The partnership between Schneider Electric and ZF Friedrichshafen AG has lead to a new level of smart industrial switches. With the help of the compact generator from ZF, Schneider Electric has released the new industrial Harmony ZBRT wireless and battery-less interface. This self-powered transmitter is fully modular and compatible with industry top-class Harmony XB4 and XB5 control units. It will support industrial enterprises to improve their profitability in several ways.

Flexibility is an essential feature for industrial enterprises. Logistical changes are often required in these environments, which can lead to an inevitable upgrade of equipment and control systems. Using a wireless and battery-free pushbutton is the simplest and quickest way to modify existing control units.

New functions can be added to the system by simply adding an energy harvesting pushbutton. Each RF switch has a unique ID and can be associated to a specific function or machine. This retrofit option saves time and costs in wiring, programming, and it avoids maintenance work for changing batteries. As the Harmony ZBRT interface is compatible with standard electrical contacts, it can be set up very quickly. A duplication of function is also possible to control additional equipment with an existing pushbutton. While attaching the self-powered pushbutton on an existing switch, there is the possibility to initiate two associated processes with one push, for example. The advantage: No change for the existing wiring and no new wiring is required.

The ZF energy harvesting switch can be integrated directly into the plastic housing of the Harmony ZBRT, due to its very compact design (20.1 x 7.3 x 14.3 mm). The ZF radio switch generates a voltage pulse by mechanical actuation, as it relies on the inductive principle and without any additional power source. Therefore, RF commands can be reliably sent via commercially available radio protocols such as Zigbee Green Power at 2.4 GHz (IEEE 802.15.4), which is used by the smart Harmony system of Schneider Electric.