IO-Link – Fit for the future

Over the past few years IO-Link has developed into the standard for sensor/actuator communication. IO-Link originated from a technical concept of leading manufacturers of sensors, actuators, and field devices in industrial automation that came together to form a consortium of companies. Meanwhile, the IO-Link consortium has been joined by nearly 50 international member companies. The IO-Link specification is complete and ready for marketing. Current activities include promotion of standards development within the committees of the IEC. Numerous manufacturers have already begun to implement IO-Link in their products and marketing campaigns. The first applications for industrial use are already available.


To support the rapid worldwide dissemination of IO-Link, the consortium has decided on changes to its organizational structure and has created a new marketing infrastructure. Accordingly, at the start of 2010 IO-Link became an established Technical Committee (TC6) within PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) and is thus also represented in the Advisory Board. Working Groups (WGs) in the areas of technology, marketing, network integration, and profiles make up the infrastructure for further technical development and efficient dissemination of IO-Link technology.


In order to ensure efficient and targeted further development and market expansion in light of the strong growth in the number of member companies, a Steering Committee (SC) has been formed. Representatives of all sub-areas of IO-Link (master manufacturers, device manufacturers, system providers, service providers, and chip manufacturers) serve on this SC.


A decisive change is the elimination of the entrance fee of EUR 10,000. This was collected in the beginning for the work carried out to develop the specification and for marketing. Membership in a Regional PI ( PROFIBUS & PROFINET) Association and acknowledgement of the IO-Link System of Rules provides access to the specifications, participation in the WGs, and use of the "IO-Link" logo. With these of rules, the SC has laid the foundation for international marketing and assurance of the future of IO-Link.

Members of the SC (from L to R): Peter Bernhardt, MESCO; Albert Feinäugle, Balluff; Marcel Henrich, ZMD; Wolfgang Striegel, ifm; Klaus-Peter Willems, TMG ME; Joachim Lorenz, Siemens; Jürgen Maul, Siemens; Christian Gemke, Phoenix Contact; Frank Moritz, Sick; Wolfgang Klaus, Leuze; Daniel Schlotthauer, Beckhoff; Dr. Albert Kießling, Festo; Hartmut Lindenthal, Pepperl+Fuchs; Klaus Ebinger, Turck.