On October 1–2, 2019, over 90 representatives from 43 international businesses gathered in Bad Soden for the latest interoperability workshop. The IO-Link Community invited experts and manufacturers to test and ensure the interoperability of devices, masters and tools under real working conditions.
During the two-day event, the latest IO-Link device developments were tested with regard to the interface itself, as well as to cross-system integration into a variety of different engineering tools. The range of device classes has expanded. Increasingly, IO-Link is being used beyond the scope of traditional factory automation. IO-Link wireless devices and components were also debuted at the workshop.
Another significant new development for IO-Link, the implementation of the Smart Sensor profile in devices, was also tested by multiple manufacturers at the workshop. Applicability and integration of sensors are both simplified considerably through the standardization of process data and device behavior described in the profile. The data storage functionality – which ensures that device parameters are automatically taken over, without tooling, when the device is replaced – was also successfully tested on various masters and devices currently available on the market. These are two key user benefits when it comes to the practical application of IO-Link technology. The first devices with the Smart Sensor profile are already available on the market.
The participants’ lively interaction and sharing of experiences is a major feature of the interoperability workshop. It is one of the really important benefits of the event. This makes it possible to clarify and resolve problems quickly, perhaps even early enough to be implemented in the specification work. Thus, the latest improvements to the specification V1.1.3 were presented and explained during the workshop in Bad Soden.
In order to ensure seamless interoperability, numerous IO-Link manufacturers have – for several years – been using the opportunity to test their devices and share their experiences at the interoperability workshop.
The Smart Sensor profile is making its way into the new IO-Link products.