SAIMC


SAIMC: Vaal branch

November 2021 SAIMC

The branch hosted Kenneth McPherson from Turck Banner during the month of September, when he presented on the role that IO-Link can and probably will, play in the Industry 4.0 workplace.


Kenneth McPherson

Most are familiar with traditional analog (0/4-20 mA and 0-10 V) and digital (on/off) signals. IO-Link is a point-to-point serial communication between a master and a sensor or actuator. With modern sensors and actuators being ‘minicomputers’, they have a lot more process information than just the on/off of analog signal. IO-Link can be used to gather all this other information.

One of the best features of IO-Link is that it is a manufacturer independent communication standard (IEC 61131-9). It is not a fieldbus but can easily be integrated into fieldbus systems. This importance of using an independent communication standard should not be taken lightly because it means that products from different manufacturers can be mixed in an IO-Link installation. This greatly benefits spares keeping.

IO-Link can relay four data types: the latest process data; the quality of that process data; the device parameters and diagnostics; and errors and warnings. Devices are identified by an IO-Link Device Descriptor (IODD) file that is unique to each device. This file contains all the communication settings and available parameters of the device. It can even contain the manufacturer logo and illustration of the device. The IO-Link master uses this IODD file to identify and communicate with all the connected devices. This brings another benefit of IO-Link: devices will only function if they are installed in the correct locations; you can be sure that the correct device with the correct settings giving the correct values is installed in the plant.

IO-Link enabled laser distance sensors, inductive and capacitive sensors, pressure and temperature sensors and many others, are available from multiple manufacturers. The branch thanks Kenneth and Turck Banner for a very informative evening.


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