New IDEC Safety Commander Improves HMI Tablet Usability for Industrial and Safety Applications

March 23, 2023

IDEC Corporation has recently developed the new HT4P Safety Commander, building on the success of the HT3P by incorporating end user feature requests for additional networking and operator interface functionality. The HT4P Safety Commander is an ergonomic device enabling users to securely hold and protect a human-machine interface (HMI) tablet, while providing power, networking, and hardwired emergency stop (e-stop) and other operator interface devices. OEMs and automation designers can now provide flexible and safety-rated operator interface options for equipment, robotics, collaborative robots, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and other manufacturing system applications.

Bringing tablets to the factory floor

Industrial operations personnel have long been constrained to using specialized HMIs mounted on fixed control panels, or dedicated teaching pendants. Modern consumer-grade tablets offer a better visualization solution, especially for data-intensive industrial internet of things (IIoT) applications, and they can also offer instant viewing of drawings and manuals, videoconferencing, and reports. But they simply are not made to withstand industrial conditions.

Now, the Safety Commander family of devices provides a ruggedized way of deploying HMI tablets to deliver many convenience and productivity benefits, in an arrangement designed for use on the factory floor.

Enhanced HMI options

The original HT3P Safety Commander provided a lockable, ergonomic, and sturdy way to secure HMI tablets. It included charging provisions, along with a hardwired e-stop and a 3-position hold-to-run enabling switch, so designs could integrate tablets in compliance with ISO/IEC safety standards and requirements. Many OEMs and end users have used this device to great advantage, and some have requested even more features to expand its usefulness for their applications.

The new HT4P Safety Commander builds on these capabilities and has been enhanced with:

Larger size: The HT4P can now hold tablets ranging from 10-inch all the way up to a 13-inch (whereas the HT3P accepts 8- to 11-inch tablets) using adjustable grippers, so users can take advantage of more display real-estate and greater CPU processing speeds. In most cases, the larger the tablet screen size, the greater the price advantage compared to using a traditional fixed-mounted touch panel.

Wired networking: While designers may still choose to use Wi-Fi for their tablet, there are many applications where electrical noise or other conditions make wireless unsuitable. Now, designers have the option with the HT4P to use an on-board wired LAN combined with a USB-PD connection, providing stable communications and 30W power charging simultaneously. A USB/RS232C/RS422 converter option is also available. External shielded cables with connectors are available for the HT4P in lengths of 5m, 10m, 15m, and 20m, making them suitable for almost any application.

Hardwired non-safety switches: The HT4P now has three on-board mounting positions capable of providing standard or custom arrangements of hardwired pushbuttons, illuminated pushbuttons, and selector switches. In addition, a guard is available to protect against inadvertent operation of the e-stop button.

The HT4P maintains other key features, such as the ability for 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 to minimize fatigue. A wall-mountable bracket is available, and the device can also be placed on a desk for easy viewing. The device has been tested for drop resistance up to 1.2m, and it offers IP54 protection from water splashes, dust, and dirt. It operates in temperatures ranging from -10DegC up to +35DegC or more, depending on configuration. Clean room compatible parts are also available.

Adding industrial-grade safety to tablets

The IDEC HT4P Safety Commander lets OEMs and equipment designers take advantage of modern and familiar tablets acting as HMIs located close to machinery, and it eliminates the need to develop or use dedicated and less flexible devices. As with all its products, IDEC offers free tech support for the HT4P Safety Commander, with no service or support contract required.

More Information

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Eaton Canada Welcomes Dino Alimonti as New Vice President of Sales

    Dino Alimonti has been selected as Vice President, Sales, Eaton Canada, effective July 1, 2023. In his new role, Dino will be responsible for leading, developing and executing sales strategies across key targeted industry segments. He will manage and direct the growth activities of the Sales and Channel teams as well as provide business and operational leadership to the sales teams and associated support functions. Read More…

  • Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    Roberta Nelson Shea from Universal Robots Receives Prestigious Robotics Award for Contribution to Robot Safety

