Operator panels can usefully supplement the functions of touch panels by enabling latency-free and safe machine control. The Industrial Ethernet-capable MCI (Machine Control Interface) from Prime Cube® is a flexibly configurable operating unit for integration into HMI terminals.
Machine or system operation via touch display is the modern way of industrial interaction. Users are familiar with many technologies from their private environment and do not want to do without them at work. On the other hand, haptic operation is indispensable for some applications to avoid faults, e.g. if operators directly look into the machine during blind operation.
It can make sense to complement the functions of touch panels by operating units as they enable a latency-free and safe machine control. The industrial ethernet-capable MCI (machine control interface) by Prime Cube® is a flexibly configurable operating unit to be integrated into HMI-terminals. Different electromechanical operating elements can be integrated as required - from keypads, rotary knobs and individual switches to encoder-based input devices.
The MCI is suitable for numerous HMI-applications and can be easily integrated into Profinet and Sercos-III-infrastructures. The modular concept allows the flexible combination of a central bus connection unit, further add-on modules, digital inputs and outputs for the connection of directly wired control devices, an override module for the realization and connection of customized operating blocks and freely configurable button modules.
The button module with 15 single push-buttons allows a great bandwidth of configurable function buttons. Up to three button modules can be connected to the central industrial ethernet module.
The push-button caps are individually laser-marked according to the configured function and can be exchanged at the front side in installed condition. Each button is equipped with an RGB-LED freely configurable in terms of color and loudness and provides a function-specific homogenous illumination.
As an additional feature for its product brand Prime Cube®, Schubert System Elektronik has further developed the overrides already established on the market. Thanks to optical feedback via display LEDs and haptic signals by vibration, the new feedback overrides offer improved safety for operators and support them during blind operation.
The indicator light at the switch is fitted with RGB-LED, the color and brightness of which can be individually defined. As an example, the feedback may indicate that a defined value has been reached. With a freely configurable twist boundary the feature prevents a potential override. In this way, damages to the machine or the product can be greatly reduced. Apart from the rotary movement transmitted via encoder it is also possible to use the function of a push-buttton to confirm a process or selection.
The MCI is already integrated into HMI-solutions by Prime Cube®. It is also available as an OEM-product and can therefore be integrated into existing operating solutions. Furthermore, all modules are separately available as CANopen-compatible modules.