Heidenhain has released an electronic wireless handwheel for use on machine tools. Especially useful on large machine tools, this cordless HR 550 FS handwheel allows the user to concentrate entirely on the action in the machine's working space by enabling remote control datum setting and probing with free and unrestricted movement around the machine. This also offers the user a safer environment as it eliminates the risk of getting caught in handwheel cables. Used in conjunction with the iTNC 530 control, this HR 550 FS wireless handwheel communicates with its base via a 2.4 GHz ISM radio band, freely accessible worldwide. The "FS" stands for Functional Safety, meaning the handwheel corresponds to the valid requirements for safety such as an emergency stop button and permissive buttons. If the machine operator moves out of range, it reacts with a vibration alarm.
The colored and raised axis keys of the HR 550 FS wireless handwheel permit traverse of up to six NC axes. In addition, the machine manufacturer can configure an axis key for selection of the so-called "virtual tool axis". The handwheel display itself consists of a header and six status lines. It displays important machine conditions and information (e.g., position of the selected axis, spindle speed, feed rate, error messages, active basic rotation and tilted working plane) as well as the functions of the five soft keys, which the machine integrator can assign as desired. In addition, the machine tool integrator can freely assign specific functions to the six function keys featuring LED indicators. The symbols for the axis designations and the function keys can be exchanged. In the version with mechanical detent, the traverse per stop can be set. And to ensure that the HR 550 FS wireless handwheel is always ready for the next job, its docking station features an integrated battery charger.