July 31, 2018

You’ve likely heard about the I/O Link protocol but do you know how it helps sensors?

This relatively new sensor interface protocol was developed with the end user in mind. It came from the combined efforts of PLC manufacturers, sensor manufacturers, software providers and IC providers, all working together on the best sensor solution for Industry 4.0 and beyond.

I/O Link protocol sets the foundation for smart sensors.

An I/O Link system includes:

  • I/O Link master
  • I/O Link device (e.g. sensors, RFID readers, valves, motor starters, I/O modules)
  • Unshielded 3- or 5-conductor standard cables
  • Engineering tool (e.g. laptop or handheld device)

The I/O Link master establishes the connection between the I/O Link devices and the automation system. The engineering tool is used for configuration and assignment of parameters.

Reduce costs

Configurable sensors and actuators reduce the variety of types required. This cuts back on complexity when purchasing and saves space in your warehouse.

Increase productivity

I/O Link devices identify and configure themselves automatically. This simplifies replacement of defective components and reduces downtime to repair machinery and systems.

Shorten commissioning times

I/O Link communication runs using unshielded cables and uses industry-standard connection plugs. This saves time and hassle when replacing a device.

Faster maintenance and repairs

Intelligent I/O Link devices provide functions for self-diagnosis. This enables new, predictive repair and maintenance strategies.

Transmission of analog values digitally

I/O-Link enables the transmission of analog to digital values.  This eliminates the need for expensive shielded cables, connectors and PLC input cards.

Sensors of the future

I/O Link is changing communication at the field level as diagnostic data from every device is now readily available.  This is paving the way for innovation and even more economical production technologies. Is it worth all the talk? We think so.

Below are some of the products we offer that speak the I/O Link language:

Rotary encoders:










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