Feature Focus: TracStar® iSeries electronic keypads and paddle switches

The new TracStar® iSeries platform builds on the traditionally rugged, self-contained TracStar vehicle while adding transformational technology for an improved user experience, machine performance, and operator efficiency. 

To build the latest evolution of the TracStar line, McElroy engineers began by studying legacy equipment. They determined systems and interactions that could be improved throughout the machine by utilizing the most current technology. What resulted was a machine layout that focuses on how the operator works with the controls. 


The new iSeries machines replace manual hydraulic valves and levers with new electronic keypads and paddle switches to provide better feedback and accurate control to operators. 

By integrating new software controllers throughout the carriage and vehicle, these smart new keypads light up in sequence to help guide users through the necessary machine actions. Green lights encircling the buttons give operators a visual cue of which functions to engage next in the fusion process. When carriage lock-out is necessary, all buttons turn red to signal that the carriage is not engaged, and the machine can be safely accessed.

To maintain user familiarity and comfort, machine controls have been located in the same position as previous models. The right-side keypad controls the movable-side clamping cylinders and top jaws. These controls include an engine start/stop, hydraulic lockout, and facer on/off switch. As an added safety feature, all automatic machine movements require an operator to confirm the action before functions engage via a new operator-confirmation button. 

At the center of the iSeries machine controls is a dedicated DataLogger® 7 tablet. The device is removable to document photos and has an adjustable swivel cradle for easy viewing. New proportional carriage-control paddle switches are recessed on the center panel, with safety in mind, as is a prominent e-stop button for quick machine shut down. 

Operator controls on the left-hand side of the machine include buttons for the fixed-side clamp cylinder controls, heater, facer, and recessed indexer controls. The pipe lift controls are also located just below on a separate keypad.   

See machine photos and learn more about the innovative TracStar iSeries and how it can increase operator performance on the job.