Application Report

Sector: Handling and assembly automation

Application: Simplified installation using IO-Link

IO-Link enables a drastic simplification of installation, since only a simple standard sensor cable is used.


A valve assembly line uses a 20-stage process to fully automatically assemble various components such as plastic parts, O-rings and compression springs into ready-to-install and seal tested valves,. An industrial RFID system with read stations at a total of 17 locations provides information exchange between material flow and the controller. A large number of standard sensors such as diffuse photoelectric, inductive proximity switches and cylinder switches are also used, whose signals need to be carried to the controller in as simple a manner as possible. On the actuator side a larger number of parallel wired pneumatic valve terminals need to be connected. The system is strictly modular, and each module needs to be capable of being added, started up and transported independently.

Problem solution

Just connecting the IO-Link capable RFID devices results in an enormous simplification of the installation. In contrast to the previous installation, now only a simple standard sensor cable such as already found on the equipment needs to be used. This connects the RFID device to the closest IO-Link Master over the shortest distance and ready to plug in. The use of IO-Link valve terminal plugs along with IO-Link sensor hubs for collecting standard sensor signals means on the sensor and actuator side that parallel wiring is for the most part replaced by the serial IO-Link.

Products used

  • 22 x IO-Link Master IP67 for Profibus with 4 IO-Link channels
  • 17 x IO-Link capable RFID read head
  • 28 x IO-Link sensor hub for -collectingì standard sensors
  • 19 x IO-Link valve terminal plugs

Customer benefits

  • Drastically simplified connection of RFID read heads, valve terminals and standard sensors
  • Most parallel wiring replaced by IO-Link
  • Modular construction of the equipment, modules linked via connectors
  • Ready to plug in, no cable assembly and no tedious connecting of cable to terminal clamps.
  • Drastically simplified electrical connection already accomplished at the time of installation by the mechanical personnel.
  • Saves resourced: Less copper, no wasted worker time