Smart and mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets have long reached our daily lives; the availability of data independent of time and place has become natural. Trends from the consumer environment increasingly feature in the industry as users are no longer willing to do without the familiar comfort. Furthermore, the basic understanding of how people interact with systems is changing in the industrial context.
While so far the operation of machines has tended to be one-dimensional, the range of tasks and responsibilities is opening up significantly in the course of digitization. Flexibility, mobility and the ability to communicate will be major basic preconditions for efficient production processes in the IIoT. HMI-solutions are no longer developed for a single area of application but often have to meet manifold requirements.
At the SPS 2019 in Nuremberg, Schubert System Elektronik presents design studies of innovative mobile display and operating units for the industry.
Design Study 1: Robust and Safe
The task by our customer from the area of factory automation and plant engineering was to replace the currently used wired 10” hand operating unit by an up-to-date operating unit while significantly lowering the device costs.
The Prime Cube® Solution:
The robust plastic housing was developed for the integration of handy 10”-tablets. The safe plant operation is ensured by the wired solution.
A firmly integrated emergency stop and an enabling switch allow for the easy actuation of the most important functions. Further work steps can be carried out intuitively by tablet, and communication processes as well as access to data from other applications are also possible.
The motto “bring your own device” allows different users to react with maximum flexibility as different devices can be easily integrated into the frame by a clip-mechanism. Thanks to the magnets at the rear side of the housing the operating unit can be fixed easily as required, e.g. at the machine resp. at other vertical or tilted surfaces.
The solution offers our customer a flexible and simple platform to implement a modern, web-based HMI by means of integrating smart devices into the industrial environment.
Design Study 2: Flexible Functional and Charging Concepts
Small, price-sensitive machines by Homag, the leading provider of integrated production solutions for the wood-processing industry worldwide, had to be upgraded to a modern HMI. Among other things, the objective included the operation of several machines. At the same time, the end customer wanted to get the chance to easily adapt to different application scenarios.
The Prime Cube® Solution:
By means of a slide-in-element different functions can be represented at the robust plastic housing - as required for the safe machine operation with emergency stop or, for example, with an additional scanning function in the logistics area. The slide-in is also integrated in the charging concept.
While the battery-slide-in is being charged, the device can easily be used in a different function. Alternatively, the whole device can be charged either lying or standing in the respective charging tray.
Without wiring the user gains the maximum possible freedom of movement and can adapt the device functionality to the respective field of activity, view context-related information or operate the system via touch.
The connection of tablet and operating elements for the safe machine operation in a mobile end device allows both the provision of targeted information to the user and the direct intervention into the system operation. Software interface and operating environment are known and intuitively rooted.
Finally, both economic and technological aspects are fulfilled: Thanks to the use of consumer hardware the device costs can be significantly minimized, and at the same time the latest technologies to extend the system concept are always available.