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.

IO-LINK
IO-Link architecture

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:

Introductory course

Further reading

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