Did you know...?
With the title „Did you know ..?” we introduced some new information about
IO-Link in the German SPS-MAGAZIN to you. Please find the series here at our home page again.
...that IO-Link can be integrated into any fieldbus system?
One of the most important features of IO-Link is its fieldbus neutrality. It allows the IO-Link functionality to be connected to nearly any fieldbus. Either the standardized mappings in fieldbuses, e.g. for PROFIBUS, PROFINET, EtherCat, and Sercos, or manufacturer-specific mappings for Ethernet/IP, CANopen, Modbus, CC-Link, and AS-Interface can be used for this.
...that all well-known chip manufacturers offer chips for IO-Link devices or masters?
All parties involved were brought in for development of IO-Link from the beginning. It appears that this was the right way to achieve standardization in the lowest device level. More than 100 companies worldwide have now implemented the IO-Link standard in their components. These include chip manufacturers that help to support the idea of IO-Link. Accordingly, over ten manufacturers are already listed with their products. These offer a suitable chip for every device class, ranging from simple drivers/transceivers to microcontrollers. Several manufactures have also integrated IO-Link in their system or network Controllers.
...that IO-Link drastically reduces electrical installation costs?
IO-Link results in significant cost savings even for classic binary sensors. For use as an installation system, IO-Link sensor hubs are available on the market that condense up to 16 binary sensors with one switching output or 8 sensors with two switching outputs (e.g. antivalent or Desina sensors) into a single serial IO-Link connection. Hubs for binary actuators as well as hubs with analog inputs and outputs are also available. Thanks to IP67 degree of protection, the low-cost sensor hubs and actuator hubs eliminate terminal boxes and terminal blocks along with the associated electrical installation effort.
... that IO-Link has reorganized the user workshops?
The practical relevance has contributed to the great success of IO-Link. This is driven by the close collaboration between users, developers, and manufacturers, for example, in free user workshops. In the past 3 years, well over 1000 users have attended the beginners workshops of the IO-Link Community. Due to the growing interest in IO-Link, the proven user workshops have now been restructured. The practice-oriented presentations will impart basic knowledge to participants about standardized point-to-point communication with sensors and actuators in the field.
... that IO-Link does away with the great variety of signals and interfaces on the sensor/actuator level once and for all?
Naturally, sensors and actuators covering a wide range of complexity and characteristics were produced in the past, when there was no standard for an interface with communications capability Nowadays, the range of sensors and actuators for widely varying tasks in industrial automation leaves almost nothing to be desired, but at the expense of an unwieldy variety of interfaces with regard to signal shapes and mechanical characteristics. IO-Link bundles up this variety and simplifies the last meter on the sensor-actuator level.
... that IO-Link is superseding the type plate?
Every IO-Link device contains all of the relevant details about the device. Not only are the item number, date of manufacture and firmware or hardware edition stored but it is also possible with device profiles to distinguish the equipment type, e.g. whether it is a pressure or proximity switch. Even the layout of the process data or the structure and thresholds of the IO-Link device-specific parameters are accurately described by the IODD.
... that IO-Link is regarded as a facilitator for the diagnostic concepts of Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 is linked with high expectations. If it is to becomes a reality, data and information from the sensor/actuator level must be made accessible. IO-Link makes an important and essential contribution toward reaching this valuable data by providing communication capability to the last meter to the field device.
... that IO-Link enables devices that were previously inconceivable?
IO-Link sets new standards for the design of input/output modules. Whether integrated in the control rack or as a fieldbus module, one and the same module can process a wide range of signals IO-Link masters can replace both binary and analog input and outputs. This facilitates spare parts management and enables flexible machine design. There is no longer a need for so many different types of modules.
... that IO-Link drastically reduces the interfaces needed?
Modern automation systems contain a variety of simple and more complex sensors and actuators from different manufacturers that are linked to controllers using different physical interfaces for digital, analog, and serial data. With this variety of physical interfaces on the sensor/actuator side and in the automation system comes a variety of wiring and connection methods. Moreover, a wide variety of interfaces and tools exist for configuration and parameter assignment of these sensors and actuators.
... that IO-Link is backward compatible with binary sensors?
The IO-Link communication interface is standardized in international standard IEC 61131-9. One of the initial goals of the multi-company standardization initiative was to create an interface that takes into consideration the existing architectures and the typical connection level in the lower field level. The point-to-point connection familiar there was simply taken over in IO-Link, complete with the standard cabling.
... that IO-Link can transmit up to 32 bytes in one cycle?
