The IO-Link concept
More than just another interface
IO-Link is the smart concept for the standardized connection of sensors and switching devices to the control level by means of a low-cost point-to-point interface. The new communication standard below the fieldbus level enables a central diagnosing and locating of errors down to the sensor/actuator level, and facilitates the commissioning and maintenance, by permitting parameter data – directly from the application – to be dynamically changed. The result: higher plant availability and reduced engineering expenses. As an open interface, IO-Link can be integrated into all common fieldbus and automation systems. In doing so, consistent interoperability ensures a high degree of investment protection. This also applies within the framework of existing machine concepts for the continued use of sensors that do not have an IO-Link interface.
The new communication standard was developed by the IO-Link research group of the PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) organization – presided over by Siemens. Forming the basis for the passed IO-Link specification, whose standardization has already been submitted to the IEC, are the critical performance characteristics of the IQ-Sense technology by Siemens, which has been providing for an intelligent communication between sensors and controllers since 2001.