Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cost-effective HMI for machine builders

Baldor Electric has added a compact IP65-rated operator panel with a CANopen interface to its range of motion control products. The operator panel provides machine designers and builders with a very cost-effective means of implementing simple human-machine interfaces. It is also a scalable control solution - an optional plug-in digital I/O module facilitates simple system expansion.

The new KPD202-501 operator panel from Baldor Electric - now part of the ABB group - features a backlit 4-line x 20-character LCD surrounded by six programmable function keys, enabling unambiguous, and actionable, multiple-choice menus to be presented to the machine operator. A further 15 keys are provided for the input of numeric values, together with four pairs of keys which can be used for functions such as jogging individual machine axes.

The KPD202-501 operator panel is exceptionally easy to fit and set up. The panel can be accommodated with minimal impact on layout and merely requires a rectangular cut-out in the facia; built-in mounting clamps secure the unit by compressing its bezel gasket against the surrounding facia. Once mounted, the panel has an IP65 protection rating. The only connections that are needed are a 24 Vdc power feed and the desired communications link. As standard, the panel is equipped with a CANopen port, which offers a choice of D-type and RJ45 plug-in connectors, and a user-selectable RS232/485 serial port.

No special programming software or tools are required - the KPD202-501 can be programmed direct from the motion controller to which it is connected, using Baldor's versatile Mint programming language. This is one of the industry's most popular motion control languages and it is installed on more than 100,000 systems worldwide. The operator panel is compatible with all of Baldor's NextMove multi-axis controllers and Mint programmable drives, including the new Mint Lite versions of the MotiFlex e100 and MicroFlex e100. Where CANopen is not available, the panel can be operated as a standard VT100 terminal over its RS232/485 serial port - it is fully supported within the Mint programming language.

An optional plug-in I/O expansion module is available. The module provides four optically-isolated digital inputs and four optically-isolated digital outputs, each of which can be operated over the CANopen bus as standard DS401 remote I/O, for use with ancillary devices such as push button interfaces and indicator lamps. The inputs can be configured as PNP or NPN, whilst the outputs are PNP only. The I/O can be directly controlled from within the Mint language.

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