Industrial Internet of Things: What is IO-Link?

Mike Edwards   

Features fieldbus IIoT IO-Link Turck Canada

IO-Link system overview.

Most sensors and actuators today are already equipped with microprocessors, which can be used for parameterization, storing configuration data, and controlling indication. The obvious next step is to overcome the bottleneck of the binary standard interface and make additional functions centrally accessible for the automation system.

For this reason a lot of well-known manufacturers from the field of automation have come together and developed a fieldbus independent communication interface for sensors and actuators:IO-Link.
Compatibility with existing technologies was the primary objective during development in order to guarantee investment protection.


IO-Link is based on a point-to-point connection between the sensor/actuator and an interface module. Up to now, the binary connection was only designed for transferring switching information, but IO-Link now allows two bytes to be transferred normally in a 2 ms cycle via a combined switching status and data channel. Other information can be exchanged in addition to the process values, such as parameters or diagnostics messages. This enables communication with sensors and actuators down to the “last meter” to be established for universal communication.

IO-Link contributes to efficient processes, reduces machine costs, and improves machine availability.

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