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What is IO-Link?

What_is_IO-Link-_1More than just another interface, IO-Link is the smart concept for standardized linking of switching devices and sensors to the control level by means of an economical point-to-point connection.  The IO-Link communication standard at the fieldbus level enables centralized fault diagnostics and, because parameter data can be modified dynamically direct from the application, the devices can be adjusted to the prevailing production requirements during operation.

Standard Requirements

The requirements for integrated communication are increasing while sensors and actuators are becoming more and more intelligent.  This is where the IO-Link solution excels, with data transparency from the field level to the highest automation level, and with an ever increasing number of IO-Link-enabled products available.  As an open interface, IO-Link can be integrated into all common fieldbus and automation systems.  With data access down to the lowest field level, plant availability is increased and engineering overhead is reduced.  Consistent interoperability ensures maximum protection of investment, especially in the context of existing machine concepts where the continued use of sensors without an IO-Link interface can be supported.

The communication standard was developed by the IO-Link Consortium – a group of leading providers of automation products that have come together to support the new concept in all areas of control, sensor, and actuator technology.

What are the benefits of IO-Link?

 It is an open standard according to IEC 61131-9

  • Devices can be integrated in the same way in all commonly used fieldbus systems and automation systems.

 Software Tool-supported parameter assignment and data management

  • Fast configuring and commissioning
  • Easy creation of up-to-date plant documentation, including for sensors/actuators

Standardized wiring and a significantly reduced variety of interfaces for io-link-siemenssensors/actuators

  • Standardized uniform interface for sensors and actuators regardless of their complexity (3 wire, unshielded cable)
  • Reduced variations and inventory
  • Fast commissioning
  • Reduced space requirement
  • Any combination of IO-Link devices and sensors/actuators without IO-Link on the IO-Link master

Consistent communication between sensors/actuators and the controller

  • Access to all process data, diagnostic data, and device information
  • Access to device-specific data
  • Remote diagnostics supported

Consistent diagnostic information down to the sensor/actuator level

  • Reduced effort for troubleshooting
  • Minimized failure risks
  • Preventive maintenance and optimization of maintenance and maintenance scheduling

Dynamic change of sensor/actuator parameters by the controller or the operator on the HMI

  • Reduced downtimes for product changeover
  • Increased product diversity of the machine

Automatic parameter reassignment for device replacement during operation

  • Minimized downtimes
  • Device replacement by untrained personnel without additional tools
  • Prevention of incorrect settings

Integrated device identification

  • Identification of the embedded devices
  • Securing machine quality during device replacement


Contact your ACD sales representative for more information on IO-Link and IO-Link products.

Contact ACD


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