    For the second time within five years, a key figure at Universal Robots (UR), the Danish manufacturer of collaborative robots (cobots), has been awarded the world’s most prestigious robotics prize, the Joseph F. Engelberger Robotics Award, often described as the Nobel Prize of robotics. Following in the footsteps of UR’s co-founder Esben Østergaard, who was given the Engelberger Award in 2018 in the Technology category, Roberta Nelson Shea, UR’s Global Technical Compliance Officer received the award for Applications at a ceremony last night at the Automate Show in Detroit. Read More…

Sponsored Content
The Easy Way to the Industrial IoT

The way to the Industrial IoT does not have to be complicated. Whether access to valuable data is required or new, data-driven services are to be generated, Weidmuller enables its customers to go from data to value the easy way. Weidmuller’s comprehensive and cutting-edge IIoT portfolio applies to greenfield and brownfield applications. Weidmuller offers components and solutions from data acquisition, data pre-processing, data communication and data analysis.

Visit Weidmuller’s Industrial IoT Portfolio.

For a Multiplied Value Unified


During the last few years, the Excelpro Group has welcomed AIA Automation, Envitech Automation and Conrad Lavoie Electrical, all of which have become ‘Member of the Excelpro Group’.

It was with great excitement that in November of 2022, Excelpro announced that these three companies officially became Excelpro. This decision is part of a strategy to enhance the Excelpro Group’s brand in its market.

These companies already collaborate on various client projects. This merger brings together the complementary strengths of the employees and ensures a global synergy of the activities throughout the Group.

Read More

Service Wire Co. Announces New Titles for Key Executives

Bruce Kesler and Mark Gatewood have been given new titles and responsibilities for Service Wire Co.

Bruce Kesler has assumed the role of Senior Director – Business Development. Bruce will be responsible for Service Wire’s largest strategic accounts and our growing Strategic Accounts Team.

Mark Gatewood has been promoted to the role of Vice President – Sales & Marketing. In this role, Gatewood will lead the efforts of Service Wire Company’s entire sales and marketing organization in all market verticals.

Read More

Tri-Mach Announces the Purchase of an Additional 45,000 sq ft. Facility

Tri-Mach Elmira Facility

Recently, Tri-Mach Inc. was thrilled to announce the addition of a new 45,000 sq ft. facility. Located at 285 Union St., Elmira, ON, this facility expands Tri-Mach’s capabilities, allowing them to better serve the growing needs of their customers.

Positioning for growth, this additional facility will allow Tri-Mach to continue taking on large-scale projects, enhance product performance testing, and provide equipment storage for their customers. The building will also be the new home to their Skilled Trades Centre of Excellence.

Read More

JMP Parent Company, CONVERGIX Acquires AGR Automation, Expanding Global Reach

Convergix Automation Solutions has completed the acquisition of AGR Automation (“AGR”), a UK-based provider of custom, high-performance automation design and systems integration primarily to the life sciences industry.

Following Convergix’s acquisitions of JMP Solutions in August 2021 and Classic Design in February 2022, AGR marks the third investment in Crestview’s strategy to build Convergix into a diversified automation solutions provider targeting the global $500+ billion market, with a particular focus on the $70 billion global systems integration and connectivity segments. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Read More

Latest Articles

  • Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson Helps Optimize Innovative Recycling Process That Increases Sustainability of Waste-to-Energy Industry

    Emerson is helping the Swedish cleantech company HaloSep to optimize their unique process that turns hazardous incinerator flue gas residue from waste-to-energy plants into usable materials. Emerson’s control technology and software is being deployed at HaloSep’s plant for optimization, research and technology (PORT) in Gothenburg, Sweden, to manage an innovative chemical separation process that recovers valuable salt, metals and minerals from fly ash. Read More…

  • Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    Efficient Power Supplies – An Investment in the Future

    In the search for a suitable power supply, the costs play a major role, alongside the technical requirements. The focus is often on the initial purchase price, while other potential costs that may be incurred during the operation of the power supply are not taken into consideration. In this blog post, we demonstrate why the decision to purchase a high-quality power supply is a profitable investment for your company, by taking a close look at all the costs involved. Read More…