The Harmony XB5 Biometric Switch from Schneider Electric USA, Palatine, Ill., could be the ultimate in security for industrial applications, using fingerprints to identify authorized technicians and workers. And authorized users would never have to worry about losing their key card or forgetting a password, which reduces costs and delays for the company.

The stand-alone switch is housed in a shock and vibration-resistant housing that meets EMC, IP65, and NEMA-123 protection standards. The device stores and identifies up to 200 fingerprints, including prints from different fingers of the same person. The unit records fingerprints as well. It takes less than a second for a person to be approved or denied access. The false acceptance rate is less than 0.1%.

The switch installs in a standard 22-mm cutout and is secured using a single nut. Electrical connections to the power supply and control output (a relay or PLC) are made using a 2-meter cable or an M12 connector. There are two versions of the switch. One provides two output states or responses, while the other, a momentary switch, supplies pulse control. It operates on 23 Vdc, and in temperatures from –5 to 50°C.

The biometric switch can mount horizontally or vertically. An optional hinged cover protects the face of the sensing screen, and a stainless-steel guard is also available to prevent vandalism and weather damage if mounted outdoors.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.