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A new liaison: IT/OT convergence by combining IO-Link and mioty


The IO-Link community and the mioty alliance are increasing their collaborative efforts and will cooperate more closely in the future. To this end, they’ve created a joint working group focusing on the adaptation of IO-Link (IODD) data models and their seamless integration into the mioty standard. The aim of this close alliance is to enable low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies for industrial IO-Link applications. The tight integration of software tools, including device on-boarding and the holistic system architecture of the IODD, aims for maximum compatibility.

The combination of IO-Link, which originated in the field of industrial automation on the OT (operational technology) level, and mioty technology, which has its roots in smart cities, smart buildings and smart metering, is opening up a unique opportunity to build a holistic bridge between these worlds and transfer relevant data from the OT level to higher-level systems on the IT (information technology) level. The use of mioty as a robust wireless technology makes it possible to implement new applications in the industrial environment which were previously impossible due either to the costs involved or feasibility. The use of easily accessible and tried-and-tested system architectures and security concepts from the IoT environment is opening up major opportunities for establishing similar systems here, including for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

mioty: innovative LPWAN technology for reliable networking in the field of massive IoT
mioty is a software-based LPWAN protocol for wireless applications developed for querying a large number of IoT nodes over large distances. The advantages of this new wireless technology lie in its high reliability and scalability, in particular in the smart city and smart building sector with a large number of terminals. Using telegram-splitting technology defined by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI TS 103 357), data is transferred in multiple packets at different times and frequencies, thereby ensuring high interference immunity and extremely low current consumption.

IO-Link: Globally standardized IO technology for sensors and actuators 

IO-Link, on the other hand, is a globally standardized bidirectional communication technology (IEC 61131-9) for sensors and actuators. The greatest advantage is that even the simplest sensors and actuators can be integrated into any fieldbus systems without major effort. IO-Link is the fastest-growing technology in the industrial automation field, encompassing more than 22,000 different products with more than 36 million nodes installed around the world.

The best of both worlds for a networked future in IIoT

The partnership between the IO-Link community and the mioty alliance aims to seamlessly integrate the mioty technology into the world of IO-Link, thereby creating an expanded solution landscape for applications which used to be impossible. Thanks to the intensive cooperation initiated by the two partners, users benefit from an effortless plug and play approach. This makes it possible to work with devices right away without having to make any time-consuming configurations. For members of the mioty alliance, the description of specific sensor data—the so-called payload—via the IODD, the description logic of IO-Link for the payload, offers significant advantages over conventional LPWAN technologies, thereby simplifying the integration of new sensors into users’ existing systems.

IO-Link members, on the other hand, benefit from new cable-free transmission technology which enables reliable and energy-efficient data transfer over large distances. A uniform description file based on the IODD which extends beyond the current world of IO-Link opens the door to previously impossible applications, while at the same time a hundred thousand sensors can be seamlessly integrated into a network without negatively affecting the performance of other wireless systems like WLAN.

Cooperation between the IO-Link Community and the mioty alliance thus marks a decisive step toward a broader communication standard not based on cables or wireless technology in a more heavily networked and more efficient industry. The tight integration of both technologies paves the way for a future in which previous boundaries in the IoT and IIoT are pushed and where a larger ecosystem for the creation of innovative or previously impossible applications is available. 

Interested in joining in? 
The newly created working group would love to have more participants. Interested companies can contact the support centers of the two communities to become a partner and create a larger ecosystem for creating innovative or previously impossible applications.

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