Machine interface design: Illuminated square keys

New key shapes and four types of modules from B&R permit placement of square illuminated keys anywhere on a machine.


Machine builders now have the option of modern design coupled with excellent signal effectiveness in the form of new illuminated square keys from B&R. Keys can be illuminated in five colors (red, yellow, green, blue and white), and various combinations of single-color and multi-color keys are possible.

B&R illuminated square keys

Made of a short-stroke key, a light fixture and high-performance LEDs on a circuit board, the illuminated square keys can withstand up to 1 million actuations and is said to provide excellent tactile characteristics via a choice of embossing options. The 16 mm diameter of the key actuating area and a minimum spacing of 30 mm between keys provide additional operating comfort. The light fixture, developed by B&R, provides for uniform illumination of the key, which increases the readability of the key label. The labels can be printed directly on foil or installed as legend strips. Keys feature a hygienic surface design—no gaps, edges or joints—and an IP65 rating.

The various illuminated keys can be implemented in a complete system in many ways using all B&R technologies (Automation Panel, Power Panel, Panelware, etc.). This allows entry devices to be placed at various positions on the machine. Four different types of modules permit placement anywhere on the machine, and distances of up to 100 m can be bridged between the individual modules. With a B&R bus controller, the key modules can be easily connected to all standard bus systems such as Profibus DP, Powerlink, EtherNet/IP, CAN (with CANopen and DeviceNet protocols) and ProfiNet.

B&R illuminated square keys

Customer-specific illuminated keys (in the tried and tested ring form and now also in square form) are also available.


--Edited by Renee Robbins, Control Engineering News Desk


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