The ‘Missing Link’ for Control Panels

28 July 2009

The Moeller SmartWire-Darwin communication system allows pushbuttons, indicator lights, and motor starters to be linked to a PLC or intelligent relay without the need for conventional control wiring. This makes time and cost savings in the design and manufacture of control panels possible.

Moeller SmartWire
Moeller SmartWire

Inside the control panel, in place of the conventional wiring, the SmartWire-Darwin system uses easy-to-install network connections based on a flat ribbon cable daisy-chained between devices. Connections can be made to the cable at any point with the aid of special crimp connectors. Usually, the connections take just seconds to fit.

For connections to outside the control panel—pushbutton stations and similar peripheral devices—SmartWire-Darwin uses pre-terminated round cables that have an IP67 ingress protection rating.

Other functions
SmartWire-Darwin function elements have been added to the popular Moeller range of RMQ Titan pushbutton, switch, and indicator devices. These function elements simply fit in place of a conventional contact block or LED module, and can be connected directly to the SmartWire-Darwin cable.

It is even possible to fit ordinary contact blocks at the same time as function elements, an option that is particularly useful for emergency stop circuits where two-channel monitoring is needed.

Function elements are also available for use with the Moeller xStart motor starters and DIL contactors. With these devices, the contactor module is simply plugged on like an auxiliary contact on contactors up to 38A.

No special versions of pushbutton operators, indicator lights or motor starters are needed. Standard devices are adapted just by adding the appropriate SmartWire-Darwin function element, an arrangement that not only keeps costs down, but also greatly simplifies stocking, ordering and the provision of spares.

Devices with no dedicated SmartWire-Darwin option can also be connected to the system via general-purpose I/O modules. In addition, the system includes gateways for Profibus-DP and CANopen, ensuring compatibility with virtually any modern PLC or intelligent relay.

Designed from the outset with ease of use in mind, the SmartWire-Darwin system is self-configuring, with no need for complicated addressing or set up. In addition, every device incorporates a self-diagnostic feature.

While no software tools are actually needed to use the SmartWire-Darwin system, Eaton’s Moeller business does offer a convenient planning and documentation package – SWD-Assist – which can be downloaded free of charge from

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