If you're like me you've likely used DeviceNet and Hart, but until recently have never heard of IO-Link.
So in today's article we'll take a look at the basics of this sensor and actuator communications technology.
1) Point to Point Communications
Devices which support IO-Link are also easy to spot as each IO-Link device carries the IO-Link logo on their product label.
2) Simple Wiring
The connection between the master and sensor (or actuator) is made with a standard three wire connection, and fully supports M5, M8, and M12 connectors.
And the cable length between the master and device can be up to 20 meters, or 65 feet.
3) Binary Comms
For decades, sensors have been able to output high speed pulsetrains. A common example is an inductive prox sensing the teeth of a spinning gear.
IO-Link takes this ability one step further by substituting the device output with high speed binary communications.
So beyond just providing the status of it's output, this allows the device to provide additional information including diagnostic and health data.
4) Two ways street
IO Link devices can also accept new configurations and parameter changes over this communications link.
This allows for parameter changes based on the product being manufactured, as well enabling support for automatic device replacement.
5) Move over EDS, the IODD is here.
Every IO-Link device has an IO Device Description (IODD) file. This is an electronic file which contains communication settings and parameters for each device.
6) It's Standard
If you decide to use IO-Link, the good news is it's standard. As in, IEC 61131-9 standard. And the claim is that IO-Link provides universal interoperability of devices and masters.
7) Where to go for more information
For more information about IO-Link, check out their website at, http://www.io-link.com.
If you have any experience with IO Link we'd love to hear from you! To share your comments, just fill in the “post a comment or question” link below.