Fieldbus & Industrial Networking


IO-Link accelerates digitalisation of process plants

February 2022 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

IO-Link is enjoying increasing popularity, with demand for the communications standard growing rapidly, especially in the food and beverage industry. The fieldbus-independent technology for point-to-point communication is easy to use and provides a cost-effective way to digitalise industrial plants. Endress+Hauser, a leading provider in the industry, offers a wide range of IO-Link products for a large selection of process parameters.

IO-Link is regarded as an established standard for measurement devices with basic functionality, offering advantages such as data transparency and additional control through digital technology. Integrating IO-Link-capable sensors and actuators is especially popular with suppliers of machines or skids for the food and beverage industry. Particularly for utilities, devices with basic functionality are well suited; instruments with a rich set of different functionalities would unnecessarily increase complexity and costs.

Broad offering for the food and beverage industry

Endress+Hauser is a leading global supplier of process instrumentation for the food and beverage industry. “No other manufacturer offers such a broad and deep range of products and services. Our comprehensive IO-Link portfolio clearly illustrates this position. As a strong partner for process automation, we support our customers with IO-Link sensors in numerous fields of application,” says Dhiren Naidoo, food and beverage industry manager at Endress+Hauser South Africa.

Analog signals and digital communication

The majority of the IO-Link sensors can be optionally operated in analog mode (4-20 mA) with simple configuration changes to the instrument, thus allowing production workflows to remain in place. If extra information such as diagnostic and service data is required, in addition to the actual process parameters, an installed IO-Link-capable instrument can be simply switched to a digital signal.

A simple avenue toward Industry 4.0

“Although IO-Link is not the most powerful communications standard for process engineering, the technology is cost-effective and harbours tremendous potential for the digitalisation of process plants,” according to Naidoo.

Endress+Hauser instruments with IO-Link interfaces support the acyclic transmission of helpful metadata to ensure stable and efficient production. Furthermore, the smart sensor profile is designed for simple engineering, which reduces the effort required by plant operators to integrate sensors into their systems.

New additions to the IO-Link portfolio

Endress+Hauser offers a comprehensive product portfolio of IO-Link-capable instruments for all relevant process parameters. The company recently introduced the Smartec CLD18 compact conductivity sensor, IO-Link versions of the PMP51, PMP55 and PMC51 pressure transmitters and the Deltapilot FMB50 level transmitter. With these new additions to the company’s IO-Link portfolio, customers can exploit the benefits of digitalisation in a cost-efficient manner.


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