IO-Link is impressively demonstrating a rapid rise in acceptance and dissemination in various automation engineering applications. Since the broad market launch in 2009, this technology has written a success story. Not only were the growth rates of IO-Link devices exceptional in recent years but also the number of members increases continuously. So at the beginning of 2017 more than 140 member companies are working within the IO-Link Community to develop and market the technology. A steady increase in the number of members means an ever-broader base of components. Due to the systematic and forward-looking further development of the specification numerous and varied new products can be expected. For example, the specification of an IO-Link Safety protocol has been completed and is currently undergoing an assessment phase involving TÜV Süd. Based on the IO-Link Safety protocol, safety products are being developed that are connected to the different systems via IO-Link and thus allow all advantages of the IO-Link technology to be utilized.
In a different area product developments may be expected as well. A new profile for smart sensors was made available at the end of 2016. It offers solutions for intelligent sensors with IO-Link that will increase flexibility and productivity in automation systems through the increasing integration of functions.
Another topic that will further spur on the success of IO-Link includes wireless connectivity for IO-Link devices. A working group has been working on the topic for some time and will present its status in the near future.
Through the highly dedicated community, these enhancements will also progress quickly and will further increase the attractiveness of IO-Link technology. You may look forward to many new powerful and efficient IO-Link products. PROFINEWS will keep you informed on these!