Unique Applications

Solving actuation problems for unique projects

Rotary solenoids prove to be the solution for Gundog training product.

Lite Launcher is a UK based company who specialise in the manufacture and distribution of gundog training aids.

Their product ranges include launchers which fire dummy objects for dogs and gundog scurries in numerous game and country fairs.  The firing mechanism on the early models was released by a motor driven catch moving along a groove.  This proved to be somewhat unreliable and inefficient and NSF were approached to develop a more dependable, user friendly and cost effective method of operating the firing pin.

Using a solenoid as an alternative means of actuation involved several application specific issues being identified and addressed.  In particular, the solenoid had to be able to withstand the significant recoil forces without mechanical failure.

Development and tests were carried out using a size 3E rotary solenoid operating on a spring loaded plunger.  Additional features incorporated included a release lever and return spring support, which also provided a resilient mounting within the assembly.  The challenge was met to improve the launcher's reliability whilst remaining within budgetary targets for a market viable product.


"I gave NSF clear goals for my project and they communicated well throughout the process.  Technical support was excellent, with samples provided quickly.  The design improvements mean I can market the product to a much wider audience and build on its success."
- Mr Paul Davies, Managing Director, Lite Launcher

A specialist tubular solenoid was created as part of the electro-mechanical system for a reproducing piano.

A set of 88 solenoids is used to actuate the piano keys, with fast repeats, subtle musical control and complete mechanical silence being crucial.

“When I started developing the control system for this reproducing piano system, it soon became obvious that nobody’s standard solenoids would be good enough. To my surprise and delight NSF were willing to create almost anything I wanted, so we set to work on a design that suited my needs, yet was not awkward to manufacture. It was a joint effort and it absolutely achieves the design objectives.”

- Mr Richard Shepherd, R Shepherd Consulting.

The Bösendorfer Imperial piano is shown photographed in The Great Hall, Castle Howard, North Yorkshire.


For replacements and prototype activity a selection of NSF Controls Tubular Solenoids are now available to buy from Amazon.


The NSF Controls product experts are available to help you select the most suitable product to meet your specific requirements and, if required, will work with you to design and produce a customised solution. 

To find out more, please contact our specialist Design & Engineering Team +44 (0)1535 661144 or email info@nsfcontrols.co.uk 

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