Integrating IO-Link into OPC UA

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IO-Link and OPC UA Integration

The IO-Link community has founded a technical working group for specifying the integration of IO-Link into OPC Unified Architecture (UA) based on existing use cases. The Industrie 4.0 platform sees OPC UA as a suitable architecture model for implementing the consistent integration of IT on the field level. Therefore, a corresponding standard for a data and function model is now being developed within the framework of the IO-Link community to accurately represent future IO-Link Devices and IO-Link Masters in OPC UA. This approach follows the general recommendation for developing OPC UA Companion Standards.

IO-Link Protocol

Over the past few years, IO-Link was able to solidly establish itself and increase its presence as a point-to-point protocol for sensors and actuators. This manufacturer and field bus independent protocol has come to support more than 4,500 devices and enjoy increasing acceptance in the industry.

Through the use of corresponding logic, so-called “IO-Link Masters”, IO-Link sensors and actuators can be connected to the various different field bus systems without further adjustment. Today, such masters can be economically integrated into simple devices. IO-Link thus offers the opportunity to access a very broad range of sensors and actuators in a standardized way and fieldbus independent.

As Industrie 4.0 efforts progress, it is also necessary to systematically incorporate IO-Link devices into systems on a higher level than a fieldbus, in order to evaluate sensor data. This functionality is often designated as: “sensor to the cloud”,  IT systems analyze sensor data outside the automation process. In this way, sensor data can also be seamlessly linked to MES and ERP systems.

Future Goals

The goal of this new IO-Link/OPC UA working group (C4/PG51), lead by Michael Tiegelkamp (TE Connectivity), is to complete a final proposal for the Companion Specification (draft for voting) before the end of 2018.

IO-Link Workshop

On October 11, 2017 the next IO-Link User Workshop will take place in the Lingotto Congress Center in Turin, Italy. For the first time, participants may choose from parallel sessions according to their needs and interests. The workshop will be held in Italian language.

More information and online registration: