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Improving Smart Wiring

What if one wire made machines smarter, smaller, more reliable, more productive and affordable?

On the factory floor, space is everything. Square footage can be a significant expense or potential revenue generator. So it’s critical for businesses that machinery does as much as possible in as little space as practical—reducing facilities costs and increasing output from every machine they add to the production line.

Machines are also getting smarter. Improved sensors and advanced technologies allow powerful information to be collected from every stage of production, driving productivity and efficiency. But all this new information being gathered requires additional interfaces to communicate to higher level control systems. It seems the industry is facing a kind of “machine builder’s paradox.”

From DeviceNet to SmartWire-DT

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Video: Eaton’s SmartWire-DT panel wiring solutions.

Simplifying wiring is not a new idea. 20 years ago, the communication revolution led to the design of powerful new industrial networks. As the number of wires and cables connecting devices and machines grew, fieldbus systems like DeviceNet were developed to address wiring issues. Machines became smarter, and communications inside and outside the machine improved. But, very often, the footprint of the machine grew. Costs went up. And reliability went down.

A core technology developed by Eaton had the potential to address these challenges, but the company needed to figure out how it could be applied to solutions for machine builders. Working with customers and panel builders, a revolutionary pilot program was launched.

To address the need for reduced footprint machines and panels, smaller versions of in-cabinet and on-machine components were engineered. Costs were driven down. And performance ratings and reliability were maintained. Next, an open and fully portable system for programming logic controllers was developed, enabling controls engineers from a variety of hardware backgrounds to effectively program machines without needing significant, system-specific training.

Quickly, a new approach for wiring both in-panel and on-machine components came to life. The SmartWire-DT intelligent wiring system delivers a dramatic simplification of wiring, which reduced wire count and wire length. It enhanced machine performance, even when using standard components. And it created a simple, flexible communications interface architecture, compatible with a broad range of factory-level systems.

When smart is radically simple

The SmartWire-DT system offers an exciting solution to multiple challenges. It reduces panel size, machine footprint and design time for both. Labor and materials costs go down. And machine shipping, installation and commissioning time are all reduced.

But that isn’t all. Machine intelligence is enhanced, with additional machine performance data available to the control system. System reliability is also improved through the use of standard components and productivity is increased by leveraging the additional performance data provided by the new wiring system.

The open programming logic also makes it easy to integrate the SmartWire-DT system into any machine or factory controls architecture, anywhere in the world. This may seem like a simple idea, but it’s a radical concept. For 40 years, machine builders have worked within the narrow confines of well-known machine architectures that forced them to use closed systems and programming. Eaton’s SmartWire-DT technology offers an open and simple system for programming and wiring. To make machines smarter, with a smaller footprint, highly reliable—and low cost.

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Not just wiring, connecting.

Today, the SmartWire-DT system enables advanced levels of productivity and diagnostics that are at the heart of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 requirements. Already, system integrators are using the building blocks and architecture of the SmartWire-DT system to create both modular and integrated systems that are fundamentally changing production standards—and expectations.

Learn about the Eaton’s SmartWire-DT intelligent wiring system and see how Eaton innovation is energizing customers’ business across industries and around the world.

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