On October 13 and 14, 2016, the IO-Link Community met in nearby Frankfurt, Germany for the 16th annual IO-Link Interoperability Workshop. 75 participants from 33 companies spent both days intensively putting their new IO-Link devices through their paces. The participant turnout also set a new record in the number of different countries from which attending companies originated. Most participants were from Germany, but the IO-Link Community was also happy to welcome many international participants this year, from countries such as Japan, the US, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France, Switzerland, Turkey and Hungary. This reflects the increasing global interest in simple point-to-point technology.
The goal of workshops organized by the IO-Link Member Community is to test and ensure the interaction between devices, masters and tools under real-world practical conditions. During the 2-day event in October, the "meat" of the latest IO-Link device developments was tested with regard to the interface itself, as well as to cross-system integration into a variety of different engineering tools. The entire spectrum of sensors, actuators and a wide variety of field bus-specific master interfaces and diagnostic tools were presented. IO-Link data integration concepts have been included in Industry 4.0 cloud-based services.
Community experts were happy to lend their support by fielding participants' questions on implementation. Special-issue groups included "test systems, system integration and data management functionality." There was plenty of opportunity for suggestions and a lively exchange of experience among users. A number of technical talks on optimum device implementation and user-friendliness were given, and discussions held.