What is IO-Link?Most sensors and actuators today are already equipped with microprocessors, which can be used for parameterization, storing configuration data, and controlling indication. The obvious next step is to overcome the bottleneck of the binary standard interface and make additional functions centrally accessible for the automation system.
For this reason, a lot of well-known manufacturers from the field of automation have come together and developed a fieldbus independent communication interface for sensors and actuators: IO-Link.
IO-Link is based on a point-to-point connection between the sensor/actuator and an interface module. Up to now, the binary connection was only designed for transferring switching information, but IO-Link now allows two bytes to be transferred normally in a 2 ms cycle via a combined switching status and data channel. Other information can be exchanged in addition to the process values, such as parameters or diagnostics messages. This enables communication with sensors and actuators down to the “last meter” to be established for universal communication.
- Exhaustive parameterization options for just-in-time parameter changes to devices
- Efficient processes requiring different parameter sets for switching thresholds, gain, sensitivity and so forth due to differing production conditions
- Faster tool change operations
IO-Link Reduces Machine Costs
- Reduced inventory due to intelligent multi-purpose devices
- Only one I/O module and one inexpensive standard cable required
- Reduced I/O footprint
- Displays and switches no longer required on devices
- Reduced engineering and assembly costs and automatic documentation of device parameters during the engineering phase
Improved Machine Availability
- Comprehensive status information and diagnostic capabilities in the plant lead to drastically reduced machine downtime
- Enhanced information enables cost saving mechanisms such as predictive maintenance or asset management to be easily
- Device replacement without manual intervention to parameterize the new unit alleviates the need for qualified personnel
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In the sterilization machines of the Swiss company Hanag Steriltechnik AG, Turck’s inductive couplers transfer power and switching signals contactlessly – the ID of the IO-Link sensor is also used for the reliable identification of each container.
Short cycle times are particularly important when manufacturing sand cores for metal casting using core shooters. The swivel movement of the core carrier, which is recorded by the contactless IO-Link encoder QR24-IOL from Turck, has a major influence on the clock rate of the machine.
Ultrasound reflection measurements offer an error-free and efficient solution for detecting the presence of objects on conveyor systems. The RU IP67 ultrasound sensor from Turck reliably detects objects.
In its Flying Fish roundabout ride, Zierer Karussell- und Spezialmaschinenbau GmbH previously measured the horizontal position of the gondola arms using individual proximity switches.