IO-Link allows for a simple and cost-effective connection to controls and higher-level bus systems and networks. Notable advantages of IO-Link include process data and information transfer as well as data connection bi-directionality.
Components with an IO-Link interface are an integral component within the framework of the ‘Smart Factory’ and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the age of Industry 4.0.
Special smart IO-Link devices with integrated microcontroller and non-volatile memory can generate and store a lot of additional and valuable information without any added PLC utilisation. This offers new business opportunities and enables OEMs to offer new services to their customers.
IO-Link standardised digital interface for actuator and sensor levels
IO-Link has been specified for quite some time as a standardised digital interface for actuator and sensor levels. This is the result of the progressive automation and linking of industrial machines, with the international standard IEC 61131-9 laying the foundation for global use in 2012.
Digital point-to-point connection
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 such as a valve to a so-called master (data collector), from which data is transmitted to other participants such as controls in the company network.
Established connection technology equals ease of migration to digital world
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.
Transfer of information and process data enabled
Unlike previous analogue systems, the digital IO-Link communication protocol enables the transfer of information in addition to process data such as value status (validity of the process data) and events (error messages) as well as device information in terms of ID, parameters and diagnosis.
Data connection bi-directionality
The bi-directionality of the data connection is a particular advantage of IO-Link technology. Unlike standard analogue technology or switch connections, where the information only flows in one direction, higher-level controls can communicate bi-directionally with the sensor or actuator due to IO-Link.
Settings which need to be performed manually by means of buttons in conventional pressure switches can now be carried out from the control via IO-Link as part of the start-up or even during ongoing operation.
Easy commissioning of systems with remote parameterisation
This remote parameterisation considerably accelerates and simplifies the commissioning of systems and helps minimise error sources and reduce costs.
In maintenance, especially, an IO-Link device can be replaced via plug and play as the configuration parameters are automatically transferred from the control to the new device, which also eliminates a significant error source and reduces machine downtimes to a necessary minimum.
Tools to create parameter sets offline
HYDAC Electronic offers various additional tools and options for its IO-Link sensors to conveniently create parameter sets offline at the workplace and to transfer them to the relevant fields.
‘IODD stands for ‘IO Device Description’. The IODD for the IO-Link Device is similar to a printer driver in a PC. It provides the information required for the system planner and the control for the parameterisation of the relevant IO-Link components. The file is supplied with any IO-Link device and is also available for download from ‘IODDfinder’.