Breakthrough in magnetic switch technology


If you’re still using old technology door sensors in your workplace, you may have a major security risk.

According to security experts, insiders can easily gain access to sensitive information if these systems are successfully exploited.

Armed with a simple magnet, an intruder or trusted employee can disable BMS contacts so they can enter secured areas undetected at a later time.

“At the heart of every security system lies trust – trust that the system is going to work when you really need it,” said Rick Kirschman, CEO of Magnasphere.

“How can you trust a security system built around the exploitable balanced magnetic switch contact?” Mr Kirschman asks.

Underwriters Laboratories has created a new UL 634 Level 2 High Security Standard (for connectors and switches used with security systems).

This new standard will help Secure Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF’s) and other high security installations offering Sensitive Environments for Information Containment, to identify the magnetic contacts and sensors that provide the absolute highest level of physical perimeter intrusion detection.

Virtually unbeatable and unbreakable, the Magnasphere HSS meets the new UL 634 Level 2 high security standard and ensures high security areas remain secured.

The basis of the Magnasphere technology is a magnetic sphere, or ball contact housed in a durable metal housing.

Completing the switch is a seal that contains the contacting electrode, insulated from the magnetic perimeter by a ceramic to metal bond.

The case or seal provide the second contact point required to complete the electrical circuit. The seal/electrode cap is welded to the housing in an inert atmosphere providing a hermetically sealed contact. In the open position, the magnetic sphere is attracted to the ferromagnetic bias ring, away from the electrode. Because of this attraction, the switch may be positioned in any orientation and will remain open.

When an actuating magnet approaches the switch from the end of the switch opposite the electrode, the magnetic ball is attracted to this field, and “snaps” to the bottom of the housing, making contact with the electrode and housing, closing the switch.

The spherical shape is not polarity sensitive and will be attracted to either pole of the actuating magnet. Unlike a reed switch that responds to a magnet within a global, Omni-directional activation zone, the Magnasphere switch responds to a magnet only within a restricted zone.

A stronger magnet outside the zone pulls the ball off the centre electrode to open the switch. In addition, high closed contact integrity makes Magnasphere technology highly resistant to electromagnetic interference – a problem found in other magnetic switch and sensor technology.

The most unique feature is its ability to act as a stand-alone ferrous proximity sensor (no magnet actuator required). Because the spherical contact is a magnet, the Magnasphere switch can be actuated by the presence of ferrous metal. This unique feature allows the Magnasphere switch to be utilised as a low cost ferrous proximity sensor. This capability is not possible with stand-alone reed or Hall Effect switches.

Magnasphere products are available through Koloona Industries Pty Ltd.

Koloona Industries Pty Ltd
Ph: 02 9820 5233