Idec improves HMI tablet usability for industrial and safety applications
The Engineering Network Ltd
Posted to News on 27th Mar 2023, 15:11

Idec improves HMI tablet usability for industrial and safety applications

Idec improves HMI tablet usability for industrial and safety applications

The HT4P Safety Commander from Idec accepts more device sizes than ever before, and it adds networking and operator interface options for using modern tablet interfaces with industrial equipment.

The HT4P Safety Commander builds on the success of the HT3P by incorporating end user feature requests for additional networking and operator interface functionality. The HT4P Safety Commander is an ergonomic device enabling users to securely hold and protect a human-machine interface (HMI) tablet, while providing power, networking, and hardwired emergency stop (e-stop) and other operator interface devices.

OEMs and automation designers can now provide flexible and safety-rated operator interface options for equipment, robotics, collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and other manufacturing system applications.

Industrial operations personnel have long been constrained to using specialised HMIs mounted on fixed control panels, or dedicated teaching pendants. Modern consumer-grade tablets offer a better visualisation solution, especially for data-intensive industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications, and they can also offer instant viewing of drawings and manuals, videoconferencing, and reports. But they simply are not made to withstand industrial conditions.

Now, the Safety Commander family of devices provides a ruggedised way of deploying HMI tablets to deliver many convenience and productivity benefits, in an arrangement designed for use on the factory floor.

The original HT3P Safety Commander provided a lockable, ergonomic, and sturdy way to secure HMI tablets. It included charging provisions, along with a hardwired e-stop and a 3-position hold-to-run enabling switch, so designs could integrate tablets in compliance with ISO/IEC safety standards and requirements. Many OEMs and end users have used this device to great advantage, and some have requested even more features to expand its usefulness for their applications. The new HT4P Safety Commander builds on these capabilities and has been enhanced with a larger size, wired networking and hardwired non-safety switches.

The HT4P maintains other key features, such as the ability for the tablet to be used in vertical/portrait or horizontal/landscape orientations, by both left- and right-handed users, with a hand or shoulder strap to minimise fatigue. A wall-mountable bracket is available, and the device can also be placed on a desk for easy viewing. The device has been tested for drop resistance up to 1.2m, and it offers IP54 protection from water splashes, dust, and dirt. Clean room compatible parts are also available.


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