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IO-Link: Did You Know?

Did you know 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.

Sensors are becoming increasingly similar in terms of their construction. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between pressure, temperature, and flow sensors. An IO-Link master, on the other hand, receives an exact identification from each device. This contains, for example, the manufacturer’s name, product name, and product ID, which describe this sensor exactly. If a device that is not of the same construction is installed during a replacement, the master recognizes this and does not accept the device. The fault LED remains ON. If a sensor of the same construction is connected, it is accepted by the master without any further action and integrated into the data cycle. The machine resumes running immediately. If the sensor is a plug-in sensor, it can be easily replaced by instructed personnel. No intervention in the controller programming is needed.

The second possible case is replacement of an existing sensor by its successor model, which has already been equipped with a few additional features. The two devices are thus not compatible at first glance. The identifications in the master and in the new sensor are also different. IO-Link has a simple solution ready for this case as well. Since Version 1.1 of IO-Link, the master is able to ask the sensor whether it could go into a compatibility mode that simulates the behavior of the predecessor exactly. The master and sensor already work together again automatically. The system runs again.


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