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An example of PI’s close relationships with other automation organizations is IO-LINK, which is an independent sensor/actuator interface solution for use with PROFIBUS and PROFINET.

IO-LINK is a point-to-point interface for the low-cost connection of smart/intelligent devices serving the lowest level of automation (see right - click the image to enlarge).

Devices at this level were once exclusively 'on/off' types, but increasingly they offer higher performance capabilities such as configuration on-the-fly, higher resolutions and enhanced operations.

They incorporate greater processing power and need faster and more intelligent communications with controller devices. IO-LINK serves this need with a flexible solution that is fieldbus-independent.

IO-LINK is flexible because it is designed to work with traditional devices without modification so installing an IO-LINK network is extremely easy. Existing sensor networks can also be easily upgraded to incorporate the newer device types.

PI hosts the IO-LINK ORGANIZATION and provides it with administration services including specification writing, test, standardization and so on.  IO-LINK interfaces have been specified for PROFIBUS and PROFINET, with interfaces for other fieldbuses and Industrial Ethernet solutions also being developed.

IO-LINK will also provide the field connections for PI's standardized wireless solution for Factory Automation applications.