Electro-Mech Components, Inc. (EMC) specializes in the design and manufacture of illuminated pushbutton switches, indicator lights, and multi-switch interlocking assemblies. The company’s switches are found in a wide variety of applications and industries, from video gaming machines to aircraft cockpits.
The company manufactures a wide variety of standard off-the-shelf pushbutton switch configurations in several shapes, functions, and lens colors, as well as high-end industrial-grade switches that offer up to six discrete circuits and are water-tight, shock-proof and vibration-proof.
Electro-Mech has been manufacturing its products since 1966, so our design team’s experience allows us to respond promptly to a variety of customers’ needs and special requirements.
Our in-house engineering and design capabilities have accommodated many unique solutions over the years. EMC’s proximity to our low-cost dedicated manufacturing plant in Mexico has provided EMC with significant advantages over our offshore competitors.
The company has also developed and manufactured numerous custom products, designed to meet very exacting requirements. EMC’s custom switch design capabilities include:
- Floor-mounted panic switch for auto alarm systems
- Combination potentiometer+switches for audio control, with or without edgelit knobs
- Flush-mounted panel switches for tamper-proof applications
- Bi-colored LED switch for communications via display
- Aircraft passenger switches for reading lamp and attendant call
Electro-Mech also offers custom display and lighting options for all of its switches and indicators. Product features include:
- Engraved lenses
- Photo positive and negative legend film
- Hidden legends
- NVIS-compatible lenses
- Dual, Quad, and Multi-LED lenses
Electro-Mech Components, Inc. was founded in 1963 and is headquartered in South El Monte, California, 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. In 1966 the company opened a dedicated manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico, to manufacture its products, and since 1976, EMC has operated manufacturing facilities in Tijuana for other U.S. companies, including GM/Hughes Aircraft and Daneher Joslyn Sunbank Electronics. These shelter manufacturing facilities offer Electro-Mech’s expertise in doing business in Mexico, handling all administrative functions and allowing the U.S. customer(s) to concentrate on production and quality control.
In 1997, Electro-Mech acquired the switchlight product line from Pollak Transportation Electronics Division (T.E.D.). This product line was also formerly known as Pendar Switchline, Clare Pendar Switchline, and General Instruments (G.I.) Switchline. The acquisition has strengthened EMC’s position in the avionics and aircraft switch industry, both in the cockpit and passenger seating unit (PSU). Product line part numbers included in the acquisition are S180-182, S220-225, S510, S520, and S570 plus numerous custom drawings in the sequence 7xxxxx and 9xxxxx.
Electro-Mech Components, Inc. (EMC) (South El Monte, CA) is currently the most experienced maquiladora in Tijuana through its sister company, Switch-Luz, S.A. (“Switch-Light”).
EMC handles all contact with Mexican government agencies, including permitting and licensing, payroll, regulatory compliance, staffing, leasing, Hacienda, and legal issues. To learn more, please visit our Manufacturing in Mexico page or contact us with any questions.
Switch-Luz, S.A. was featured in Business Conexion Magazine, August-September 2014.
Additional Information About Electro-Mech Components Switches
Q: Are EMC parts in stock or built to order?
A: Most parts are built to order. We do maintain stock on a limited supply of standard catalog products and aircraft end-use products. We may have stock on smaller quantities (<10) of SW drawing items. Please Contact Us and we would be happy to check stock on the item you require.
Q: Should I order through a distributor or directly from the factory?
A: Since many parts are custom configurations, our distributors cannot stock all combinations. You can try one of our distributors for the item you require, but most orders are booked directly through the factory. We have a $250.00 minimum factory order on most items.
Q: I cannot locate a data sheet for part number SW4nnnn. Why isn’t it on the web site?
A: The data sheets on the web site are primarily for standard catalog products. There are some SW4nnnn.pdf drawings on the web site. We have assigned thousands of custom drawing numbers in the sequence SW30000 – SW45999 that we cannot possibly include on the web site. Please Contact Us for the data sheet (actual drawing).
Q: The switch I have has a four digit number on it. What is this?
A: EMC prints a date code on all of our switches in the sequence WWYY where WW = week number and YY = year number (e.g. 3213 = 32nd week of 2013).
Q: Is this an EMC part number…?
A: We receive many inquiries referencing “EMC part numbers” which actually are not.
Often, the four digit manufacturing date code is confused for the part number. In general, the marking on an EMC switch is the four digit manufacturing (date) code, 07150 (Federal identification CAGE/FSCM code), Electro-Mech, the part number, and the terminal identification.
Q: I am looking for a transformer made by Electro-Mech. Can you help me?
A: Electro-Mech is a common name used by several other companies:
Products: aircraft motors and blowers
Kari Arnold, Customer Service
2600 South Custer, Wichita, KS 67217
Phone 316-941-0419 – Fax 316-941-0473
Products: power supplies, transformers, battery chargers
Tobias Brandes (Area Sales Manager USA) Friwo – Germany
(acquired Electro-Mech Company in 2005)
Phone: +49 25 32/81-2 06
FRIWO Geraetebau GmbH
48346 Ostbevern – Germany
We have additional cross reference information for other Electro-Mech’s.
