IO-Link Digital Communication Interface


What is IO-Link?

IO-Link is a standardised communication technology. You let the sensors and actuators do the "talking". Simple plug in the cable and off you go. Also, IO-Link is a digital point-to-point communication device that can "understand" any Fieldbus.


5 reasons to use IO-Link

See below a video showing five concrete reasons for you to use IO-Link for your business, system or machine.

A digital communication interface as a basis for Industry 4.0

In the course of the progressive automation and linking of industrial machines, IO-Link has been specified already in 2006 as a standardised digital interface for actuator and sensor levels. This allows for a simple and cost-effective connection to controls and higher-level bus systems and networks.

The international standard IEC 61131-9 laid the foundation for worldwide use in 2012. IO-Link is not a fieldbus, but a digital point-to-point connection. Just as in conventional analogue connection technology, one cable leads from every sensor or actuator (e.g. valve) to a so-called master (data collector). From this, there is a transmission of data to other participants (e.g. controls) in the company network. The use of cost-effective, unshielded standard cables and established connection technology (4 or 5-pin M12 plugs) allows for a migration into the digital world with minimal effort.

Unlike with previous analogue systems, the digital IO-Link communication protocol enables for the transfer of information in addition to the process data, such as:

  • Value status (validity of the process data)
  • Events (error messages) as well as device information (ID, parameters, diagnosis etc.).

The bi-directionality of the data connection is a particular advantage of IO-Link technology. Within standard analogue technology or switch connections, the information only flows in one direction. However, higher-level controls can communicate bidirectionally with the sensor or actuator, thanks to IO-Link.

Settings which e.g. need to be performed manually by means of buttons in conventional pressure switches can now be carried out from the control via IO-Link. This is part of the start-up or even during ongoing operation.

This remote parameterisation considerably accelerates and simplifies the commissioning of systems and helps to minimise error sources and reduce costs. Especially in maintenance, replacement of an IO-Link device via plug and play is possible. Indeed, the automatical transfer of the configuration parameters happens from the control to the new device. It also eliminates a significant error source and reduces machine downtimes to a necessary minimum.

Thanks to these enhancements of flexibility, components with an IO-Link interface are an integral component on the Internet of Thing. They are within the framework of Smart Factory solutions in the age of Industry 4.0.

Download brochure (below) to see all our IO-Link products available. If you need more information, contact us on 03 9272 8999.

IOLink Digital Communication Interface

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