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SmartWire-DT makes machine’s HPU easier to build, use and maintain

27 April 2016

Eaton has deployed its expertise in the field of electro-hydraulic technology to help machine tool manufacturer Pietro Carnaghi reduce its machine delivery lead times.

The power management company helped Pietro Carnaghi to streamline its Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) design, integrating both hydraulic and electrical components with its SmartWire-DT connectivity. This innovative intelligent control panel wiring technology, which reduces the conventional point-to-point wiring found in control panels, enabled Pietro Carnaghi to reduce its wiring equipment costs and halve panel assembly time.

When Pietro Carnaghi needed to improve the hydraulic power and control system within one of its machines, the company utilised Eaton’s combined knowledge in electrical and hydraulic technology to develop a ground breaking solution. 

Eaton has been supplying the Hydraulic Power Units (HPU) used within Pietro Carnaghi’s machines for over 20 years. However, until recently, all the electrical components and wiring had been handled by local panel builders. The HPU comprises electrical busbars, valves, pumps and motors packaged into an integrated system. They are core to the machine’s high performance and control vital functions, such as headstock balancing, hydrostatic compensation of the table, tool release, chuck loading and other auxiliary functions. The integration of this complex electrical system into the HPU often required a lengthy wiring and testing process, which impacted on its delivery lead times.  

To streamline the HPU design, while offering Pietro Carnaghi tangible benefits, such as a consolidated supply chain, Eaton proposed to supply both the hydraulics and electrical components along with its SmartWire-DT intelligent control panel wiring technology, which was intentionally designed to reduce the conventional point-to-point wiring found in control panels.  

Eaton’s SmartWire-DT reduces panel complexity by consolidating complex circuit wiring into a single, durable 8-pole cable. The flat cable attaches quickly, easily and neatly to common control components, such as starters and pilot devices, and provides high level communication within the system. The resulting solution simplified testing as well as reduced commissioning and troubleshooting time. 

Another significant benefit was that SmartWire-DT allows the PLC to access detailed information from the major components in the HPU, including the status of the motor-starter unit and manual switches, and the current draw of the electric motors by the PKZMO circuit breaker modules. For Pietro Carnaghi, integrating SmartWire-DT connectivity into the HPU enabled its customers to implement comprehensive diagnostic facilities that, in the event of machine stoppage for example, provide accurate information about the reason for the stoppage and guidance on how to fix the problem.

“Whereas in the past panel builders would need to perform several tests to ensure that each component was connected correctly, thanks to Eaton’s SmartWire-DT technology we can access all this data through a PLC,” commented Giorgio Mazzola, Technical Director at Pietro Carnaghi. “This is enabling us to significantly reduce lead times thus being more competitive, and be more responsive to our customers.”

By integrating the redesigned HPUs with SmartWire-DT connectivity, Pietro Carnaghi reduced its wiring costs as well as halved its panel assembly time. The company was pleased with the results and now intends to utilise the technology throughout its machines.

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