Variohm Holdings continues its strategic product range expansion, manufacturing capacity and application solving capability through the recent acquisition of the Wisconsin – USA based high-performance magnetic switch and sensor manufacturer, Magnasphere.
Magnasphere’s extensive product range is centred around its patented magnetic switch technology that is said to offer significant advantages over reed and Hall Effect switches and other switch types in terms of fail-safe security, EMI resistance, installation simplicity and cost. Product variants cover security, intrusion detection and access control as well as industrial applications for proximity, tilt, and level sensing in sectors that include aerospace and defence, agriculture, oil and gas, medical, automotive, robotics and more.
Magnasphere was founded over 20 years ago, successfully launching its patented high security switching technology as a replacement for security-vulnerable reed switches which are easy to defeat using simple magnets. Whilst competitors had developed expensive and complex alternatives, Magnasphere’s solution offered a low-cost and non-defeatable solution with similar magnetic field strength, product size and with much improved durability over reed switch-based security contacts.
Other advantages included higher temperature extremes, no power source required, and excellent resistance to EMI and surge voltages. T
he basic principle behind the Magnasphere high security switch involves a magnetic ball held within a durable, hermetically sealed metal housing. In its open state, the ball attaches to a ferro-magnetic base within the housing and is drawn magnetically to a contacting ‘closed’ position when a magnet is moved within an activation zone outside of the housing. This ‘tamper and defeat-resistant principle’ also works where the magnetically charged ball is drawn towards a ferrous target – allowing a very low-cost proximity sensor.
This principle also forms the basis for Magnasphere’s low jitter, non-mercury tilt switches – an environmentally safe and competitively priced solution. Magnasphere’s technology perfectly suits high security applications, and its cost and durability also makes it a compelling alternative for reed and Hall Effect switches for industrial and commercial OEM applications.
A comprehensive range of products of security contacts and switches, available in a wide variety of installation configurations and sensing zone alternatives, include recessed and surface mounted variants with single and multiple switch capability. Magnasphere’s products comply with UL -634, Levels 1 and 2 and CE listed equivalents. Magnasphere also manufactures smart motion detectors based on FMCW radar technology.
Graham Pattison, Variohm Holdings’ managing director, is looking forward to the opportunities offered: “This latest acquisition further reflects Variohm Group’s collected vison. Now, with an even more diverse range of products and an increased application capability across the Group, we can extend a more progressive and comprehensive service to our valued customers.”
Joseph Hedeen, Magnasphere’s general manager is anticipating great things from the increased market opportunities The Variohm Group will present. “We are looking forward to working with our new sister companies in The Variohm Group and the cooperation and opportunities on hand from the diversified range of sensing and switching products available.”
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