IO-Link integration into PROFIBUS and PROFINET
PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) has released and published the documents on the integration of IO-Link into PROFIBUS and PROFINET. Together with the existing physical layer and protocol specification, the integration specification forms the basis for the wider deployment of IO-Link in PROFIBUS and PROFINET systems.
The requirements for the development of products with IO-Link interface were laid out with the physical layer and protocol specification. Since then, almost all relevant sensor manufacturers and a host of manufacturers of I/O modules have introduced IO-Link products to the market. The publication of the integration documentation makes available the basis for open integration of IO-Link in PROFIBUS and PROFINET systems. To illustrate this, PI set up a live application at their stand at the Hanover Fair 2008 (Stand A41, Hall 11), with which the engineering of IO-Link products from various manufacturers is demonstrated.
The physical layer and protocol specification of IO-Link is fully independent of PROFIBUS and PROFINET, so IO-Link can be subordinated to all fieldbuses or Ethernet-based systems. Only the integration takes place under the consideration of fieldbus-specific aspects. Work to integrate IO-Link into additional fieldbus systems is already in preparation. A suitable device description is of significant importance here. The definition of an appropriate independent device description for IO-Link, IO Device Description (IODD), is already under review by PI.
IO-Link is gaining more and more support. The number of actively contributing companies in the IO-Link consortium has already surpassed 30. In addition to manufactures of sensors and actuators, they include manufactures of I/O components, automation systems and semi-conductors.