24th May 2024

Understanding IDEC’s E-stop ‘Safe Break Action’ Feature: Enhancing Safety in Industrial Environments

Understanding IDEC’s E-stop ‘Safe Break Action’ Feature: Enhancing Safety in Industrial Environments


In the fast-paced world of industrial automation, safety is paramount. With machinery and processes becoming increasingly complex, ensuring the well-being of workers and the reliability of equipment is a top priority for businesses. This is where IDEC’s Safe Break Action technology comes into play, offering a robust solution to enhance safety in industrial environments. 

IDEC E-stop, Emergency Stop

What is an E-Stop? 

An emergency stop, or E-stop, is a safety mechanism designed to halt machinery or processes immediately in emergency situations. It’s a critical component of any industrial setup, allowing operators to swiftly intervene, turn off machinery fast, and prevent accidents or injuries. E-stops need to be easy to use, endure harsh factory conditions and deliver peace of mind.  

E-stops work by signalling a safety device, such as a safety relay, to cut the power to a machine or process.  Traditionally, the terminals within an E-stop are held in a closed position. This is referred to as a Normally Closed (NC) switch. On pressing the E-stop, the contacts disengage, stopping the flow of power and isolating the machine or circuit. Latches maintain the separation of the contacts until the operator resets the switch, typically through a pulling or twisting motion. However, one challenge with conventional E-stop systems is that they may not always provide fail-safe operation if the contact blocks within the switch are, for example, misaligned or incorrectly fitted. 

IDEC’s Solution: ‘Safe Break Action’ 

IDEC, a leading manufacturer of industrial automation and control solutions, addresses this challenge with its E-stop ‘Safe Break Action’ feature. This technology ensures fail-safe operation even in the rare event of contact block failure. 

IDEC’s E-stops are designed with a positive opening mechanism, also known as ‘Safe Break Action’. This means that the E-stop contacts have the spring pressure in the opposite direction meaning it will always fail in the safe position and cannot be defeated by welding or sticking contacts, thus ensuring reliable and consistent operation. 

These E-Stops are also available with 1 to 4NC contacts, depending on the series, and can include 1NO monitor contact to ensure no faults are missed. These additional contact options also mean that these E-stop switches can be used in Level 4 safety category applications. 

To conclude, IDEC’s E-stop ‘Safe Break Action’ feature represents a significant advancement in industrial safety technology. By combining fail-safe operation with ‘Safe Break Action’, IDEC provides a reliable and robust solution to enhance safety in industrial environments. As businesses strive to create safer workplaces and comply with regulatory standard, investing in advance safety technologies like IDEC’s E-stop switches in a proactive step towards achieving these goals.