Did you know that IO-Link does away with the great variety of signals and interfaces on the sensor/actuator level once and for all?
Naturally, sensors and actuators covering a wide range of complexity and characteristics were produced in the past, when there was no standard for an interface with communications capability. Today, the range of sensors and actuators for widely varying tasks in industrial automation covers almost every desired possibility, but at the expense of an unwieldy variety of interfaces with regard to signal shapes and mechanical characteristics. IO-Link bundles up this variety and simplifies the last meter of the sensor-actuator level. The reason is that IO-Link needs nothing more than an M12 plug connection and a standard 3- or 5-wire sensor cable. IO-Link thus replaces interfaces such as binary switching, multichannel binary, bidirectional, analog IN, and analog OUT interfaces as well as proprietary interfaces such as RS232.
As a result, IO-Link uses a single interface to cover the communication requirements of the entire sensor/actuator level, from simple sensors to measuring sensors and from intelligent signaling lights to mechatronic devices such as grippers or even complete valve blocks. And keep in mind: besides the streamlining of the interface and cabling, IO-Link comes with an integrated parameter assignment and diagnostics channel at no additional cost. As a result, additional data from the sensor/actuator level are available that generate significant added value especially in regard to Industry 4.0 applications.