Automation, Control & Plant Intelligence News Updates
Schleicher Electronic reinvents machine operation: ProNumeric OP 50 M
Game-changing machine operation with smart phone convenience
One of Germany’s most renowned controls & automation technology companies – Schleicher Electronic – is revolutionizing the operation of machine tools, handling devices and industrial robots with the ProNumeric OP 50 M hand-held operating device. This is the first time that a machine can be controlled with smart-phone convenience. The large touch display of the handy device visualizes the individual user interface, which is communicated by the device controller via a web browser. Traditional operating elements such as the high-resolution hand-wheel that eases real-time interaction between the operator and the controller are provided at the same time. Best of all and unique at that: Compared to conventional operating devices, the ProNumeric OP 50 M not only enables optimized handling but also supports problem-free interfacing with the leading machine networks EtherCAT and sercos III. A ProfiNet version is currently in the planning stage.
The powerful real-time Ethernet solutions EtherCAT and sercos III allow for construction of machine control systems with a single network for I/O, drives and operating devices. The ProNumeric OP 50 M is the first hand-held operating device of its kind that supports these two common protocol versions in an optimized fashion and the first that can therefore be connected to a wide range of controllers provided by well-known manufacturers. A Schleicher gateway that is compatible with both real-time protocols is installed in the network for this purpose. The appropriate communication system can then simply be selected by flicking a switch. The economic viability of a ProfiNet version is currently being investigated.
The device was equipped with an integrated web browser to make it possible to disconnect the ProNumeric OP 50 M during operation from one machine and to reconnect it to another. It is therefore possible to program an individual user interface with all standard visualization functions. The visualization project is not stored on the hand-held device but on the mass storage device of each controller. The user interface can therefore be called up immediately once a new controller has been connected. Problem-free updates - and even remote services - are therefore possible.
Tasks that previously required cumbersome input into a computer can now be performed with the ProNumeric OP 50 M, which places all functions required for fast parametrization on site into the hands of the person adjusting the machine. Operation of the resistive touch-screen operating panel is even possible with protective gloves. The 5-inch TFT display provides clear feedback due to its high-resolution graphics. It has bright LED background lighting and can therefore be operated in factory halls without glare. The LED flash light integrated into the front of the device brightly lights up parts of the work environment where lighting is insufficient.
Traditional operating elements facilitate real time data transmission in addition to the touch panel. The function keys of the rugged membrane keyboard were reduced to a minimum to provide the best possible overview. The anti-skid, high-resolution hand-wheel registers 100 increments per rotation to
facilitate sensitive, jerk-free movements controlled by hand. The position of the hand wheel and the keyboard status can be read directly by the controller as I/O data.
High priority has been given to the safety of the machine operator, as is the case with all Schleicher operating devices. The ProNumeric OP 50 M has a dual-channel emergency stop button (certified in accordance to DIN 60204) which is connected to the gateway by a safety-orientated wire link. The tried and tested housing consists of rugged and slip-proof material.
# # # About Schleicher Electronic
Schleicher Electronic GmbH is a leading provider of automation & control solutions and the only medium-sized company owning a proprietary NC kernel for use in the manufacture of machines and plants. Since 1937 Schleicher has been standing for quality, innovation and experience: What began in 1958 with the invention of the time relay was perpetuated with the development in 1985 of the autonomous NC kernel and with the company's own programming and production of customized control systems. This company's longstanding tradition in innovation has its origin in Berlin, a major worldwide science hub; Cooperative projects with internationally renowned research institutes ensure constant inspiration for new development, giving Schleicher Electronic that decisive edge in the area of complex, high performance industrial applications. The company’s four core competencies include high-performance control systems, relays, electronic engineering services (EES) and electronic manufacturing services (EMS). Featuring roughly 90 employees, Schleicher Electronic does its manufacturing exclusively at its premises in Berlin (“Made in Germany”). Schleicher solutions are in use worldwide. Amongst many others, the customer base proudly includes Siemens AG, BMW AG and Sick AG.