With more than 350 different models incorporating IO-Link and two million IO-Link- enabled devices in the field ifm electronic shows the way to the streamlined, efficient production that has become known as Industry 4.0. ifm electronic manufactures IO-Link-enabled sensors for position, level, pressure, flow and more. ifm electronic has IO-Link masters available for all major fieldbuses and PLC’s to complement the field modules and sensors. The headline advantages of IO-Link are clear: configuration is easier and the health of a system can be constantly monitored. Other benefits include virtually error-free analogue value transmission and extra device functions not otherwise accessible.
IO-Link is an open, standardised (IEC 61131-9) point-to-point communication technology for sensors and actuators. Each port of an IO-Link master can handle analogue values as well as binary switching signals. The IO-Link communication takes place via the same port. As the analogue values are transmitted digitally, conversion losses are minimised. IO-Link even performs well in environments prone to electrical noise, and with IO-Link designed around M12 connectors, no special wiring is needed.
All well and good, but the major breakthrough provided by ifm electronic is the ability to feed all the diagnostic data to the ERP system in parallel to the machine control. This enables truly integrated information and control, in other words smart manufacturing.
The IO-Link masters from ifm electronic that do this are designated AY1000 and AY1020, using the letter Y to indicated the pathway of data from the field devices, shared between the plc and the IT system, the Y path. Until now all sensor signals had to be sent by the PLC to higher-level systems. This is now done via a parallel communication path (Y path). The PLC program remains unchanged. The AY masters have a communication port for the machine control (AY100: ProfiNet or AY1020: EtherNet/IP) and a second port for the server network (Ethernet 10/100 MBit, TCP/IP, Modbus TCP).
This allows the machine control plc to use sensor data while simultaneously the machine status, events and diagnostics can be logged in real time. Productivity data is live and maintenance scheduled as needed. IO-Link allows each and every sensor to be identified, and the master stores parameters to make swap-out so much easier. If a recipe or an operation is changed, the plc can reconfigure any IO-Link device in an instant. Not only does this save time, but removes human error from the equation.
The AY IO-Link master operates as an input/output card with a total of 20 I /O, of which 8 are for IO-Link devices and the rest for binary signals. All signals can be easily transmitted to compatible controllers via the standard fieldbuses EtherNet /IP orProfinet.
ifm is committed to working closely with its customers to develop products which precisely match their needs, and the company provides expert, readily accessible technical support to help users maximise the benefits they gain from ifm products.
For further information visit www.ifm.com.