Sensor & Actuator Integration in the Field

May 8, 2014
Eaton’s new IP67-rated T-Connector enables the connection of any supplier’s sensor or actuator to SmartWire DT wiring.

A few years ago I saw Eaton’s SmartWire DT product for the first time and found it one of the more interesting innovations I had seen in the push by industrial suppliers to optimize control cabinet wiring. At this year’s Hannover Fair, I had the opportunity to see the T-Connector—the newest addition to the SmartWire DT family, which takes the SmartWire DT concept outside of the cabinet by enabling devices from any supplier to be connected.

“SmartWire-DT allows up to 99 modules to be connected directly to the controller on a string up to 600 meters in length,” says William Oomen, director of strategic accounts at Eaton. “The IP67 rated T-Connector directly links all standard sensors and actuators on the market via a standard M12 plug connector to SmartWire DT. If sensors have their own power supply, the power consumption measurement can be used to check whether the sensor is connected, thereby simplifying the inspection of the installation. The T-Connector also displays its network status from any mounting position and is able to indicate diagnostic messages. Also, since every sensor or actuator is connected individually, a variety of different digital or analog sensors can be connected.”

If additional sensors have to be connected later after initial installation, new T-Connectors can be added to the network as needed.

Also at Hannover Fair, Eaton introduced two new photoelectric sensors—the E75/76 series of high-performance photoelectric sensors and the E67 Long Range Perfect Prox range of photoelectric sensors.

The E75/76 series is Eaton’s first photoelectric sensor with field-adjustable background suppression. According to Eaton this sensor can detect objects at a distance of up to 190 cm while also suppressing detection of, say, the edges or bottoms of boxes and cartons.

The long-range E67 photoelectric proximity sensors can detect targets up 2.4 m away regardless of variances in color, reflectance, contrast or surface shape. Eaton says this capability makes the E67 reflective sensor the company's “most powerful photoelectric sensor with background rejection.”

About the Author

David Greenfield, editor in chief | Editor in Chief

David Greenfield joined Automation World in June 2011. Bringing a wealth of industry knowledge and media experience to his position, David’s contributions can be found in AW’s print and online editions and custom projects. Earlier in his career, David was Editorial Director of Design News at UBM Electronics, and prior to joining UBM, he was Editorial Director of Control Engineering at Reed Business Information, where he also worked on Manufacturing Business Technology as Publisher. 

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