF-technology. The kit eliminates the need for complex and expensive connection systems, resulting in the loss of mainteneance required for batteries and cables.
Two standardised package versions are available for industrial applications: a rocker switch for actuation by hand and a snap-action switch for mechanical actuation, e.g. by a machine. The switch can easily be connected with a standard SPS bus system like OpenCAN and Profibus or industrial interfaces like RS485, SPI, 4-20mA and 0-24V. The signal received simply transmits to an SPS or other industrial control.
Providing a functional demonstration of the technology, the evaluation kit offers users the chance to measure signal strength and range, as well as giving the user the opportunity to test potential applications or connect to a test system. The kit contains an energy harvesting generator (including RF electronics integrated into a microswitch housing), a receiver PCB with multiple digital and analogue outputs, a high performance dipole antenna, a chip antenna, and a CD containing the driver & installation instructions, as well as an instruction manual.
Mass production for the two switch versions for industrial applications commenced in August 2014. The corresponding receivers will be available from October 2014. Samples of both products are available.