IO-Link has been published as international standard IEC 61131-9 (Single-drop digital communication interface for small sensors and actuators). While the average time to develop an IEC standard is three years, the members of the IO-Link Consortium collaborated very closely and actively with the standards organizations. As a result, the document was prepared, the necessary review and approval processes were carried out, and the final unanimous approval as international standard IEC 61131-9 was granted – all in minimum time.
In order to optimize production processes, users must access important machine and plant data. IO-Link opens the lowest field level and provides an additional and continuous communication channel down to the smallest sensor and actuator. Users benefit from easier installation, significantly simpler commissioning, automated parameter assignment, and advanced diagnostics. The standardization of interfaces and cables, in particular, makes daily tasks much easier. And, the integrated diagnostic mechanisms also aid in faster troubleshooting, e.g., when a sensor becomes soiled.
IO-Link is fieldbus-neutral and can be integrated in any fieldbus. At the same time, IO-Link is based on standards such as M12, M8, and M5 connectors and three-core cables. With IEC Specification 61131-9, IO-Link users can now relay on having a long-term, reliable, and international solution that can be offered by all sensor, field device, and controller manufacturers. IO-Link is increasingly being used in machines/systems and brings significant benefits to end users in the form of significantly reduced engineering effort and downtimes.