IO-Link: designing a system from sensor to cloud

18 March 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018448

Automation & Robotics
ICT In Industry
Instrumentation, Measurement & Control

NIEL Burger, a specialist in automation technology company IFM Electronic’s Industrial Networking Department, gave the keynote presentation at a recent meeting of the Durban branch of the Society for Automation Instrumentation Measurement and Control (SAIMC).

He focussed on smart sensor technology and integrating sensors and sensor data to PLC and to Cloud platforms discussing IO-Link as a means by which this can be made possible.

Here is an abbreviated version of the presentation.

In the past binary switches usually provided simple switching signals or analogue values. Today the data from intelligent sensors is the basis for the next industrial revolution. Sensors that extract all the information from your machines and equipment using the key technology IO-Link.

IO-Link was developed by IFM Electronic as a standardised and field-bus independent interface for automation. This provides the user with point-to-point connections without complex addressing.

Depending on the device type, eight or 16 binary sensors with switching output (e.g. inductive, photoelectric or pressure sensors) can be connected to the IO-Link field module.

IO-Link transmits the signals to any desired IO-Link master via one unscreened M12 connection cable. This eliminates the need for complex cable trees or parallel wiring and reduces costs.

IO-Link requires no configuration or addressing. This simplifies the set-up.

It is possible to connect two sensors with one switching output each (using a Y splitter) or one sensor with two switching outputs to each of the module's sockets.

The modules can be used in a wide temperature range. Excellent electromagnetic stability and a robust housing qualify for reliable use in harsh industrial environments.

An added advantage of using ifm IO Link Master Modules is the innovative Y path that directly provides 95% of the process data without detour via the controller or PLC. IT and automation technology are integrated in a simple and economical manner for the first time - from the sensor to SAP.

Using the advantages of the Y path for intelligent solutions from the field can significantly reduce the cost of condition monitoring, energy monitoring, quality monitoring, track & trace and remote services.

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