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IO-Link: Did You Know

Did you know that IO-Link is regarded as a facilitator for the diagnostic concepts of Industrie 4.0?

Industrie 4.0 is loaded with high expectations. If it is to become a reality, data and information from the sensor/actuator level must be made accessible. IO-Link makes an important and essential contribution toward reaching this valuable data by providing communication capability to the last meter to the field device.

Diagnostic information is exchanged between the IO-Link master and device using events, which consist of an event qualifier and event code:

  • The event qualifier differentiates between messages, warnings, and errors. A distinction is made here according to standard diagnostics and device-specific diagnostic information.
  • Annex D of the IO-Link specification contains a plain text description of each standard event code. Typical examples of such standard diagnostics are overtemperature and undertemperture, overvoltage and undervoltage messages, short-circuit, and wire break as well as general hardware and software errors.

As a gateway, the IO-Link master maps the IO-Link events to the specific diagnostic and alarm mechanisms of the respective fieldbus. By means of the IODD of the IO-Link device, every engineering tool is able to provide an associated plain text description for device-specific diagnostics as well. This is supplemented by diagnostic messages that the IO-Link master generates. For example, a wire break between the IO-Link device and master is signaled by the master as an interruption of communication with the controller.

Thanks to the detailed and differentiated diagnostic information on the part of IO-Link, an intelligent condition monitoring down to the sensor/actuator level is possible for the first time – a crucial step towards innovative Industrie 4.0 concepts.

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