IO-Link is a new, innovative and standardized communication module for sensors and actuators - defined by the Profibus User Organization (PNO). IO-Link technology is based on the point-to-point connection of sensors and actuators to the control system. As such it is not a bus system but constitutes a considerable upgrade of the classic point-to-point connection. Extensive parameter and diagnostics data are transmitted in addition to the cyclic operating data for the connected sensor/actuators. The connection technology used is based on the same 3-wire connecting cables customary in today's standard sensor systems.
Components of an IO-Link system:
Only 2 components are required to use IO-Link:
- IO-Link master
- IO-Link device (e.g. IO-Link sensor/actuator, IO-Link I/O module)
Compatibility of IO-Link
IO-Link guarantees compatibility between IO-Link-capable modules and standard modules as follows:
- IO-Link sensors/actuators can be operated on IO-Link modules (master) as well as on standard I/O modules.
- IO-Link sensors/actuators as well as today's standard sensors/actuators can be used on IO-Link modules (masters).
- If conventional components are used in the IO-Link system, then of course only the standard functions are available at this point.
Expansion through IO-Link I/O modules
IO-Link compatibility also permits connection of standard sensors/actuators, i.e. conventional sensors/actuators can also be connected to IO-Link. This is done particularly economically with IO-Link I/O modules which enable several sensors/actuators to be connected to the control system simultaneously over one cable.
Another advantage of IO-Link technology is that analog signals are digitized already in the IO-Link sensor itself and are digitally transmitted by the IO-Link communication. As the result, faults are prevented and there is no extra cost for cable shielding.
Integration in STEP7
Integration of the device configuration in the STEP7 environment
- Easy and quick engineering
- Consistent data storage
- Speedy locating and rectifying of faults
Productivity is thus increased throughout all plant lifecycle phases - from configuration and start-up to operation. Thanks to the Siemens IO-Link solution, even sensors and actuators below fieldbus level can be integrated to optimum effect with all their capabilities in the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) environment.