Industry 4.0 intelligent sensors and actuators with IO-Link®

As an intelligent connection, IO-Link® is a perfect match for sensors and actuators for Industry 4.0: complex diagnostics can be transferred rapidly using standardised protocols, and condition monitoring concepts can be implemented.

Standardised IO-Link technology makes communication with sensors and actuators simple and economical. The result of an evolutionary development, this low-cost connection technology with three or five conductors achieves point-to-point connection without complex wiring and with minimal material requirements. With controllers, valve terminals, proportional valves and sensors, Festo offers a complete range of IO-Link-capable automation technology.

IO-Link is not a new bus system but has been further developed as a new kind of communications interface for fieldbus and Ethernet systems. It allows you not only to download parameter data from the control system to the sensor or actuator, but also to send diagnostic data in the other direction to the control system. Whereas integrating a fieldbus interface all the way down to the lowest field level used to be very costly, digital or analogue values and all parameters and diagnostic data can now be transmitted with only a simple 3-wire or 5-wire cable – with no special features in terms of screening, twisting, impedance or terminating resistance.

The gateway between the fieldbus and one or more IO-Link slaves is normally provided by a fieldbus device with multiple IO-Link master channels. In smaller machines or systems, which may not require a fieldbus due to their size, the PLC acts as the IO-Link master.

Increased security

IO-Link provides a secure connection for analogue, binary and serial communication devices. Typical IO-Link applications for complex sensor technology and terminals can be found in automotive body-in-white production and assembly, for personal protection with safety fences, in heavy machinery construction and for machine tools, at manual workstations, assembly cells, input/output stations etc.

Standardisation also means less investment risk, since an international, open and fieldbus-independent IO-Link standard provides support for existing and future connection concepts. The result: less machine downtime and thus higher productivity. The comprehensive exchange of diagnostic and operational data between device and master systems accelerates troubleshooting and forms the basis for condition monitoring systems.

Increased efficiency, greater simplicity

IO-Link is a uniform, standardised and therefore efficient technology for installation and wiring. IO-Link devices can be parameterised simply and conveniently – and can be put back into operation immediately after replacement with no need for engineering software tools.

Software-supported parameterisation of intelligent sensors and actuators via the IO-Link master makes it extremely easy to set and reassign parameters. The uncomplicated wiring of the sensor-actuator combinations with standardised, unscreened cables reduces material costs, simplifies logistics and saves time. This makes installation much easier.

Greater competency

Festo offers a comprehensive range of products for IO-Link from a single source: several masters, pressure and flow sensors, displacement encoders/position transmitters, five valve terminal series, proportional pressure regulators, stepper motor controllers and connecting cables. In addition, Festo has a wealth of application knowledge in factory and process automation, as well as basic and further training for industrial users.

Festo also offers many IO-Link® devices, from different sensor series right up to actuators like valve terminals, electric drives and servo motor controllers.

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