Machine design: Selecting and using joysticks

Joysticks have replaced many traditional lever systems for the control.


Manufacturers of front-panel control systems need an input device that matches the sophistication of their underlying control software, can stand up to continual use, and is a cost-effective component of the overall system. The intuitive nature of the joystick has made it a natural for precision control applications. Choosing the right handle is not just a question of how the unit looks but also how it will be used. Jim Cooper, product manager in the controls division of joystick maker APEM provides advice of selecting and using joysticks in various applications.


Joystick manufacturers have expanded upon the basic functionality to create a range of specialized products, adapting everything from the core materials to the overall look and feel, to meet the special requirements for each application, says Cooper. The joystick must fit seamlessly into the front panel, whether you are using drop-in or sub-panel mounting. Space is always an issue, and a low-profile sub-panel joystick allows you to design the thinnest possible panels.


Joysticks have replaced many traditional lever systems for the control of tractors, loaders, and cranes, for example. Like the machines they control, these joysticks must be built from robust metal and rubber components that can stand up to grueling usage, Cooper says.


Going beyond the core requirements for strength and reliability, ar low resistance to make the handle easier to move.


Coordinate measuring machines (CMM) developers require the highest level of accuracy and consistency. This is an application where you don’t want to worry about calibration of the measuring device, so the non-degrading contactless option is the best choice, says Cooper. The joystick should offer the same level of control whether on a tabletop or a gantry system.


For more advice on selecting and using the proper joystick, see Jim Cooper’s article

—Edited by Renee Robbins , Editorial Director, Control Engineering

Info Control eNewsletter
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)


APEM Components Inc.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me