The IO-Link interface standardized in IEC 61131-9 is based on simple serial data transmission via conventional connecting cables. With IO-Link, it is over exactly this cable that data packets are exchanged cyclically between the IO-Link master and an IO-Link device packed in one protocol. These data packets are called M-sequences in 'IO-Link language'. The information contained in these data packets is defined for IO-Link but can be scaled to a large degree. Process data are completely transmitted cyclically with each data packet to guarantee deterministic response times in an application.
... that IO-Link has three transmission rates?
From the outset the fathers of the IO-Link specification had a wide range of field devices, including sensors, actuators, and much more, that should have communication capability thanks to IO-Link on their radar. Naturally the devices have completely different requirements and conditions with regard to available processor performance. Thanks to the three defined transmission rates – 4.8 kbps, 38.4 kbps, and 230 kbps – developers always find a transmission rate adapted to the IO-Link device.
... that IO-Link protects against incorrect device replacement?
If a sensor has to be replaced, this is usually done at a hectic pace since the machine must go back into operation as quickly as possible. Often, there is no specially trained staff available for this task. For this reason, IO-Link takes a different course. Developed as an interface "by practitioners for practitioners", it has a variety of integrated options to maximize the ease and reliability of device replacement.
... that IO-Link wiring needs only 3 wires of a parallel cable instead of 19?
The simple motto 3 instead of 19 wires vividly describes the saving potential of IO-Link compared to conventional wiring. The user benefits are made clear using the example of a passive distributor with 8 M12 connections.
For comparison purposes, an IO-Link input module that can be connected to any IO-Link master is used.
... that IO-Link has an incredible number of parameter assignment methods?
Example 1: How are parameters assigned for an IO-Link device that is simply lying on the table? Several manufacturers offer IO-Link masters for this purpose, which are connected to a PC via USB or a wireless connection. Each IO-Link device has an IODD (IO Device Description-file). The device tool takes the IODD, which enables it to present the device on the screen and to read, write, and edit process data, parameters, and diagnostics.
... that IO-Link allows an automatic parameter assignment
by the PLC?
With IO-Link the parameter assignment of the devices is stored in the higher-level automation system and is transferred automatically if a device is replaced. Moreover, the PLC can access, read, and write any parameters during operation.
... that the IO-Link data storage enables device replacement without a tool?
Many systems and machines run 24 hours a day. The sensors used there are not located inside the protected environment of the control cabinet but rather are frequently exposed to dust and other harsh environmental conditions. And it is not uncommon for individual components to fail during the thinly staffed night shift. Fast replacement of a defective device must be possible nevertheless. IO-Link has a data storage function with whose help a sensor or other field device can be easily replaced.
... that the signal quality of measuring sensors can be increased with IO-Link?
IO-Link enables reliable, loss-free signal transmission from the sensor to the controller. Background: When an analog signal is transmitted to the controller, several conversions from analog to digital and from digital to analog are necessary. Each of these conversions affects the quality of the transmitted process value.
... that IO-Link is a fieldbus-independent communication standard?
IO-Link is a system-independent communication standard at the field level and provides an integrated cyclic data channel (process data) and acyclic data channel (parameters and diagnostics) down to the smallest sensors and actuators. As a component of the internationally recognized standard IEC 61131 (Part 9), IO-Link is associated with control technology and not fieldbuses (IEC 61158 and IEC 61784).
... that IO-Link is already available in over 10 fieldbuses?
IO-Link has by now been implemented in all established fieldbus systems on the market (PROFIBUS, PROFINET, AS-i, CANopen, CC-Link, DeviceNet, EtherCat, EtherNet/IP, Interbus S, Powerlink, Sercos III). Connection to the PLC via manufacturer-specific backplane buses is also possible.
... that the IO-Link Community already has 83
The interest in IO-Link continues unabated! As of December 2014, 83 companies already belonged to the IO-Link Community. The first quarter of 2014, in particular, saw a significant boost. This trend is confirmed by a recent study by Quest Marketing.
... that every device has a manufacturer's declaration?
IO-Link has a test specification that is available, in addition to the specification itself, to everyone here. In addition, easy-to-operate test systems with comprehensive functions are offered for IO-Link masters as well as IO-Link devices.
... that every IO-Link device is delivered with a mandatory device description?
With IO-Link there are many enhanced functions available compared to conventional sensors and actuators. IO-Link devices can be uniquely identified and conveniently parameterized, and they supply diagnostics that open up new opportunities and potential for plant availability and status-controlled maintenance.