Foot switches for very different applications

When the operators of machines or plants have their hands full, and a machine needs to be started or brought safely to a halt, then a foot switch is often the best solution. This task can be performed by foot switches or safety foot switches. In all four of its business units – Automation, Extreme, Wireless and Meditec – steute offers a wide range of switchgear series to cover all manner of applications.

Automation technology

The steute industrial range includes series with both plastic and metal housings. They differ with regard to e.g. the number of pedals (up to five in one housing), as well as the type of actuator elements and switching inserts.

Wireless foot switches are also available as an alternative to cabled products. They communicate with their assigned receiver units via the sWave® wireless technology developed by steute. This cable-free technology is particularly advantageous in combination with foot controls because it means the switches can be positioned freely.

Switching in extreme conditions

For extreme applications steute develops and manufactures robust foot switches, used for example in corrosive environments, at subzero temperatures or in explosive zones. Signals are transmitted via cable, or via remote control using the sWave® wireless protocol developed by steute.

Safety foot switches

Safety-related applications are a further focus. All safety foot switches are fitted with protective guards to prevent them from being actuated unintentionally. They can only be unlocked by pressing a separate unlocking button.

A special area is safety switches for forming machines. These switches are equipped with special three-stage switching inserts: a press stroke is only triggered when the pedal is in the middle position.

New to the product range are the wireless safety switches using the safe wireless protocol sWave® 2.4 GHz-safe. They bring an additional degree of freedom and ergonomic comfort to e.g. forming machines – and are suitable for applications requiring Performance Level (PL) d to EN ISO 13849.

Foot controls for medical equipment

The steute business unit Meditec has been developing and manufacturing foot-controlled actuators for medical equipment for over twenty years. In addition to an extensive catalogue range, steute also develops – in collaboration with its customers – highly specialised and complex user interfaces incorporating diverse switching and control elements (pedals, push buttons, rockers, joypads...).

Here, too, wireless signal transmission is an important trend. Ergonomic comfort and intuitive, non-tiring actuation of user interfaces play a key role in this context. The Meditec foot controls also comply with the strictest hygiene regulations. Ongoing research and pilot projects are working towards use of a single central (foot-controlled) user interface to actuate multiple medical devices. In this way, steute Meditec is actively and intensively promoting development of the "interoperable OR".

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