Tapeswitch: Bespoke Switch and Sensor Design

Sliding doors. Security systems. Machinery safety and conveyor belt cushioning. Whatever the application, Tapeswitch can create a switch or sensor product that improves safety, protects products, boosts efficiency or even creates a ‘wow’ factor.

When a Spanish shopping centre wanted to encourage its customers to use the stairs, it decided to turn one stairwell into a giant piano keyboard. Tapeswitch created the interactive switch mat that was key to the success of the project. When a specialist in the conversion of regular road vehicles into bulletproof security vans needed pressure sensitive mats as part of its security portfolio, they chose Tapeswitch. And when one service engineer in Greater Manchester needs photoelectric guards or safety edges to complete his repairs, there’s just one number he calls.


Bespoke as a matter of course

Tapeswitch is a global business, with its origins in the USA in 1957. The UK company launched in 1991 and has established itself as the go-to source of sensing edges and safety mats – products that ensure, for example, that forklifts don’t bump into things they shouldn’t, or that stairlifts stop when they should. Because of the breadth of projects the company is involved in – a production line conveyor belt one day, the Harry Potter visitor attraction in Watford the next – there is nothing ‘off the shelf’ about any of Tapeswitch’s work.

“Every project offers something new,” explains Gary Davies, Business Development Manager at Tapeswitch, “and therefore every product is bespoke, designed and created to fit the specific needs of the customer.”


Totally customised

Tim Howells of Teejay Tronics has been working with Tapeswitch for two decades. An independent service engineer for the printing and metalworking industries, he needs the support of a supplier able to respond to the variability of his job. “Sometimes we’re working with new installations,” he explains. “Sometimes a machine may come in from overseas and doesn’t meet UK safety standards. It’s our job to ensure it does.”

Product quality, availability and turnaround are all important for Tim, but what really makes the difference is Tapeswitch’s ability to respond to the niche and novel. “Recently a client needed a safety edge for a hand-fed platen which had broken down,” he explains. “Now this is a manufactured part – totally customised – and it was a 3m piece which is quite large for a platen. Yet I was able to phone Tapeswitch and it was ready at the end of the next day to collect – that’s a really impressive turnaround. It’s the same story with safety mats.”


Edging it

The breadth of customisation potential is evident in every product. The TS6 sensing edge, for example, is a low profile mini-edge designed for pinch point applications which require the features of a pressure-sensitive switch but with added cushioning. Yet from housing material to mounting options, colours to configurations, customers can tailor virtually every element to their individual requirements. The same is true of the company’s panic switches and safety mats, ribbon switches and safety bumpers.


Easy to work with

Tapeswitch may be global, but for its customers, being wholly self-sufficient within the UK conveys lots of advantages. “Our customers have security of supply when they work with us,” explains Gary. “We don’t subcontract, so there are no issues over protecting IP and we retain control over our own timescales – so working with us is easy.”


“Tapeswitch are my number one choice,” says Tim Howells. “I wouldn’t use anyone else.”

Automation Update