By 2016, 47% of machine manufacturers – almost 1 in 2 – want to use IO-Link! This would about triple the number of IO-Link users in the next 3 years. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by the market research firm Quest TechnoMarketing at the beginning of this year. The firm surveyed almost 200 machine manufacturing companies with more than 100 employees.
The IO-Link member community also confirms this trend. Today, 72 companies already belong to the member community, which experienced a strong boost especially during the first quarter of this year, accompanied by a high level of international interest at the 2014 Hanover Fair.
The market research firm attributes this primarily to the potential cost savings up to 30%. Users profit from the advantages of easier wiring, automated parameter assignment, and advanced diagnostics. In particular, the standardization of interfaces and cables makes day-to-day work much easier. Another cost-saving aspect is the integration of diagnostic mechanisms that allow faster troubleshooting of problems, e.g., due to a dirty sensor. More than 90% of users in the study reported satisfaction with four beneficial aspects: “fieldbus-neutral connection”, standard three-core cable”, “possible status-based maintenance”, and “reduced control cabinet size”.
The IO-Link member community sees the high availability of technology as another reason for the positive response by users. By now, almost all PLC manufacturers have implemented IO technology in their systems. Fourteen fieldbus systems support IO-Link, and the majority of the sensor and actuator manufacturers have already integrated IO-Link in their components. At the same time, IO-Link relies on standards such as M8 and M5 connectors and three-core cables. This means that systems can be implemented with IO-Link in all industry sectors (for example, automotive and packaging sectors, solar industry, glass production, biogas production, and woodworking industry).
In addition to the technology, extensive expertise in the integration of IO-Link in systems on the part of users and manufacturers is now available. Furthermore, there are six Competence Centers (four in Germany, one in the Czech Republic, and one in the U.S.) whose staff not only advise users and manufacturers about the technology but also provide test tools for developing new devices and provide help for real-world implementation.
You can find additional information about the Quest study at: www.quest-technomarketing.de