Motor Controls Training

Class Information
Tooling U-SME classes are offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The typical class consists of 12 to 25 lessons and will take approximately one hour to complete.
Class Name:Control Devices 260
Description:In this class, you will learn about various types of control devices, their parts, and how control devices are used in different applications. Includes an Interactive Lab.
Prerequisites: none
Number of Lessons:18
Language:English, Spanish
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Class Outline
  • Objectives
  • What Is a Control Device?
  • Types of Control Devices
  • Pushbuttons
  • Types of Operators
  • Selector Switches
  • Limit Switches
  • Limit Switch Actuators
  • Pressure Switches
  • Pressure Sensing Devices
  • Temperature Switches
  • Temperature Sensing Devices
  • Flow Switches
  • Level Switches
  • Proximity Switches
  • Photoelectric Switches
  • Troubleshooting Control Devices
  • Summary
Class Objectives
  • Define control devices.
  • Identify types of control devices.
  • Identify the parts of a pushbutton.
  • Identify common pushbutton operators.
  • Describe selector switches.
  • Describe limit switches.
  • Identify common limit switch actuators.
  • Describe pressure switches.
  • Identify common pressure sensing devices.
  • Describe temperature switches.
  • Identify common temperature sensing devices.
  • Describe flow switches.
  • Describe level switches.
  • Describe proximity switches.
  • Describe photoelectric switches.
  • Describe control device troubleshooting practices.

