HOW TO SELECT A SWITCH FOR A MILITARY APPLICATION?
The switches used in military applications have technical and ergonomic specifications ensuring high performance and reliability.
These switches must conform to military standards.
1. WHICH STANDARDS APPLY TO MILITARY SWITCHES?
Concerning product development and qualification, two standards are essential:
MIL: a US standard conferring an accreditation to manufacture for the US army.
Some MIL standards define the general development rules: for instance the MIL-STD-1472 standard defines the product design rules, the MIL-STD-810 and 202 specify the environmental tests conditions, the MIL-STD-461 determines the EMC test conditions… Some other standards precisely define product specifications, qualification tests, marking…
Two other MIL standards are dedicated to military switches:
MIL-STD-3950 “Switches, toggles, environmentally sealed, general specification for”
MIL-STD-83731 “Switches, toggles, unsealed and sealed, general specification for”
Manufacturers whose products have been qualified and validated by the DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) are QPL (Qualified Part List) listed. The DLA is a US government agency of the DoD (Department of Defense).
CECC 96000: a European quality standard defining test rules for switches.
More precisely, the CECC 96401-001, 96201-005 and 96201-008 detail specifications define the specific tests required by the military market.
APEM offers CECC qualified products and QPL listed according to the MIL-STD-3950 and MIL-STD-83731 standards.
2 HOW TO SELECT A MILITARY SWITCH SUPPLIER?
First thing is to work with a manufacturer of CECC and MIL qualified products having a good knowledge of military standards, specifications and constraints.
This ensures having:
Products with military specifications: sealing to IP67 or IP68 (immersion under 10 m water), resistance to shocks and vibrations, resistance to extreme temperatures, electromagnetic immunity, matte black chrome finish, salt spray resistance…
Quality products. A performing quality management system is necessary to produce military qualified products.
Continuity of ranges over time