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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.

With over 3.5 million nodes in the field, an increase in the installed base of 63% compared to the prior year was achieved. 

 

Companies especially appreciate the easy installation and parameter assignment of IO-Link as well as its fieldbus neutrality. Accordingly, IO-Link has been implemented in all fieldbus systems established in the market. This also applies to almost every well-known PLC manufacturer. The fieldbus-independent IO-Link standard is thus the ideal solution for many companies that allows them to connect products to different systems and controllers worldwide.