SmartWire-DT Controls Tunneling Machine

Date: June 23, 2011

Eaton’s SmartWire-DT device is being used by mts Perforator GmbH to control its new tunneling machines. SmartWire-DT is a comprehensive connection and communication technology from Eaton, one of the leading manufacturers of components, systems and solutions for electrical engineering and automation.

Around 30 pushbutton actuators and indicator lights are required in order to operate the tunneling machines and mts Perforator GmbH chose Eaton’s RMQ control circuit devices with the SmartWire-DT interface to handle the task.

Safety and warranty issues were a key consideration for this project, so any possibility of the drill head operator tampering with the controls needed to be prevented. This was necessary since in the past safety devices had been overridden and machines operated without permission. The SmartWire-DT technology not only reduces design time, installation and wiring costs, but also offers effective protection against operator interference. This prevents any bridging of contacts right from the start.

“The use of SmartWire-DT clearly reduces engineering and wiring costs. However, the integrated tamper protection, which is a key factor for the warranty of our tunneling machines, is the crucial factor for us” said Norbert Simdon, Electronic Support at mts Perforator GmbH.

With SmartWire-DT, Eaton is revolutionizing the design of control panels for machine and system building. The most striking feature of this system is the continuous flat green cable which connects all the motor starter elements, pushbutton actuators and indicator lights in the control panel. SmartWire-DT eliminates the need for control wiring, since the supply voltages for the contactor coils and for the indicator lights are supplied via a single SmartWire-DT cable. Starting from the SmartWire-DT gateway, this cable also sets up the connection to standard fieldbuses, such as Profibus DP or CANopen. The user does not need conventional I/O modules since SmartWire-DT directly integrates the I/O level in the switching devices. Faults that can occur with conventional wiring are excluded. With SmartWire-DT, Eaton uses standard switching devices that are provided with additional communication-enabled function modules.

As well as using switching devices, control circuit devices with M22 function elements can be converted for communication on the SmartWire-DT network. These are available for command functions: pushbuttons, switches, multi-position indication, indication functions or a combined command and indication function. This is why the PLC in the control panel consists simply of a CPU module.

Editor’s Notes
Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in power distribution, power quality, control and automation, and monitoring products and services. Eaton’s global electrical product series, including Cutler-Hammer®, Moeller®, Powerware®, Holec®, MEM®, and Santak® provide customer-driven PowerChain solutions to serve the power system needs of the data centre, industrial, institutional, public sector, utility, commercial, residential, IT, mission critical, alternative energy and OEM markets worldwide.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2010 sales of $13.7 billion. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit