Eaton Case Studies Streamlining Agricultural Automation with Eaton’s Package Solution
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Streamlining Agricultural Automation with Eaton’s Package Solution

Streamlining Agricultural Automation with Eaton’s Package Solution - Eaton Industrial IoT Case Study
Automation & Control - Human Machine Interface (HMI)
Sensors - Electrical Conductivity Sensors
Product Research & Development
Leasing Finance Automation
Material Handling Automation
System Integration
Grossi Electric, a full-service electrical contracting company, was tasked with facilitating the hulling, dehydrating, and preparation processes at a walnut processing plant in Waterford, California. The company aimed to explore innovative options for creating cleaner and more efficient control panels that would eliminate the intensive time, labor, and costs associated with excessive point-to-point wiring. As a rapidly growing electrical contracting company, Grossi Electric was also concerned about managing risk and cost while attempting to establish a new and unfamiliar service offering in a mature market for control products. The walnut processing plant presented a prime learning opportunity for the company to discover the best way to build more tailored control panels for its customers. The challenge was to enable a lean automation process that was smarter, simpler, more effective, and of unique advantage for clients.
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Grossi Electric Inc. is a full-service electrical contracting company that specializes in industrial and commercial construction, automation services, and computer-aided design and planning. The company’s services traditionally place emphasis on achieving safety and efficiency in electrical construction combined with user-friendly lean automation solutions. The company was interested in expanding their services into lean agricultural automation systems—intelligently controlled electrical projects capable of supporting all aspects of agricultural materials handling, including everything from plant processing to food preparation and packaging.
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Grossi Electric, Inc.

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Grossi Electric, in collaboration with Eaton, designed and implemented an automated walnut huller and dehydrator control system using a complete package of Eaton SmartWire-enabled products. By combining Eaton products into a total package solution, Grossi was able to design a very affordable and cost-effective control system for the walnut processing plant. SmartWire-DT enabled the control panels to be built more quickly, with greater reliability, and without adding excess parts and wires. The cleaner design of the Eaton products also reduced the overall enclosure footprint. The resulting walnut huller / dehydration control system leveraged SmartWire products for lean automation and labor savings; soft starters; motor protectors; power supplies; circuit breakers; and the Visual Designer software tool running on an Eaton XP-503 touchscreen control interface. Ninety-five percent of the resulting SmartWire configuration consisted of Eaton control panels.
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The final walnut hulling/dehydration system took about a year and a half to complete. But in the end, Grossi Electric was able to leverage Eaton’s components as a complete package solution for a smarter and leaner automation control system that reduced the size, scope, and complexity of the walnut hulling machine and related processes. The system features smart buttons that make troubleshooting easier through the use of “indicators” that signal exactly which pieces of equipment may be disconnected or failing in the handling process. The result is a much smarter machine that will actively assist the plant in making better decisions based on available information. The project has helped Grossi Electric to grow its business in lean automation services. Each iterative design for a new control panel continues to refine the key insights and takeaways acquired from the walnut processing plant project, resulting in progressively leaner automation solutions from Grossi Electric.
The final product controls the walnut plant’s processes both smoothly and efficiently.
The control panel was a quarter of the size of Grossi’s original design.
Since the first complete Eaton Controls installation, the company has contracted for two more systems at similar facilities in Chile and multiple walnut cracking plants in the Central Valley.
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