Key switches are electromechanical switches that can only be operated with the use of a key, which then is turned to different positions to break or complete the circuit. The different positions align with different states, such as 'ON' or 'OFF', giving a clear indicator of the state of the circuit. Key switches are typically used for operations and process that may require a higher level of safety or security clearance as they cannot be accidentally switched on or off without using the appropriate key. RS supply a range of key-operated switches from a variety of brands, including APEM, C&K, Lorlin, and our own RS PRO, as well as others.
Key switches are commonly found in industrial environments, such as factories and warehouses, but can be found anywhere that it is deemed an appropriate security level to use a key-operated switch. Typical applications may include: