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Product Information

Precision positioning switches

World's smallest class

  1. 1 Detection of 0.1 mm-scale slight movements
  2. 2 Improvements in mechanical precision
  3. 3 Savings in space and cost required
    for equipment

Latest use cases

  • Table positioning

    Table positioning
    Control of the X- and Y- axes with a precision of 1 μm

  • Positioning of the end face of equipment

    Positioning of the end face of equipment
    Control of the starting point of equipment

  • Seating confirmation of workpiece

    Seating confirmation of workpiece
    Use as a stopper for 300 kg static loads

  • Tool setter

    Tool setter
    Correction of the position of worn edged tools with a precision of 0.5 μm

  • Zero seek for robots

    Zero seek for robots
    Correction of the thermal displacement of the Z-axis with a precision of 0.5 μm

  • Positioning within machine tools

    Positioning within machine tools
    Use in adverse environments caused by scattering chips and cutting-oil

This is what distinguishes precision positioning switches from other manufacturers' sensors!

Metrol precision positioning switches are precision mechanical devices.
Like a Swiss mechanical watch, it is assembled from over 7,000 original precision components based on skilled craftsmanship. Over 700 kinds of products are manufactured on the production line, which, though automated, is under the control of responsible individuals.

Metrol conducts integrated quality control throughout the production, quality inspection and delivery processes within its Tokyo factory and ships the products thus manufactured to customers all over the world.

Comparison with other manufacturers' sensors

Contact type Non-contact type
Limit switch
Photoelectric sensor
Optical fiber sensor
Laser sensor
Precision 0.5 μm minimum N/A
(approx. 50 to 100 μm)
1 μm minimum 10 μm minimum
Hysteresis None
(precision mechanical type)
(snap action mechanism)
(electrical type)
Temperature drift No
(because of no amplifier)
Drift occurs
(because of amplifier)
Influence of the
external environment
(mechanical type)
Influenced by temperature,
electric fields and magnetic fields
(electrical type)
Interference None Yes
(influenced by
magnetic fields)
Object detection
None Yes
(influenced by the material
and color of the object)
Influence to the
detected surface
None Influenced by the
surface roughness
and contamination
(water, oil, etc.)
Usability in special
environments at
high temperatures or
in a vacuum or
magnetic field
(consultation required)
Not usable
Life 3 million to
10 million
100,000 to 500,000
10 million
overcurrent often
destroys elements.)

Disadvantages of precision positioning switches

  • Precision positioning switches are unable to detect things that cannot be touched including liquid and soft objects.
  • Tact time is prone to be long because workpieces require contact.
  • Vibration, impact and the operating speed (10 mm/minute maximum) at the mounting location may cause a chattering phenomenon in which electric signals keep turning on and off intermittently.
    (Chattering can be prevented by taking the initial signal or by selecting NO type switches.)

Product specifications (typical model listed)

Typical specifications

Typical model Ultra-small type PT series
Repeatability 0.001 mm for both ON and OFF (range)
Contact precision life 3 million operations
Operating modes A:NO (Normally open) B:NC (Normally closed)
Circuit 回路図 回路図
Movement before the start of operation Approx. 0.3 mm Nearly zero
Protective construction IP40 IP40 IP67 (Waterproof)
Contact force 0.5N 0.5N 0.8N
Stroke 1.5mm
Hysteresis 0
Temperature drift 0
Range of operating temperature 0 to 80 °C (non-freezing)
Contact ratings 5 V DC to 24 V DC,
10 mA (20 mA maximum) resistive load



Precision test data

Cyclic test with an Agilent laser measurement system

Repeatability is measured with the Agilent laser measurement system that has a precision of 1/100,000 mm.
Compact as it is, the switch can achieve 1 μm repeatability (in the case of the high-precision type, 0.5 μm repeatability).

Precision positioning switches

Endurance tests data

Endurance tests repeated as many as 10 million operations or more

Endurance tests were repeated over 10 million operations to ensure an durability of 3 million operations.
Despite being a mechanical type, the switch has an assured durability of 3 million operations.

The voice of engineers

We have received many comments from engineers.

  • Semiconductor engineer

    We use the vacuum-compatible type for positioning in the solar panel manufacturing process.
    Previously, there were no sensors usable in a high vacuum and we were forced to conduct positioning with optical sensors from outside the system via viewports.
    Now, using this switch, we don't need viewports any more.
    In this way, costs have been reduced and the price competitiveness of the system has increased.

  • Medical equipment engineer

    We have employed the radiation-compatible type for the positioning of irradiation mechanisms for radiation therapy equipment.
    Previously, radiation accelerated the degradation of optical sensors and the costs and labor required for replacement were considerable. After the introduction, however, no labor is required for replacement and the equipment operation rate has improved.

  • Elevator engineer

    We have employed precision positioning switches to confirm the opening and closing of the disk brakes of elevators.
    The switch can precisely detect 0.5 mm slight movements without hysteresis and has enhanced the safety of elevators.
    Brake problems have been reduced and inquiries from other industries have increased.

  • Medical equipment engineer

    We have employed precision positioning switches for the balancing of microscopes used in neurosurgery.
    The switch supports the inosculation of 0.05 mm blood vessels at a micron level.
    The high precision of those microscopes has gained a good reputation in this field and many medical institutions around the world have decided to introduce them. Its small size is also very helpful in incorporating it into the equipment.

Other product lineup

There are a variety of series depending on the application.
For details, please request the postage-free Precision Positioning Switch General Catalog.

  • Ultra-small type PT series

    Ultra-small type PT series

    M5 × 17 mm, 1 μm repeatability
    World's smallest class

  • Mini stopper-attached STM series

    Mini stopper-attached STM series

    300 kg Static load resistance, 8 × 8 mm
    Attachable to a robot fingertip

  • High-precision type MT series

    High-precision type MT series

    0.5 μm repeatability without amplifiers
    Usable in adverse environments caused by water and oil

  • Heat-resistant type HT series

    Heat-resistant type HT series

    Usable at an operating temperature of 200°C

  • Medium-precision type CS series

    Medium-precision type CS series

    Compact design of M5 minimum
    Best selling positioning switch

  • Vacuum-compatible type GN series

    Vacuum-compatible type GN series

    Usable in a 10-5 Pa-class high vacuum