Q: I need to identify an EMC part number for a switch I have in my hand, can you help?
A: Yes, you can contact us directly. We may ask you to send the product to our office for exact identification or please email us a digital photo of the product you have.
In addition, the following information is helpful:
- What series of switch do you think it might be?
- What are the type, shape, and color of the actuator (pushbutton lens)?
- Is there any imprinting on the pushbutton?
- Is the switch illuminated? What are the illumination/lens colors?
- What is the type and number of terminals?
- Does it have Alternate or Momentary action?
- What is the mounting style: snap-in, screw mount, or threaded bezel?
- Who is the manufacturer of the equipment from which the switch came?
Q: Can I purchase a replacement switch directly from you?
A: You can contact the equipment manufacturer for the proper replacement, or we can supply a direct replacement.
If you are unable to obtain a switch or a part number via the manufacturer, then you can contact us directly for help in identifying the switch part number.
Q: Does EMC offer high amperage power switches?
A: EMC Series 4000 is rated 10A resistive, 5A inductive at 30VDC or 125VAC.
Q: My application has special switch requirements which fall outside your standard switch offerings. Can you provide a solution?
A: EMC is a vertically integrated company that can fabricate over 75% of the components that make up its products. This, in combination with complete in-house design, allows us maximum manufacturing flexibility. As a result, we offer a wide range of customized solutions for your specialized switch needs. Our motto: We Make It Special.
Q: What is the electrical life of an EMC illuminated switch bulb?
A: The electrical lives of our switch lamps and LED’s are specified on the individual lamp or LED specification sheets.
Q: What is the operating temperature range of your switches?
A: The temperature range for our pushbutton switches is 0 C to 85 C (32 F – 185 F). For W2100, W2600, and W3900 series switches, operating temperature range per MIL-PRF-22885-F is -55 C to +85 C.
Q: Do you have AutoCAD, DWG, DXF, STP or IGES files of your switches available?
A: Yes. We may have the required file archived in our library, or a drawing may need to be created. Therefore, contact us directly with your request.
Q: What does IP64 mean?
A: IP64 is the International (IEC/EN) rating (Ingress Protection) for degree of protection against ingress of liquid or solid debris. It can also include impact characteristics.
Q: When do you recommend LED illumination in place of incandescent lamp illumination?
A: LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes), composed of a DC diode chip and connections encased in plastic and epoxy which protects against shock and vibration, are considered the ideal illumination choice for the many applications.
At 100,000+ hours, LED lamp life is ten times that of incandescent lamps. Unlike incandescent lamps, heat rise is not a factor for LED life cycle; LED’s generate only a 6 degree temperature rise above ambient, as compared to the 51 degree temperature rise of incandescent lamps. Because LED’s are absent of fragile filaments, they are also not susceptible to breakage or DC notching.
LED’s offer focused beam brightness (measured in millicandellas) which is able to match or exceed the light intensity of incandescent lamps. LED’s are available in a wide range of colors and intensities including the standard 8 millicandella LED, 60-100 millicandella super bright LED, 750 millicandella high intensitry green LED, and the 8000-9300 millicandella megabright amber/red LED. Carling also offers special blue, white and Bluish Green LED’s and Bi-Color and flashing red/amber LED’s.
Typical pricing of LED’s with built in resistors is higher than standard incandescent lamps, but extended life over the life of the installation can save the cost of replacing incandescent lamps.
Q: Do you offer actuator guards for your switches to prevent accidental activation?
A: Our LG Lens Guards will cover any assemblies with the 67- or 674- bezel or part number prefix, and will prevent accidental actuation of the lens. Lens guards come with or without a spring return feature. LGSL = Lens Guard, Spring Loaded.
Q: What is EMC’s Warranty Policy?
A: Electro-Mech Components warrants to all customers that all products sold and shipped to the customer shall be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of one year minimum. Products with date codes (WWYY) over one year old may be returned at customer’s expense for engineering evaluation of subject products and may be replaced or repaired at no charge should the evaluation determine that EMC is responsible.
In the event of such defects, the seller’s only obligation shall be the replacement of the defective goods. This warranty is the seller’s sole obligation and excludes all other remedies or warranties, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, whether or not purposes or specifications are described herein. EMC further disclaims any responsibility for injury to person or damage to or loss of property or value caused by any product which has been subjected to misuse, negligence, or accident; or misapplied, or modified or repaired by person or persons not authorized by the seller or which have been improperly installed.
Engineering Notes / Glossary
The following list contains additional details of characteristics, options, and terms applicable to switches. These definitions can be helpful to the designer in establishing specifications to meet unique applications.
