IO-Link – the point-to-point interface for automation
IO-LINK is a point-to-point interface for the low-cost connection of smart/intelligent devices serving the lowest level of automation. It is an independent sensor / actuator interface solution for use with PROFIBUS and PROFINET.
Devices at this level were once exclusively ‘on/off’ types, but increasingly they offer higher performance capabilities such as configuration on-the-fly, higher resolutions and enhanced operations. Consequently, they incorporate greater processing power and need faster and more intelligent communications with controller devices. IO-LINK serves this need with a flexible solution that is fieldbus-independent.
IO-LINK is flexible because it is designed to work with traditional devices without modification so installing an IO-LINK network is extremely easy. Existing sensor networks can also be easily upgraded to incorporate the newer device types.IO-LINK will also provide the field connections for PI’s standardized wireless solution for Factory Automation applications.
Users especially appreciate the easy installation and parameter assignment of IO-Link as well as its fieldbus neutrality. Accordingly, IO-Link has been implemented in all fieldbus systems established in the market. This also applies to almost every well-known PLC manufacturer. The fieldbus-independent IO-Link standard is thus the ideal solution for many companies that allows them to connect products to different systems and controllers worldwide.
IO-Link Market Size
IO-Link in turn experienced an increase of 47% over the year in 2016. This brings the total number of installed IO-Link devices to more than 5.3 million.
Get on-board with IO-Link!
PI hosts the IO-LINK ORGANIZATION and provides it with administration services including specification writing, test, standardization and so on. IO-LINK interfaces have been specified for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, with interfaces for other fieldbuses and Industrial Ethernet solutions also being developed.
UK device manufacturers wishing to get involved with IO-Link are strongly recommended to join PI UK to gain legitimate access to IO-Link technology and UK marketing resources.