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Introducing ANCA Motion's EtherCAT remote pendant

08 April 2020

ANCA Motion's EtherCAT Pendant offers flexible benefits to manufacturers, machine builders, and system integrators looking for a user-friendly and intuitive interface.

In factories, as with the world outside them, devices and machines are becoming simpler to use.

A vital expectation nowadays is user-friendliness. The “user experience”-oriented smartphone era has seen industrial companies make their products and all their Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) much more intuitive. The world is moving towards an era where robots can be taught on the fly by an assembly line worker rather than requiring hours of painstaking programming by the expert. Machine builders are designing their solutions and their HMIs so that these can be set up with minimum steps and put to work by someone with minimal training.

One reason to provide user-friendly machinery is the workforce demographic shift on the horizon. In the USA, for example, a quarter of manufacturing workers were 55 and older in 2017. A recent survey from the US’s National Association of Manufacturers found nearly a half of respondents were “very concerned” about the brain drain caused by the expertise ageing out of their companies. 

With fewer expert machinists around, products need to be simple to use – as well as safe – in the hands of a non-expert as well as an expert operator.

ANCA Motion’s AMI 5000 remote pendant is a machine control interface. It offers support for the EtherCAT fieldbus – almost unheard of among pendant manufacturers, and a benefit in quick integration with compatible systems. Interfacing with any host control system software that supports EtherCAT Fieldbus, the pendant is designed to connect and integrate with a machine in a few simple steps. EtherCAT also means a reduction in cable size and weight, thus improving manoeuvrability and portability. 

Customers value the integration and easy to use capabilities of EtherCAT

“Really loving how nicely these pendants integrated into our Beckhoff EtherCAT master,” said Joe Sheehan, Sr. Automation and Controls Engineer, ACE – SpaceX. “Was as close to plug and play as it gets. Bravo! I’ve received both that I have ordered so far, and we’re still exploring new application avenues for them.”

Another user, an Engineering Manager from Tru Tech Systems, offered that EtherCAT made interfacing a breeze, even across different brands, and vastly improved flexibility in hardware selection. 

“The old idea of ‘using the same brand so there are no issues’ is gone with EtherCAT,” he said. “The freedom is there to pick and choose hardware that is best for the application without problems with integration.”

Customisable options build on a proven track record of innovation and customer support

The remote pendant comes in a wear- and drop-resistant composite case, ideal for tough industrial environments. The front cover is customisable to match an OEM’s branding needs. 

The AMI 5000 remote pendant is available in custom cable lengths from two metres to ten metres standard or spiralled, allowing a worker the flexibility to move around their machine. Magnet and cradle mounting also offers maximum flexibility. With localised firmware updates and local status indicators, these devices are simply plug-and-play, avoiding complex integration procedures.

Safety and control are increased through dual-channel Emergency Stop and optional Hold to Run button. The unit’s MPG (manual pulse generator) feed also offers precision control. This allows for precise movement along various axes - ideal for making small, incremental changes which provides great flexibility when testing new part programs.

The pendant uses an 18-pin circular connector, 24-Volt DC input, and communicates at 100 Mbps.

With thousands of existing units and support through ANCA’s global network of offices, any issue can be resolved as quickly as possible. 

Learn more about the EtherCAT Remote Pendant on the website:

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