Practical IIoT: IO-Link

We want to introduce IO Link to everyone that is not familiar with it. For everyone invested in IIoT, Industry 4.0, Connected Enterprise, you’re going to want to know IO link, because IO Link is going to help you connect your sensors to the cloud.

This is Practical IIoT, solutions that are available and can easily be implemented or integrated in your facility.

What is IO Link?

It is a standardized connection and protocol. Let’s repeat that… It’s a STANDARDIZED connection and protocol. You can read all about it in IEC 61131-9 or IO-Link.com

It allows you to connect “devices” (sensors and/or actuators) through a standard cable to a “master.”

Then the really special part starts to happen. Once everything is connected, either with fieldbus or point-to-point, you can pull up the configuration tool.

The configuration tool has a standardized and therefore uniform layout. Configuring a Banner Engineering, Siemens, Rockwell, or IFM Efector, or dozens more products you can do it exactly the same way. Take a look at the really great member and competency matrix.

Skip the Automation Tool?

IO-Link is not a new thing, you can read about it dating back to 2012. Most of what they talk about has you connecting the IO Link Master to an “Automation Tool.” This could be a PLC, or a SCADA, or something else that you’re using for control and analytics.

Recently, there has been a trend of skipping that Automation tool. Using, sensor, and other data for analysis and Predictive Analytics. There are a few examples of this that we’re seeing come to the market including IFM Efector’s vibration monitoring and diagnostics system. Vibration sensing is not new, diagnostics is not new, the packaging everything together presents a very interesting value proposition.

Banner Engineering also has a similar take on vibration monitoring and diagnostics, this has an HMI as well and can be seen here.

Full Disclosure: Corso has not used either of these products at the time of the writing. We have successfully used other products from both companies in the past and have only heard positive feedback about these.

Predictive Analytics

Is the direction that the market is demanding. You’ll see us talk more about this in the future, what Predictive looks like and how you can jump start your path.
If you have any questions or are looking for help on a solution. Please feel free to reach out.

If you’re looking for more information on connecting, feel free to check out us talking about MQTT.

Plus you can always check out THE Ultimate MES Guide, where we show you how to connect your systems and pull the data to make business decisions.