Alternate Action: Switch action defined as single push to engage switch contacts, another push to disengage switch contacts. EMC offers two types of Alternate Action switching:Push-On/Push-Off: switch plunger is in same position in ON and OFF positions.Push-On/Remain-In/Push-Off: switch plunger is physically depressed in the ON position (defined as Differential).
Bezel Flange(s) (Ears): Refers to unitized switch/body or mounting adapter optional bezels. Part numbers 65- and 65X- have a bezel that is flush with the mounting surface. Part numbers 67-, 67X-, 68- and 68X- include one or two Bezel Flanges that rise above the edge of the panel adjacent to the side of the pushbutton and help prevent accidental actuation of the button.
Break-before-Make: A property of switch operation that opens the preceding circuit before closing the next.
Common: The common is one of the switches’ terminals, and is the terminal that is always part of the switch circuit regardless of position. The common connects to the different circuits either the normally open (NO) side or normally closed (NC) side.
Contact Bounce: Contact discontinuity (open circuit) experienced when a switch is subjected to physical vibration or rotated to a new position.
Contact Resistance: The Ohmic resistance of the switch contact points, usually measured in milliohms. This is particularly significant in dry circuit or low level applications, since the resistance varies significantly at the micro-amp level with current variations.
Detent: A mechanical click within the travel of the switch. In momentary switches, this may be added as a snap dome switch in the bottom of the plunger travel.
D-Flat, Double-D: Terms describing the switch mounting bushing shaft physical configuration. “D-Flat” describes one flat surface, while “Double-D” describes two parallel flat surfaces on the periphery of a shaft or bushing.
Dielectric Withstanding Voltage: This is the maximum voltage that can be applied between open switch terminals and the switch housing or mounting bushing (ground) without arcing or flashover. Arcing or flashover indicates a breakdown of the insulating material. A typical maximum voltage is 250 to 1500 Vrms, depending upon the size of the switch. See also Insulation Resistance.
Differential: The difference between the resting points of the switch plunger when in the ON position and the OFF position in a Push-On/Remain-In/Push-Off switch. Total travel is always greater than the differential.
Dry Circuit: A term indicating switch contacts designed for operation at currents less than 10 milliamps and at voltages less than 30 millivolts DC.
Also known as Low Level switching.
EMI/RFI Shield: A special grounding technique that guards the switch from being affected by ambient Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI), or Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). EMI or RFI may negatively affect circuit functions. These undesirable energy transients usually come through the wiring (conducted), or the shaft (radiated). Tests specified by MIL-S-3786 measure how these transients are shunted to ground.
Epoxy Seal: A sealant used on a switch assembly to safeguard against solder flux, cleaning solvents, or other contaminants from entering the inside working portion of the switch.
Explosion Proof: A design feature that allows switch actuation of electrical energy, without causing ignition, while immersed in an enclosed area having a combustible atmosphere.
Gang Switch: Multi-switch assembly, often interlocking, from EMC Series 400/500 that typically uses EMC Series GH2100 or GH2600 switches.
Insulation Resistance: This is the resistance measured between open switch terminals, and between a switch terminal and ground. The unit of measurement is usually Megohms. See also Dielectric Withstanding Voltage.
Make-before-Break: A property of switch operation that closes the preceding circuit before opening the next.
MIL-I-45208: A military specification that states the requirements for an inspection system (superceded in 1997 by ISO standards).
MIL-Q-9858: A military specification that states the requirements for a quality system, including downstream supplier control.
MIL-PRF-22885F: A military specification for switches, pushbutton, and pushbutton lens displays.
MIL-STD-202F: A military standard defining test methods for electronic and electrical component parts.
Momentary: A switch position that incorporates a spring return mechanism that restores the plunger or shaft to a return position upon release. Switch contacts are only closed when switch is physically depressed.
Panel Seal: A seal placed between the panel and switch mounting surfaces to exclude leakage past the mounting bushing. Also see Shaft Seal.
PC Terminals: Terminals on a switch specifically designed for mounting on a printed circuit board. Usually specified with modification code (e.g. 2150PC).
QPL: An acronym for “Qualified Product List”, it lists the slash numbers in the MIL-PRF-22885 specifications (e.g. MIL-PRF-22885 /04 ; /13 ; /20 ; /35 etc.) that successfully meet the criteria of the qualification tests designated therein.
Shaft Flat: The flat section of a round shaft provided for the purpose of preventing the knob from slipping during switch actuation and providing orientation of the knob during assembly.
Shaft Seal: O-ring or other protective cover to prevent leakage past the shaft.
Shock The impact a switch must withstand without failure.
Terminal: Means by which a switch connects to external circuitry. Common styles include:
– printed circuit board terminal (PC terminal)
– solder lug terminal
Terminal Strength: A measure of a switch terminal’s ability to withstand a pull test, usually measured in pounds.
Thermal Shock: A test that subjects the switch to rapidly changing temperature extremes.
Torque: A rotational force around an axis.