In this article I'll walk you through how to set up the communications of an IO-Link master with an Allen Bradley CompactLogix PLC.

The first thing that needs to be done is to setup up a free account at IFM.com. This is required to download the IFM software used to setup their IO-Link Masters.

IFM has two download you can use to set the IP Address of their Ethernet/IP IO-Link master:

  1. Ethernet Device Configuration Tool
  2. LR Device software

Both these downloads can be found on their website here.

Image by Dan Staifer

Because of its enhanced functionally, I'd recommend downloading and installing the LR Device software.

While the free version is limited, it does allow users to read and write directly to the IO-link master, and for more information about the paid version, I'd recommend contacting your local IFM sales representative.

To get started setting your master up, power it on and connect it to your network.

Next, start up the LR Device software (it will open into a web browser,) and under Devices it should find your master at the default IP address of 192.168.0.250. If it doesn’t show up, click the plus sign and manually enter the IP address. Note that any connected IO-Link devices will show up under the master.:

Image by Dan Staifer

If the IP address needs to be changed, scroll down and update the field that says IP Address as shown below. Be sure to click the write to device icon and then cycle power to make sure the changes made:

Image by Dan Staifer

Once the communication has been established, check RSLinx to make sure the IO-Link master is communicating on your network:

Image by Dan Staifer

If there is a yellow question mark, the EDS (Electronic Data Sheet) for the device will need to be installed.

To do so, first go to the IFM website to download the “IO-Link Startup Kit” found here, and then unzip it.

Image by Dan Staifer

Next, open RSLogix 5000 or Studio 5000 Logix Designer, and then go to Tools-> EDS Hardware Installation Tool:

Image by Dan Staifer

In the EDS wizard you'll need to browse to the startup package folder that has the files you unzipped above, and then find select the EDS directory:

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Now from the list of available EDS files, find your master and select it, then click on the OK. button and complete the EDS file registration wizard to register your IFM Master.

Once installed, the yellow question mark should be replaced by an IFM icon:

Image by Dan Staifer

Now open an RSLogix/Studio 5000 project, and under I/O configuration add a new device to your Ethernet port or module.

Then type in the IO-Link master catalog number and select the IO-Link master that matches your unit, and then click on “Create”:

Image by Dan Staifer

Here you'll need to provide a name for your IO-Link Master, as well as its IP address:

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Then under Module Definition click change, and confirm the following settings for your master

  • The settings for a 4 port master (shown below) are an Input side of 123, and Output size of 76
  • The settings for an 8 port master are an Input size is 223, and Output size is 151
Image by Dan Staifer

When you're finished, click on OK and the IO-Link Master should appear in your hardware configuration:

Image by Dan Staifer

To test your new configuration, download it to your controller and check to see if communication is taking place between it and IO-Link master. One way to do this is to check the Inputs to see if any information has been received:

Image by Dan Staifer

Now that communication is taking place, programming can start by importing appropriate AOIs for the devices attached to the IO-Link master, which for IFM sensors you'll find in their website downloads sections under Startup Packages.

Written by Dan Staifer Assistant Professor, Department Chair, and Freelance Writer
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