Enticing an OEM away from a competitor controller and screen at first challenging until clear merits make it a no-brainer.
An OEM’s account with HYDAC was handed over to Queensland Automation and Control Engineer Christopher Michaels as the firm increasingly delved into mechatronics engineering.
Mr Michaels says that when he took over the account the OEM was only purchasing inclinometers from HYDAC, with controllers and screens supplied by a competitor company.
“The firm’s objective, as for most mobile OEMs or system integrators, was to increase overall safety and functionality of its own systems while saving on costs and passing those savings onto customers,” Mr Michaels points out.
“As I slowly formed a relationship of trust with the OEM’s owner and engineering team, I quite naturally drew attention to HYDAC’s controller and screen,” Mr Michaels says.
“Then a silicon shortage hit, making controllers in our electronics hard to come by.”
Mr Michaels explains that the firm’s “incumbent” was timeously giving the firm “a bit of grief”, which provided the gap HYDAC needed to “help out”.
Mr Michaels highlights that when the firm tried out HYDAC’s screen and controller it was “pleasantly impressed”.
“Sometimes it’s difficult for an OEM to adopt a new system, especially when it may end up requiring a learning curve or being a little more expensive. However, as the current state of the silicon shortage only worsens, we see more and more manufacturers looking for alternatives when it comes to their control systems. It's only a bonus when they find out the components perform better than what they'd previously been supplied.”
HYDAC helps out with TTControl range
Mr Michaels says that when screens and controllers were globally in short supply, HYDAC came to the aid of manufacturers with the modern and easy to use TTControl range.
The controllers are very robust, boasting an aluminium automotive-style housing, ISO 20653 IP6K9K rating in most cases, and a very small overall footprint.
“The controller range starts from a simple expansion module of 30 I/Os that can be connected to an existing CAN-bus network, all the way up to 96 I/Os, SIL 2 PLd functional safety rating, and can be programmed in either Codesys or C development environments. It is this expansive range that really gives HYDAC the flexibility to work with just about anyone in the control systems space.”
The TTControl range of HMIs (Human Machine Interface) is also quite diversified.
“Currently the range of HMIs consists of a 5”, 7”, 10.4” and 12.1”, which covers a majority of the sizes I see the market looking for, especially in mobile machinery,” Mr Michaels explains.
“All screens have an onboard controller and can be used as a master in a master/slave CANOpen setup, depending on the application. They can also be used in conjunction with Ethernet cameras for surveillance and can be specified with either a touch screen and/or tactile buttons, among other great features.
SOLUTION: HYDAC equipment in league of own
“The most recent example of applying the 5” screen in the field - the OEM was at that time using a 4.3” display and was reluctant to move to a larger screen due to spatial constraints inside the cabin.”
Mr Michaels points out that the OEM did not realise at the time that the bezels of the Vision 305s screen were a lot narrower than what it was currently using, which only made a millimetre or so difference in the total frontal area dimensions.
The OEM also conveyed it had issues with its current screen’s housing cracking in the field, as it was made of plastic.
“They were delighted to hear the Vision 305s screen was a solid and robust design as demonstrated by its aluminium backing plate, which is completely sealed to its capacitive touch screen front,” he says.
Happy customer enjoys increased functionality
“The bottom line, the manufacturer paid a little more for its screen and received the added functionality due to its onboard controller, larger screen real estate, and more robust and sleek design.”
Mr Michaels adds the OEM was “pleasantly surprised” when it discovered the touch screen was quicker and more responsive than initially anticipated.
“This feedback was also conveyed by the end-customers, who are loving the new display on their machines.”
He adds that because the screen incorporates the onboard controller, the manufacturer was able to save money by replacing its existing controller for a less expensive I/O expansion module.”
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