In most cases, a limit switch begins operating when a moving machine or a moving component of a machine makes contact with an actuator or operating lever that activates the switch. The limit switch then regulates the electrical circuit that controls the machine and its moving parts. These switches can be used as pilot devices for magnetic starter control circuits, allowing them to start, stop, slow down, or accelerate the functions of an electric motor. Limit switches can be installed into machinery as control instruments for standard operations or as emergency devices to prevent machinery malfunction. Most switches are either maintained contact or momentary contact models.

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