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IO-Link – principle of operation and 6 main advantages

Although IO-Link is becoming increasingly popular, there are still many misconceptions about what it is and how it affects industrial applications. In this article, we explain what IO-Link is and the benefits it offers, and introduce sensors with IO-Link for temperature, pressure and conductivity.

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link is an international standard for digital communication (IEC 61131-9) between control devices, sensors (automation system) and actuators. The IO-Link interface allows the elimination of multiple signal wires and greatly simplifies the process of fault diagnosis. It was developed in response to the demand for devices that can be easily mounted outside the control cabinet.

What is IO-Link used for?

IO-Link protocol is mainly used to communicate with 3 wire sensors. IO-Link and the data transmitted with it like error messages are often used for preventive maintenance and servicing.

IO-Link system – elements

The basic io link system consists elements:

  • IO-Link Master - a communication gateway between a set of control IO-Link Devices

  • IO-Link Device - actuators and sensors that are connected directly to the IO-Link Master

  • unshielded cable, 3- or 5-wire for connection of actuators, control devices and sensors (up to 20 meters max.)

  • software for configuration and parameterization of the IO-Link system

How does IO-Link work?

IO-Link is a simple communication protocol that is mainly used to communicate with 3-wire sensors and actuators. An actuator, such as an actuator or sensor, is connected to the IO-Link master. The IO-Link master can then communicate via a fieldbus connection with higher-level controllers such as PLCs.

IO-Link combines communication from the control level down to the lowest level of industrial automation - sensors and actuators in a fieldbus network.

IO-Link ports

Each actuator is connected to a separate port. As such, IO-Link is a point-to-point communication rather than a field network. Each IO Link port can serve a different purpose including signaling that it is not in use, that it is in input or output mode, and IO-Link communication.

Cyclic transmission and acyclic transmission

Process data and value status from the IO-Link device are transmitted cyclically that is, at regular, defined intervals (so-called cyclic transmission). Device data, such as diagnostics or service data, are transmitted acyclically only when they are needed (so-called acyclic transmission).

Is IO-Link Ethernet?

IO-Link and Ethernet are not the same thing, however, the information from an IO-Link device is transmitted via an industrial Ethernet protocol, most commonly EtherNet/IP, PROFINET/IO or Modbus TCP

Communication process with IO-Link - IO Master exchanges data with devices via master network

Advantages of IO link

IO Link has many advantages. To name a few of the most important ones:

  • Optimization of the production process through communication down to the lowest field level - maximizing efficiency in the automation network

  • Reduced assembly and commissioning time

  • Increased plant efficiency through maximum transparency down to the sensor level

  • Reduction of maintenance and service costs while increasing plant availability

  • High degree of process reliability due to long service life and high accuracy

  • Flexible application due to compact design and a variety of process connections

Conductivity, pressure and temperature sensors with IO-Link from JUMO

Long plant downtimes are a thing of the past. JUMO's temperature, pressure and conductivity sensors with IO-Link, with their integrated diagnostic function, help to better plan for sensor availability or replacement. In addition, the technology avoids time-consuming parameterization when replacing sensors, as the necessary data is downloaded from the host system.

Io link sensor give the plant operator access to the lowest level of automation. As a result, sensor information retrieval, parameterization and diagnosis - and therefore the ideal assessment of the plant's condition - are extremely simple.

JUMO dTRANS p35 digital IO-Link interface pressure transmitter and JUMO dTRANS T1000 temperature sensor

We offer intelligent sensors with interface for measuring pressure JUMO dTRANS p35 and temperature:

IO-Link in our sensors supports bidirectional communication and is used to exchange process data, parameters, diagnostic information and status messages. Two green LEDs light up permanently as soon as voltage is applied to the device. When an IO-Link connection is established, the LEDs flash. The switching behavior and switching thresholds of the switching outputs (max. 2 units; p or n switching) can be individually configured - along with many other parameters. Any IO-Link master can be used for configuration.

Pressure and temperature sensor applications with IO-Link

These io link devices are ideal for use in machine and plant construction and connections to automation systems.

Application

  • process automation

  • machines for the food and beverage industry

  • general mechanical and instrument engineering

Your benefits

  • IO-Link

  • point-to-point connection of multiple manufacturers

  • open standard with maximum transparency to field level (IEC 61131-9)

  • inexpensive, prefabricated connection cable (no wiring errors)

  • simple and uniform wiring and commissioning thanks to a standardized interface

  • an element of Industry 4.0: ubiquitous communication from control to sensors

  • retrieval of process data and diagnostic information

  • dynamic parameter changes

  • greater safety when changing sensors

  • possibility of automatic parameterization

  • possibility to detect replacement with sensors of the same type but with different properties

  • optimization of the production process through communication to the lowest field level

  • reduction of installation and commissioning time

  • reduction of maintenance and service costs while increasing plant availability, because itprovides detailed diagnostic information that can be used for preventive maintenance and servicing

Digital conductivity transmitters with IO-Link – JUMO digiLine

JUMO digiLine is a bus-compatible connection system for digital sensors in liquid analysis. The digiLine family includes:

JUMO is currently one of the few manufacturers worldwide that can provide a variant of transmitters for inductive and conductivity sensors with an IO-Link interface.

Conductivity transmitters with IO-Link interface JUMO digiLine

Easy retrofitting with IO-Link

JUMO dTRANS T09 cable transmitter for temperature measurement

With the cable transmitter with IO-Link (also available with analog output), you can easily digitize your RTD temperature probes in the cable. With M12 connections on both sides, the JUMO dTRANS T09 is uncomplicated and economical to install. The vibration- and shock-resistant transmitter in a stainless steel housing is suitable for PT100 or Pt1000 with a four-wire connection.