Probably because the first producer was the American company called Micro Switch. And as these products were very popular, the name micro switch became a generic trademark for all producers.
The company Micro Switch was acquired by Honeywell in 1950. And Honeywell registered the trademark Micro Switch. Other manufacturers used the name Snap-Action Switch or Basic Switch.
But the question still remains why the founder of the company, Mr. Schulte, decided to name his company Micro Switch?
Because they switched micro-amps? Probably not since in 1937 the micro-amps did not even exist. Because of their miniature dimensions?
Probably yes, at that time they could be considered tiny.
And what exactly is that micro switch?
It is an electric switch (patented in 1932) that is actuated by very little physical force. Switching happens at specific positions of the actuator (not like other switches). Relatively small movement at the actuator button produces a relatively large movement at the electrical contacts, which occurs at high speed (regardless of the speed of actuation). Typical durability is from 1 to 10 millions of cycles. This durability is a natural consequence of the design.
Micro switches are not operated by person; it is always some moving part of the equipment. Common applications are detection (e.g. jammed paper in photocopier, the presence of material or product). Other application can be a limit switch (for control of machine tools) or door switch (e.g. fridge).
And which one do we love the most?
We like the Marquardt micro switches. the most. Why? Because it is that Marquardt that produces electronic keys for Mercedes, Volkswagen and other premium cars and that Marquardt that produces switches for blue Bosch electric tools. That’s why.
Marquardt has a nice range of micro switches. Three basic sizes - miniature (Series 1005 and 1080, width about 28mm), subminiature (Series 1050, width about 20mm) and ultra subminiature (Series 1055, width 13mm).
Then we choose the right terminals and the right type of actuator:
- Straight PCB pins
- Angled PCB pins
- Soldering eyelets
- Quick connect (Faston)
- Pin plunger
- Straight lever
- Roller lever
- Simulated roller
- Spring lever