Industrial Joystick Controllers
As your partner in standard and customized controllers Althen provides the ultimate choice in rugged joysticks from ‘fingertip’ to ‘full hand grip' models.
We offer a very wide range of industrial joystick controllers which can be used in various different applications. From accurate dynamic positioning in the maritime sector to controlling the valves on an oil rig where ATEX-certification is required.
Our miniature finger and thumb industrial joysticks are often integrated in control panels which can be used in medical applications but also in remote control equipment that is used by various of machine operators. From heavy duty harbour cranes to small forklift trucks, we have the right solution available.
Our Joysticks can be supported with various output signal protocols. Don't hesitate to send us an inquiry to learn more about the possibilities.
Industrial Joysticks for every application - Our Product Portfolio
Electrical industrial joysticks are commonly applied in many industrial applications, such as cranes, winches, marine equipment, agricultural machines, forestry machines, construction equipment, material handling vehicles, robotics, medical apparatus, and factory production lines. Due to environmental conditions and rough usage, an industrial joystick must be robust to ensure a long life expectancy and minimize equipment failure.
Depending on the application, an industrial joystick can be 1-axis (forward/backwards movement), 2-axis (forward/backwards and left/right movement), or 3-axis (forward/backwards, left/right, and clockwise/counter clockwise lever movement). This makes it possible to control a machine or apparatus in one or multiple dimensions.
The essential components of an electrical joystick are potentiometers and/or switches. Potentiometers are used to give a proportional electrical output signal that corresponds with the position of the joystick lever. In addition to the potentiometer directional switches can be used for safety reasons. Some industrial joysticks offer the possibility to add push button switches or rocker switches to the joystick knob, which can be used for extra functionalities, for instance to open and close the grab of an excavator.
Industrial Joysticks protocols
We can design your joystick specific to your requirements. With many buttons and 2 or 3 axis functionalities there are many analog signals that can be converted into different communication protocols.
Custom mechanics and sensors
An important part of the joystick is it's body; the mechanical part combined with the electrical sensors and switches. From analog wirewound potentiometers to digital hall effect sensors.
ATEX Joysticks & IECEx Joysticks
ATEX is an EU directive applicable for electrical equipment that is used in potentially explosive atmospheres. When the atmosphere contains flammable or combustible gases, vapor, mists or dust, an electric spark can lead to hazardous explosions. To ensure electrical equipment does not initiate such an explosion, the equipment must be designed, tested, and certified according to European safety standards.
The electrical components that pose the basic functionalities of a joystick are potentiometers and switches. An ATEX joystick has one or multiple potentiometers and/or switches that are ATEX certified. This ensures that the ATEX joystick is suitable for its intended purpose and that it can be used safely in hazardous environments, such as oil rigs, mining, and chemical plants.
Where ATEX certification is only valid in EU countries, IECEx certification is internationally adopted. An IECEx joystick has one or multiple potentiometers and/or switches that are IECEx certified. Therefore the IECEx joystick can be installed in hazardous environments all over the world.
What are Hall Effect Joysticks?
Industrial Hall effect joysticks are similar to the traditional potentiometric joysticks as they both give a proportional electrical output signal that corresponds with the position of the joystick lever. The difference is that the operating principle of Hall effect joysticks is based on contactless Hall effect technology where a magnet underneath the moving joystick lever affects the electromagnetic field that is generated by an Hall effect sensor beneath the magnet.
Hall effect technology has some advantages over potentiometric echnology. The contactless Hall effect technology implies that there is no contact between the sensor and the moving magnet. Therefore the sensor element does not wear out by repetitive movements and heavy vibrations which results in a long life expectancy.
New Productline of Industrial Mini, Thumb and Finger Joysticks
Additional to our extended range of robust joystick controllers, we offer new product line of Industrial Mini, Thumb and Finger Joysticks that will help you take control of your heavy machinery, special vehicles, and control systems. All configurations are available with a standard delivery time of 2-3 weeks and the configurations we keep on stock within days. Our Controls team is happy to support you with a quotation within 48 hours.
Advantages: Standard delivery time 2-3 weeks | Industrial quality | Customized configurations | Different electrical output options | Small quantities available
Typical applications: Cranes and winches | DP systems | Agricultural machinery | Lifting equipment | CCTV and PTZ control systems | Remote control systems
Custom Joysticks: an application example
Creating an ergonomic, lightweight and user friendly handheld controller
A manufacturer of waterjets needed a small size hand held control unit to replace the traditional marine portable control boxes used to berth or maneuver a vessel in critical situations. Traditional control boxes can weigh up to 10 kg, which makes them less portable and user friendly.
The controller had to be ergonomic, lightweight and should contain the basic functions of the bigger “Portable control boxes”. The controller should be able to control a vessel, winch, a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) or an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
After some extensive meetings with our customer we developed an innovative handheld controller. The hand control is developed for use in harsh conditions like Navy, Marine, Off-shore and other deck machinery applications.