Simple solutions for common applications
High-performance, continuous networks are the backbone of any automation process. This is the only way to ensure long-term competitiveness. Control concepts with IO-Link offer a simple and universal solution. Users benefit from low costs and unprecedented flexibility.
Get informed about typical applications that open up IO-Link possibilities for automation. And see whether IO-Link can benefit you as well.
To this end, we present you step by step with a series of different concepts that easily resolve typical situations.
Whether you are bundling signals, switch pneumatic elements, recording and tracking data or having operating states displayed with SmartLight signal light – a network distributor, as a decentralized data compressor resolves such complex tasks:
The result is a reduced number of modules. Plus equipment options can be enabled and disabled. This affords you great flexibility. And saves you cash. At the same time, an IO-Link master is exceptionally powerful. Additional features, such as display, integrated switch and web server assist your user-friendliness.
Replacing parallel wiring with the use of fieldbuses was an enormous step. This is because the fieldbus protocol successfully overcame the immense installation cost associated with parallel wiring with expensive copper cables. And substantially reduces the costs.
It is not just that the field bus reduces the working time because a bus cable replaces numerous parallel strands of wire. Because fewer strands are needed, also material and space are conserved. Simultaneously, the bus cable connects the components of different levels. The way is thereby paved to a cabinet-free machine/system.
Indeed, even fieldbus cables are not without danger even if their protocol is no longer electrical and the cabling effort goes down by orders of magnitude. This is because fieldbus cables have a low signal level and are prone to malfunction. The are not very flexible and because of their shielding are expensive.
The weaknesses of the fieldbus protocol are now a thing of the past thanks to IO-Link. IO-Link only requires unshielded industrial cable with three or four strands. They are highly flexible and suitable for many bending cycles. They are easy to wire and exceedingly economical.
A simple M12 plug is all you need to connect a wide range of devices. Therefore, with IO-Link you can rely on an established standard.
Thanks to this versatility and simplicity, IO-Link, as a universal interface, is on the way to becoming the USB of automation.
Equipment and machine builders market and sell their product around the globe. Therefore, their products have to adapt to the conditions of very different countries. And are tuned to very different networks.
No matter which countries systems and machine builders are active in, with IO-Link one single concept for field installation satisfies every market: for Profibus, Profinet, Devicenet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT or CC-Link.
To adapt the bus system, simply change out the master. With nearly identical circuit diagrams – without additional effort – work can be continued without interruption.
Modern robot systems need many sensors – primarily in the robot arm. However, they should have less mass in order to ensure the dynamics and minimize the energy consumption. Furthermore, the expensive wiring of multipole cables makes it difficult to achieve high efficiency.
IO-Link relegates such difficulties to the past. This is because a standard M12 connection is all you need to ensure the operation of the robot – no need for special connectors. I/O, module and valve terminal are simply linked and complexity is reduced.
Inductive couplers provide you with quick tool change: Plug-and-play makes for prompt connection of the new tool and is automatically parameterized by the controller via IO-Link. You are not fighting broken cables; instead you are using high flexibility. And profiting from minimal downtimes.
If a production sequence is to be visualized directly on your production line, the SmartLight signal light is the perfect solution.
This is because the first LED signal tower with IO-Link interface displays curves and tendencies so that you can continually monitor various stages. This optimizes cycle times and give early indication of any possible bottlenecks or maintenance duties.
The various modes – run light, stack light and level mode – can be set without making any mechanical changes. Use the controller to choose between Running Light and Color Gradient or the display of up to five color segments.
A standard 3-conductor sensor cable is all you need for connection. In this, way, you immediately connect the SmartLight to your system. And the maximum functionality is produced.
With IO-Link, you need only a node/IP address to transmit the data of up to 136 Inputs/outputs. With the compression of the data, you preserve the valuable addresses and minimize critical installations.
In this way, a Balluff IO-Link sensor hub can, for example, bundle the signals of up to 16 sensors or actuators. If these hubs are connected to our 8-fold IO-Link Master, a module transmits up to 136 inputs/outputs.
For the connection, you just need an unshielded 3-conductor standard cable. With it you can exploit the full IO-Link functionality, reduce your effort and lower your costs.
IO-Link blocks are available for all standard network protocols.
IO-Link and simple unshielded standard cables ensure correct feeding of your process media. All you need is an IO-Link master to receive and pass along the data. Which means that only one bus address is used for the entire control circuit of the master unit.
For example for the oil feed of a hydraulic cylinder you can fully automatically measure, control and regulate all the relevant components – pressure-, temperature- and flow sensor, control valve and the hydraulic cylinder itself. Which ensures the optimum oil flow.
The sensors measure the flow, temperature and pressure of the oil. These data are continuously passed to the variable regulator through the master, with the regulator comparing the data with the nominal value, initiating a readjustment and providing feedback to the controller.
Correct control of the hydraulic cylinder by the control valve is now possible. The master also passes this information to the controller, which in turn generates the positioning commands for the hydraulic cylinder. These commands in turn arrive where they are needed through the master. The best part: You can wire the entire control circuit with unshielded, 3- or 4-conductor cables.
Quality assurance in production means the entire process needs to be documented. RFID systems record all the information during production. Each step in the process chain is retained.
All the data are automatically documented and are available in real-time. This enables you to make corrections even during the process.
The data are documented directly on the workpiece or pallet, regardless of ambient conditions, read distances or technologies (low-frequency - LF, high-frequency HF, ultra-high frequency - UHF).
It makes no difference whether you are using LF, HF or UHF or all of them at the same time; when selecting the processor unit you no longer have to think about the frequency. The BIS V processor unit lets you connect various read/write heads for different frequencies simultaneously.
Included standard with the processor unit is an IO-Link master port for connecting IO-Link compatible sensors and actuators. Each individual production step can also be displayed using the SmartLight tower light.
The intelligent combination of RFID and sensors with IO-Link makes it possible to cost-effectively handle your identification requirements and process signals at the same time.
The efficient point-to-point wiring of IO-Link allows construction of a decentralized system architecture outside the control cabinet. Network nodes equipped with an IO-Link master communicate via Ethernet/IP directly with the main controller or control device on the machine.
Our 16x IO-Link master makes possible a network structure which is outstandingly scalable. Connecting IO-Link actuator/sensor hubs to it significantly expands its function scope.
Here the IO-Link actuator/sensor hub with its expansion port sets the standard. Combined with the IO-Link master you have completely new options for expanding the decentralized structure of your network topology.
At this port you can easily attach a valve interface or another sensor hub. Plug and play - it's that easy. And you can process additional in- and outputs without needing an additional IO-Link master port.
A 16x IO-Link master allows up to 496 I/Os to be configured – up to 496 binary inputs and 640 binary outputs. The range is doubled and exponential cost savings are realized.
Additional features like a display, integrated switch and web server, the 16x IO-Link master is especially user-friendly. The built-in display tells you about the data and provides you with additional diagnostics. Its integrated switch allows you to construct a Profinet or Ethernet-IP line topology. The built-in web server shows you module-specific data as well as information about the connected IO-Link devices with all the current information required for condition monitoring.