IDEC Corp. has developed the new HT4P Safety Commander, which incorporates additional networking and operator interface functionality. The HT4P Safety Commander is ergonomic for secure holding and protection of a human-machine interface (HMI) tablet, provides networking and has hardwired emergency stop (e-stop) in addition to other operator interface devices. It is designed for OEMs and automation designers requiring operator interface options for equipment, robotics, collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and other manufacturing system applications.

Although modern consumer-grade tablets offer a visualization solution for data-intensive industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications, these are not constructed to withstand industrial conditions. The Safety Commander devices are rugged and deploy HMI tablets in an arrangement for use on the factory floor. The original HT3P Safety Commander provided a lockable, ergonomic and sturdy way to secure HMI tablets. The original version includes charging provisions, along with a hardwired e-stop and a three-position hold-to-run enabling switch, so designs could integrate tablets in compliance with ISO/IEC safety standards and requirements. 

According to the company, the new HT4P Safety Commander builds on these capabilities, with a larger size that holds 10-to 13-in. tablets using adjustable grippers. It provides a wired networking option for use with an on-board wired LAN combined with a USB-PD connection. A USB/RS232C/RS422 converter option is also available, in addition to external shielded cables with connectors of 5, 10, 15, and 20 m. The HT4P also includes three mounting positions for standard or custom arrangements of hardwired push-buttons, illuminated push buttons and elector switches. A guard also is available for protection against inadvertent operation of the e-stop button.

The HT4P enables 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. A wall-mountable bracket is available, and the device can also be placed on a desk. According to the company, the device has been tested for drop resistance up to 1.2 m., and it offers IP54 protection from water splashes, dust and dirt. It operates in temperatures ranging from -10˚C up to 35˚C or more, depending on configuration. Clean-room compatible parts are also available.