iKey expands offerings, slims profile
Austin, TX—iKey hopes to garner more attention by decreasing its profile, at least with respect to its newest product release, the ''first of its kind,'' iKey SlimKey industrial keyboard.
Austin, TX — iKey hopes to garner more attention by decreasing its profile, at least with respect to its newest product release, the ''first of its kind,'' iKey SlimKey industrial keyboard.
The SlimKey, with an ABS polycarbonate case, measures 0.8 inches (20 mm) in height and integrates a three-button HulaPoint pointing device, eliminating need for an external mouse. (In comparison, the iKey DU-5K measures 1.5 in. high). SlimKey has a 102-keys, including 12 function keys, a Microsoft Windows key, and standard number pad. It comes available with red LED backlighting. NEMA 4X specifications make it dustproof, waterproof, and resistant to corrosive liquids. Industrial silicone rubber pad makes it ideal for washdown and disinfecting solutions. It comes as a desktop or mobile model (with mounting holes) and is PS/2 and single-cable USB compatible.
This offering adds to iKey’s line of NEMA-rated industrial keyboards, computer pointing devices and flat-panel monitors.
More than 80 models of products are designed to survive tough environments, with options for desktop, panel-mount, rack-mounted, and OEM applications, explains Tony Zavaleta, marketing director. Zavaleta, in a recent conversation with Control Engineering, says it’s surprising how many places he sees where standard practice is to use PC keyboards and cover them with plastic wrap. ''Over the course of a year, our keyboards will save users money in many industrial settings,'' he says, instead of frequent replacements of keyboards unsuitable for rugged applications. In addition, the keyboards look like what the future should be, Zavaleta says; iKey keyboards have been used on-screen in ''The Core,'' ''The Hulk,'' ''Mission Impossible 2,'' ''X-Men 2,'' and the upcoming ''Paychecks.''
Company milestones, according to Zavaleta, include first industrial keyboard under $500, first with integrated pointing device, first with illuminated/backlighting, first with a three-button pointing device, and first with a NEMA 4X keyboard with polycarbonate/plastic case.
What’s next? While the HulaPoint pointing device is practical and popular, Zavaleta says, watch for an upcoming industrial-grade trackball offering.
—Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering editor in chief, MHoske@cfemedia.com
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.