Technological Hardware

What Is IO-Link And How Is It Used?


What Is IO-Link And How Is It Used?



 IO-Link, In this article, we will explain in detail what IO-Link is and how IO-Link is used. Let’s start with how IO-Link works first. IO-Link is a serial communication protocol that is increasingly being used for the pro-peer-to-peer and has become a powerful standard created by the automation industry.

The need for communication protocol design was due to a simple and flexible model and the universal need for IO-Link major manufacturers to exchange information between devices. Thus, key sensor manufacturers and component manufacturing companies for the industry such as Sick, Murr, and Balluff came together to form the international consortium IO-Link, called the industry USB.

You can read that too !!!

Thus, networks such as the future of Industry 4.0 ASi network, CANbus, DeviceNet, Profibus have been in the market for years. Equipment designers for industry use these networks in a variety of applications such as machine mounting, motor starters, simplified input, and output configuration for control.

Each network has a limited number of devices that can be connected, and each device is identified by a node address or IP address. IO-Link has begun to use its standard network that can exceed its capabilities of high flexibility and simplicity.

What Should I Know About IO-Link?
Multiple smart devices by address

The first main benefit of IO-Link is to allow multiple smart devices to connect to a single address on the network, thus allowing more devices to be connected to a network.

Examples of smart device IO-Link include block I / O, valve block connectors, sensor measurement,

optical color sensor and RFID systems.

It provides more flexibility in the production process as the operator does not have to reprogram the devices with every recipe change.

Simple device replacement

Allows the controller to be able to download parameters directly from the backup device with a simple device change.

Maintenance teams don’t need to spend valuable production time figuring out how to reprogram a state-of-the-art device.

IO-Link is an Open Consortium of Manufacturers

With the resulting consortium, most of the large sensor, network, and industrial equipment manufacturers actively participate in this group.

New products are launched regularly, and IO-Link is gaining ground in North, South America, Asia, and Europe.

Simple point-to-point serial communication

For those who need to know more about how IO-Link works, it is just a serial point to indicate the communication between two devices.

The measuring laser is connected to a Profibus IO-Link master device via a standard 3-wire sensor cable.

All measurement data are usually transmitted using IO-Link and processed as a simple set of bits on the controller.

Traveling Data via IO-Link
Process data

It is updated at each communication cycle and can contain between 1 bit and 32 bytes of information.

The input or output data show the latest state of the sensor or convey the desired state of the actuator.

Service data

Service Protocol allows the user to get detailed information about the device with Data Units.

It communicates up to sixteen thousand blocks and can transmit everything from basic device information to much more advanced information.

Some of the information obtained is standard for the protocol, but device manufacturers can provide the necessary information or configuration.


Incidents are rarely included in-process data, but still, require reporting without waiting for a consultation with an SPDU.

They can be transmitted using the IO-Link event feature and ensure vendor-specific information about an alarm or information message is delivered as they are available.

As we can see, it is a powerful yet simple protocol with broad support in the industry. There are many reasons to use IO-Link, and it will be possible to obtain more information about the sensor and more configuration and control in almost all places with a digital or analog sensor.

It offers great advantages from the installation of the automation system to its operation and maintenance.
Whether installing a new system or retrofitting an existing system, IO-Link makes the installation and commissioning of a system much cheaper than conventional machine installations.
Standard connectors and cables reduce wiring complexity, eliminating the need for special cables, connectors, or terminations.
It should also be noted that IO-Link simplifies the new configuration of the sensors through its parameter loading, standardized interfaces.

IO-Link offers network automation that provides best-in-class access to the information needed to protect and maximize productivity.
It helps to identify events, problems, and potential operational errors before they occur.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *