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Partners extend uses of Eaton`s switching comms system

02 January, 2012

Eaton has signed up two “business partners” for its SmartWire-DT technology which simplifies the connection of devices such as contactors, motor protection circuit-breakers and I/O. The two partners are Hilscher, which will offer products to link SmartWire-DT to fieldbuses and Ethernet systems, and the busbar specialist Wöhner, which will use SmartWire-DT to provide intelligent energy management.

The agreements, signed at the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show, follow an earlier deal with Phoenix Contact which is integrating its Contactron motor switches with SmartWire-DT. Phoenix expects to show the first products from the partnership at the 2012 Hannover Fair in April, and says that others are in the pipeline.

Hilscher predicts that using its netX technology to link the SmartWire-DT easily to field buses and real-time Ethernet systems will “open the door to the rapid spread of SmartWire-DT in automation technology”. During 2012, it is planning to release gateways for Profinet, Powerlink and EtherCat.

Frank Wöhner, managing partner at Wöhner, says that the link with SmartWire-DT will allow his company’s busbar system “to communicate globally”. The integration with Wöhner’s CrossLink adapter technology will simplify the control of energy consumption and allow more effective use of the busbar system.

At the SPS show, Eaton also announced several of its own SmartWire-DT developments, including:
•  a pair of easy800 control relays which connect to SmartWire-DT instead of switching device I/Os, and can support 99 slaves with more than 160 I/O for controlling small or medium sized machines;
•  touchscreen HMI/PLCs with integrated SmartWire-DT masters which avoid the previous need for CANopen or Profibus gateways; and
•  a gateway, with a 10/100Mbit switch, that links SmartWire-DT to Ethernet/IP or Modbus TCP and simplifies the configuration of linear structures, as well as simplifying commissioning through extra diagnostics.

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