IO-Link arrives in the field
Increasing installed base of IO-Link in industry

For the first time, the IO-Link Community has commissioned notary-certified statistics on the number of installed IO-Link nodes in the field. The counting method has already been well-proven for many years for the PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI) technologies including PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and PROFIsafe. Members are surveyed annually regarding the number of devices sold.

The result is impressive. Since 2009, over 2.19 million IO-Link nodes have been installed in the field (cut-off date: December 31, 2014). Applications with IO-Link already implemented today are distributed across all industry sectors, including the automotive, packaging, machine construction, solar industry, glass manufacturing, biogas production, and wood processing industry sectors.

These figures confirm the continuing positive trend for IO-Link, which is expressed not only in the installed base but also in increasing numbers of members. The IO-Link Community now has more than 90 members, with 17 new members added in 2014. This trend is also continuing in 2015. Since the start of the year, eleven additional companies have already decided to become members. 

There are many reasons for this success: Besides the simplified installation, automated parameter assignment, and diagnostic capabilities, another primary reason is the fact that users can make use of a wide range of devices and technologies. IO-Link has now been implemented in all fieldbus systems established on the market. Almost all well-known PLC manufacturers have integrated IO-Link in their systems. In doing so, the IO-Link master undertakes the crucial connection between the IO-Link devices and the automation system. All essential sensor and actuator technologies are already offered with an IO-Link interface today. 

For assurance of qualified support, there are five Competence Centers (three in Germany, one in the Czech Republic, and one in the USA), whose employees not only advise users and manufacturers about the technology but also provide test tools for development of new devices and help for implementation in practice. 

By: Ketterer