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Eaton and Phoenix Contact sign cooperation agreement

19 April 2011

Phoenix Contact and Eaton have concluded a cooperation agreement on the electronic Contactron motor starter with SmartWire-DT at the Hannover Messe 2011. On the first day of the trade fair, Roland Bent, managing director of Phoenix Contact, and Tom Gross, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Eaton’s Electrical Sector, signed a contract which provides for the development and commercial exploitation of industrial, electronic switchgear and communications systems.

The objective of the collaboration is the development and implementation of a joint strategy on Contactron electronic motor starters and the establishment of SmartWire-DT as a new standard in the communications interface for intelligent switchgear. Both innovations, Phoenix Contact’s Contactron electronic starter motor and Eaton’s new communications and interconnection concept, SmartWire-DT, offer advantages in terms of size, interconnection technology, robustness and reliability. The advantages for mechanical and systems engineers are lower space requirements, reduced wiring and high levels of durability.

“In the smallest possible space, our Contactron electronic motor starters integrate motor switching and protective functions which were previously separately set up and wired with several traditional switchgear units. They thereby revolutionize the power wiring in the control cabinet. The combination with Eaton’s innovative SmartWire-DT technology now also replaces the complex parallel cabling of the control and signal functions of the switchgear units with a genuine lean connectivity system,” said Roland Bent, Managing Director of Phoenix Contact.

“The combination of SmartWire-DT and Contactron technology will enable Eaton and Phoenix Contact in collaboration to considerably streamline control cabinet installation in industry,” he added.

Richard Boulter, Senior Vice President Industrial Control Division, Eaton Industries, commented on the joint project: “The addition to our product range of electronic Contactron motor starters with SmartWire-DT is a logical step for us in making our strategy ‘from lean connectivity to lean automation’ even more attractive to our customers. With it, we can offer both safe, efficient products and compelling end-to-end solutions around the world. Both companies are pooling their respective strengths in high-quality, new solutions in the installation and control of electronic motor starters, and the market will reward us for this.”

For over 80 years, reliability and safety in all aspects relating to motors have been part of Eaton’s core business. Whether it’s robust, reliable and field-proven interconnection technology, safe switching and protecting or energy efficiency, Eaton possesses extensive know-how in the field of motor protection and motor starters. Customers all over the world hold this competence in high regard and trust products from Eaton.

The revolutionary SmartWire-DT technology was also developed by Eaton. “With the maxim ‘the easy way to connect’, the SmartWire-DT ASIC integrates the whole spectrum of requirements such as the transfer of small volumes of data in the price-sensitive sensor/actuator technology field as well as the transfer of higher volumes of data such as are required for the integration of high-performance equipment – for example frequency inverters, electronic motor protection or circuit breakers”, said Dr. Martin U. Schefter, Business Unit Manager Industrial Automation and Managing Director of Eaton Industries Holding GmbH.
“In addition, it integrates the power supply for SmartWire-DT units, particularly for the sensors and actuators.” With Phoenix Contact, the specialist for interconnection and automation technology, and its Contactron technology, the stage is set for an optimum collaboration which in future will successfully bring new products in the field of electronic motor starters to the market.

Phoenix Contact’s hybrid motor starters combine the advantages of electromechanical and electronic switchgear in a single device, thereby providing a long service life and low dissipation. The low-wear motor starters feature four functions (clockwise / counterclockwise / motor protection / emergency stop) in a device only 22.5 mm wide. The integrated safety functions guarantee an emergency stop without additional elements.

Contactron motor starters save up to 75 percent in terms of space and wiring compared to conventional switchgear units.

For more information about Eaton click here, and for Phoenix Contact, here.


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