What’s an IO-Link?
A salesman told me about a new protocol that can save time and money on installation and configuration. Could you tell me more about IO-Link?.
Expert’s answer: Protocol that saves time and money on installation and configuration
Several protocols, like the IO-Link, offer benefits, and all have limits. You always have to check which one suits your needs best. Some vendors push certain systems because they need to sell, so keep in mind that your needs and theirs may not match.
IO-Link is a standardized protocol (IEC-61131-9) in point-to-point communication for 3-wire sensors and actuators without specific cable needs. The IO association says that it further develops current protocols.
The maximum distance between master and sensor is 20 meters, the basis for M5, M8, and M12 connectors. Most field devices have M12s that can use IO-Link’s switching and communication without limits. The IO master can read digital and analog values, and the serial communication takes place in the same port.
Each device has an IO Device Description (IODD), a file with data about the manufacture, function, article number, etc. IO lets you communicate with all current Fieldbus systems. Also, it helps configure and diagnose devices quickly and easily.
This video explains this communication:
A broad range of vendors have devices with IO-Link capability. You can apply these devices, but you need to ask yourself if enough vendors support this protocol for your needs. Otherwise, you may get stuck with the same company forever. Great for the sales rep, not so much for you.
Want more information about I/O-Link?
If you want more information about I/O-Link I came across some useful websites and even an introductory course about it. The links to them are below:
Other resources that might interest you
10 Things you didn’t know about a field network expert!
Here’s what Ian Verhappen, has to say about the digital communication and the future of process control and automation.
Field network verification for FOUNDATION Fieldbus
My company has a FOUNDATION Fieldbus network, and sometimes we have problems with the communication. How can I check the quality of the signal of our FF network by myself?
Too many devices on the network!
What would happen if I put more devices than the recommendation in my FF network?
Multifunctional field indicator for monitoring and displaying analog measured values
Multifunctional switch panel process measuring device for monitoring and displaying analog measured values