In demand: Openness
What sounds like an important characteristic trait for future viability also applies to technical products such as sensors: Open standards are an important module for the factory of the future and the digitalization of production.
Easier integration of new components, simpler data exchange, better communication – the benefits of open standards are diverse and one of the basic prerequisites for successful digitalization of the industry.
Most of the existing approaches extend to the level of the controls, but sensors and actuators go one level further. In order to also communicate with these sensors and actuators, Balluff co-developed IO-Link as part of the founding consortium in 2006. Today IO-Link is a global standard (IEC 61131-9) for setting up intelligent solutions for industrial automation.
The digital interface is a point-to-point connection independent of a field bus, a single standard industry line is required. The digital technology enables the exchange of process and service data, as well as events and analog signals, with the best signal quality. This way customers can monitor the sensors within the production process down to the last meter and perform diagnoses.
IO-Link ensures transparency for the entire automation – for all areas and applications, it enables seamless communication from the field level to the cloud.
One thing is clear for Balluff: Open standards not only offer the customer advantages – they are the future. Using open standards also means using a competitive advantage because open standards increase the acceptance and rapid dissemination of products.
This is why Balluff is actively involved in the development of open standards and works in various groups. Current topic in the IO-Link consortium: A standard REST-API interface for all IO-Link masters, which ensures even greater standardization between the different sensor manufacturers.