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Point-to-point interface

NEWLY released IO link is a point-to-point interface for the connection of any sensors and actuators to a control system. In contrast to conventional fieldbus systems, there is no bus wiring but parallel wiring. Binary as well as analogue sensors and actuators can be equipped with an IO-Link interface.

The combined switching status and data channel is the special feature of all IO-Link compatible sensors. It allows three types of communication: transmission of the switching status as with binary sensors, cyclical process data transmission or exchange of device parameters.

Any combination of the three variants is possible. For example, an optical distance sensor is first provided parameter data and in the process then only transmits a switching signal when detecting an object in the defined zone. As an alternative, it can also cyclically transfer a serial analogue signal which is proportional to the distance.

IO-Link units can be used without any problems on digital I/O without IO-Link port. The sensors then only work in the standard I/O mode with a binary switching signal. Sets of parameter data can be transmitted by means of a hand-held programming unit beforehand. Then, data exchange on all conventional PLC or bus input modules is carried out.

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