Class Vocabulary

Vocabulary TermDefinition
actuator The part of a limit switch that transfers the mechanical force of the moving part to the electrical contacts.
air compressor A component that pressurizes ambient air and directs it into a pneumatic system.
automatic input A type of control device that is set to automatically control each step in a process. Pressure switches, flow switches, and temperature switches are types of automatic inputs.
bellows A cylindrical device with several deep folds that expand or contract in response to pressure. Bellows are usually used at medium pressure.
bimetallic sensor A sensor with two unlike metals bonded together. The metals expand at different rates when heated, providing a physical signal that the sensor converts into an electrical signal.
capacitive proximity switches Switches that are triggered when they detect either conductive or nonconductive substances.
capillary tube sensor A sensor that changes internal pressure when temperature changes. Capillary tube sensors use temperature sensitive liquid.
chatter The occasional unwanted vibration between components. Chatter decreases productivity and can cause wear.
cold junction The end of a thermocouple that provides a reference point. The cold junction is held at a constant temperature.
contact A conductive part in an electrical circuit attached to a switch that opens or closes a circuit by coming in contact with or separating from the main conductor.
contact block The part of a pushbutton that holds the contacts and is activated when the pushbutton is pressed. The most common pushbutton contact block has one NO and one NC contact.
contactor A device that uses a small control current to energize or de-energize a load.
control device Any input device that controls the flow of current in a circuit. Control devices determine when loads are energized or de-energized.
control relay An electrical switch that opens and closes a circuit. Relays can open or close one or many sets of contacts.
deadband pressure The amount of pressure that must be removed before pressure switch contacts reset after the actuation level has been reached. Deadband pressure is also referred to as differential pressure.
diaphragm A deflecting mechanism that moves when reacting to pressure. Diaphragms are usually used at low pressure.
eddy current A magnetic current created by sensor vibration that flows out and around the sensor head.
electrical devices A type of control device that senses the presence of an object without touching it. Electrical devices include proximity switches and photoelectric switches.
extended button operator A type of pushbutton operator that extends beyond the guard ring. An extended button operator is used when accidental startup is not hazardous.
float A device used in switches that floats on liquid. The float raises or lowers based on the level of the liquid.
flow switches Switches that detect the movement of any fluid, such as liquid, gas, or air in a system. Flow switches are commonly used in fluid pumps and air compressors.
fluid pump A mechanical device used to move liquids in a hydraulic system.
flush button operator A type of operator that has a guard ring around it to prevent accidental startup.
fork lever actuator A type of actuator that is moved by one of its two roller arms. Fork lever actuators can detect movement in two directions.
guard ring A device around a pushbutton operator that prevents an individual from accidentally pressing the button.
hot junction The end of a thermocouple the measures temperature. The hot junction is exposed to the elements.
hydraulic Power created by the motion and pressure of fluids.
inductive proximity switches Switches that are triggered when they detect a conductive substance.
legend plate The part of a switch that has the written function of the switch's operation. A legend plate often includes the words "start," "stop," "jog," "on," or "off."
level switches Switches that detect the height of a liquid or solid in a tank or another type of vessel. The most common type of level switch is the mechanical level switch.
lever actuator A type of actuator that works through a lever connected to the shaft of a limit switch.
light source A beam of light received by a photosensor used to trigger photoelectric switches.
limit switches Switches that detect the presence or absence of an object by physically touching it. Limit switches have a variety of actuators that come into contact with an object.
main control station A control panel on a machine that consists of the main pushbuttons and switches that turn the machine on and off and control various other functions.
manual input A type of control device that requires an individual to manually press a button or turn a switch. Pushbuttons and selector switches are types of manual inputs.
mechanical devices A type of control device that physically contacts an object. Mechanical devices include limit switches, flow switches, and level switches.
mechanical input A type of control device that must touch an object in order to detect it. A limit switch is a type of mechanical input.
mechanical level switch A type of level switch that uses a float that triggers electrical contacts when the liquid reaches a set height.
motor starter An electrically operated switch that uses magnetic induction to provide the startup current for a motor.
mushroom button operator A type of pushbutton operator that hangs over the guard in a mushroom shape. A mushroom button operator is easy to press and is used for emergency stops.
operator The part of a switch that is pressed, pulled, or turned by an individual operating the circuit. Operators come in a variety of styles and sizes.
paddle A hinged actuator used in many types of flow switches. The flow of fluid deflects the paddle, actuating the flow switch contacts.
photoelectric switches Switches that use a light beam to detect the presence of an object without touching it. Photoelectric switches can detect light objects, heavy objects, or objects that are too hot.
photosensor A type of sensor that detects the presence of an object through the use of a beam of light.
piston A rod inside a cylinder that is moved by hydraulic or pneumatic pressure. Pistons are used at high pressure.
pneumatic Power created by the motion and control of gas, often air, under pressure.
pressure The amount of force exerted on a surface divided by the area of the surface. Pressure is typically expressed in pounds per square inch (psi).
pressure switches Switches that detect a certain amount of force and activate electrical contacts when the force is reached. Pressure switches have different sensing devices that detect pressure changes.
proximity switches Switches that use an electronic sensing field to sense the presence of an object without touching it. Proximity switches can detect the presence of almost any liquid or solid.
push roller actuator A type of actuator that moves directly forward into the limit switch.
pushbutton A manual control device that opens or closes a circuit when pressed. Pushbuttons can be normally open or normally closed.
relay An electrical switch that opens and closes a circuit. Relays can open or close one or many sets of contacts.
resistance The opposition to current flow. Electricity flows in the path of least resistance.
resistor A device used in circuits to limit current flow.
selector switches Switches that can be turned to different positions to make a connection with the contacts in that particular position.
sensor A device that detects a change in a physical stimulus and turns it into a signal that can be measured or recorded. All sensors are control devices, but not all control devices are sensors.
solenoid An output device that converts electrical energy into linear mechanical force.
stop plate A metal guard plate connected to a limit switch that prevents damage to the switch. Stop plates keep limit switches from being forced beyond their travel limit.
switch A device that opens and closes a circuit.
temperature switches Switches that react to different heat intensities and activate electrical contacts when the temperature rises or drops below a set level. Temperature switches are often used in heating and cooling systems.
thermistor A resistor that is temperature sensitive. As temperature changes, the resistance of a thermistor changes.
thermocouple A temperature sensor that measures heat at a hot junction and outputs voltage at a cold junction. Thermocouples output voltage that is proportional to the measured temperature.
three-position selector A selector switch that allows you to select one of three circuit conditions. The third position is usually OFF, as in forward/reverse/off.
two-position selector A selector switch that allows you to select one of two circuit conditions. Common two-position selector switches are on/off and forward/reverse.
wobble stick actuator A type of actuator that works through any movement into the switch except a direct pull.