With the demand for intelligent networking and the increasing trend for the “intelligent factory”, CHERRY is now offering a new energy harvesting technology that is able to offer a number of advantages in 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. As a result there is no need for complex and expensive connection systems, which means no cables and no batteries to change so no maintenance required – just fit and forget. The technology is very easy to install – even in hard-to-reach places.
CHERRY is offering two standardised package versions for industrial applications: a rocker switch for actuation by hand and as a snap-action switch for mechanical actuation, e.g. by a machine. The switch can 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.
A new evaluation kit from CHERRY provides a functional demonstration of the technology and 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. It 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 commence in August 2014. The corresponding receivers will be available from October 2014. Samples of both products are available.
To purchase an evaluation kit or for further information about energy harvesting please visit