What does a push button do? What is inside a pushbutton? Is a pushbutton a switch?

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What does a push button do

You can have the world’s most complex piece of machinery that can seem difficult to get started and use, but with the right kind of pushbutton, your employees should be able to quickly and instantly know what to press and how to get it going. But what exactly is a pushbutton, and what does it do?

Here we will take a look at these small yet important buttons to see what they are and why you need them so badly.

What does a push button do?

What does a push button do

When you picture a pushbutton in your mind you can probably see the classic big red button from the movies that you know you shouldn’t push, but everyone secretly really wants to. In reality, a pushbutton is simply a mechanism that controls one or more aspects of a machine or process.

The function of the button will vary depending on what you want it to do, from turning something on or off, to start the next step of the cycle, to pretty much anything you can think of. Pushbuttons have been used for over a hundred years in cars, telephones, calculators and so much more.

Cars in the 1910s used to turn on by the use of a pushbutton, and many have returned to that once again showing that sometimes what works best is a simple, tried and tested method or completing a circuit.

You could use pushbutton doorbells not long after, and then suddenly you could find pushbuttons everywhere from your kitchen appliances to radios and modernising the old telephones to have proper buttons for ease of dialling. These advances led to the interfaces of the future, everything from PlayStation controllers to ATMs to mobile phones, and pushbuttons have played a role in each.

The function of the pushbutton is to, quite simply, complete whatever action you wished to happen when you depressed it. If that is something as small as dialling the number one or as big as instantly turning off a huge and powerful machine, the result should be the same if your pushbutton is working correctly. 

In the industrial sense, these buttons are often shaped prominently, with a mushroom head to make them stand out. When using push button switches it is often essential that you know what you are pressing, and what will happen when you do. To this end, many such buttons are colour coded too, red for stop and green for go, and so on.

They are typically made of a hard material, often plastic but sometimes metal, and can be illuminated to make it even more clear to the user exactly when and when not to push the button. They are extremely important parts of a machine, so it is worth making sure that your button has all the extras it needs to make your job easier.

The right manufacturers will allow you a certain amount of customizable features, and accessories to fit your requirements. Your pushbutton will do whatever you need it to do, so sometimes that will require a description panel to make its purpose understood, while in other cases it will be a massively obvious red ‘stop’ button that needs no explanation.

Pushbuttons can have all sorts of roles and are incredibly useful and necessary in so many areas of life, and the actual use you will put yours to is up to you. For more industrial uses make sure that the button you go for fits your needs, be they illuminated, mushroom-headed or even chemical-resistant.

What is inside a pushbutton?

What is inside a pushbutton

Generally speaking, inside a pushbutton is a small metal spring. When you push the button, the metal is lowered and completes the circuit. This literally means that it connects to two wires, allowing electricity to flow and whichever task it is responsible for gets completed. 

If, for instance, your pushbutton is meant to start the machine, then pressing it will lower the spring, the circuit will be completed, and the machine will turn on. This is all fairly straightforward and self-explanatory.

If, on the other hand, your pushbutton is a big red button meant to stop the machine, it will still work in the same way. No matter the purpose of the button, the process for it to work is always relatively simple, though you do need it to work and work perfectly every time. That is why it is so important that you go with a manufacturer that produces only the highest quality products.

So many pushbuttons perform essential functions, and emergency stop buttons in particular could well save lives, and endanger them if they do not work properly, or if their functions aren’t crystal clear. Going with a customized, illuminated, colour-coded button that you are sure is working perfectly is crucial in all industry settings.

Is a pushbutton a switch?

In its simplest form, a pushbutton absolutely is a switch. Much light pressing your light switch and seeing your bulb turn on, and then pressing again and seeing it turn off, some pushbuttons work on a push-pull system where it generally starts in the off position, is pressed to turn on, and then pressed again at a later time to turn off again. 

Other pushbuttons operate as a momentary switch, with a single pole that is initially off until switched on. There is then usually a second button that can work as another momentary switch, completing the circuit and returning the original pushbutton to its off state.

Final thoughts

To Sum Up:

  • In industry, a pushbutton is a mechanism that controls an aspect of a machine.
  • Pushbuttons have been making life easier for over a hundred years and are more important than ever today.
  • They can come in specifically tailored ways for ease of pressing and to identify what they are for.
  • Inside a pushbutton is a small metal spring that is used to complete a circuit.
  • They are switches to be used to complete whichever process you require.

If you are in need of a certain pushbutton, make sure that you are doing all you can to make it as clear and identifiable as possible. Buy yours from the very best manufacturers and get an illuminated, customized button to suit your needs.