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IO-Link – The Ideal Solution

With IO-Link Discover Improved Process Quality

IO-Link – The Ideal Solution

Intelligently combining industrial networks with the IO-Link communication standard is the ideal solution for ever faster, more flexible, more efficient and more adaptable production. It provides you with a powerful infrastructure for reliably managing the growing volume of data. This transports your data through the entire manufacturing process and achieves seamless communication from the intelligent sensor up to the Internet. Technology is a significant building block for the factory of the future and for implementing Industry 4.0.

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link is a powerful standard (IEC 61131-9) for setting up intelligent solutions for industrial automation. The digital interface is a fieldbus-neutral, point-to-point connection. It is the first globally standardized IO-technology that communicates from the controller down to the lowest automation level and integrates sensors as well as actuators at the fieldbus level.

What components does IO-Link require?

A simple, standard industrial cable is all you need for the high-performance, universal interface. With an unshielded, three- or four-conductor cable, you can affordably connect not only intelligent sensors and actuators, but also binary and/or analog devices. In doing so, the digital technology enables the exchange of process and service data, as well as events, with the best signal quality. The open standard also transports analog signals via digitization, completely noise-free. And it comes with the welcome result that you can oversee the sensors for your manufacturing process down to the last meter and carry out diagnostics.

What is the IO-Link master's task?

Via the IO-Link master, intelligent sensors and actuators are linked to the controller. This enables configuration and diagnostics from a central location. For connecting binary or analog devices, use corresponding sensor and actuator hubs.

What speaks in favor of IO-Link?

The seamless communication from the sensor up to the Internet is essential for fast, flexible and efficient production and for the connectivity required for Industry 4.0. At the same time, a growing amount of data needs to be managed. This requires components that provide information and an infrastructure that transports it across all levels.

IO-Link can be used universally
The interface communicates from the controller down to the lowest automation level and can be connected with nearly any fieldbus system. You only need a standard cable and a standardized port with M5, M8 or M12 connectors. Furthermore, using IO-Link, sensors can be built in directly at the location of operation, where they are optimally placed in terms of technical aspects of the process.

IO-Link is an intelligent enabler of technology
The standard enables the exchange of process data, service data and events. In doing so, IO-Link offers the possibility of saving parameter data directly in the IO-Link master. That gives the advantage of allowing the saved information to be automatically taken over during a device exchange. Thus, parameter data for a new, identical replacement device can be used easily, saving time and reducing errors.

IO-Link is simple
IO-Link makes the installation and the exchange of new devices easier and guarantees error-free data transfer. Each device has an IODD (IO Device Description). There, information on the manufacturer, the article number or the function is saved and is clearly readable. The clear classification enables easy parameterization, error analysis and process oversight, all of which is also possible from mobile end devices, regardless of location. The accessibility of the sensors no longer plays a role thanks to IO-Link. The relevant information is saved and can be called up at a central location in the controller.

Knowledge on demand: Our webinars from the Virtual IO-Link Days

Discover the fascinating world of IO-Link. In five different webinars on the topic of IO-Link, you can expect not just information, but pure inspiration! Learn the basics, find out how to get the data from your sensors and discover how IO-Link is used in the packaging, food and beverage industry, in battery production, or in robotics.
View webinars 

We Speak IO-Link

The comprehensive IO-Link portfolio from Balluff includes sensors with different functional principles, as well as a peerless, broad spectrum of network and connection technology. As a result, Balluff IO-Link supports all current fieldbus protocols. With fieldbus systems such as Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet-IP, Devicenet, CC-Link and EtherCAT, we speak IO-Link in every field – for quick start up, optimal processes, high connectivity, as well as the greatest possible planning security and efficiency.

With one of the largest IO-Link portfolios, Balluff creates the best solution for your needs. By partnering with Balluff, a manufacturer of sensor technology and a long-time solutions provider for industrial automation, you are well-positioned for the future and for Industry 4.0.

Sensor technology: Ultrasonic sensors

Sensor technology: Magnetic encoders

Sensor technology: Cam switches

Machine Vision and Optical Identification: Optical identification

Industrial Networking: I/O modules

Industrial Networking: Inductive Couplers

Industrial Networking: IO-Link Wireless

Human Machine Interfaces: SmartLight

IO-Link Consortium

You want to learn more about IO-Link or benefit from the large IO-Link community? Visit the IO-Link Consortium now!
The Consortium

You have questions. Contact us!


  • Performance portfolio – We speak IO-Link. Worldwide – in all areas