IO-Link advantages: More efficiency, lower costs
IO-Link advantages: More efficiency, lower costs

Efficient and Cost-Saving – the IO-Link Advantage

The IO-Link communication interface offers tangible benefits: quick and cost-saving installation, continuous diagnostics and quick sensor replacement, because these can be configured from a central location. All in all, this provides more flexibility and increases the efficiency of automation.

Easy installation

For IO-Link all you need is an industry-standard three- or four-conductor cable. The uniform standard interface can be quickly integrated into the fieldbus world. Even complex devices can be easily integrated. What is particularly interesting is that even without expensive, shielded cabling, the digital communication ensures noise immunity. Analog signals are digitized with no conversion losses.

IO-Link increases machine availability

IO-Link enables quick and error-free exchange of sensors and shortens the time needed to start system operation. Downtime can be significantly reduced, since the IO-Link master or the controller automatically writes the parameters of a replaced IO-Link sensor onto the new sensor. Commissioning processes, format changes or recipe changes are handled centrally via the controller's function modules. This saves time and minimizes the potential for mistakes. Additional advantages for you: IO-Link devices cannot be confused with each other as they are automatically identifiable via IO-Link.

IO-Link enables need-oriented maintenance

Continuous diagnostic data for the entire process extends your service intervals, since automatic readjustment via IO-Link means you need to perform maintenance much less frequently on equipment and machines. Now, predictive error detection is even possible because complete process parameters are consistently displayed in the controller.

IO-Link makes operation more efficient

IO-Link sensors can be positioned in the machine directly at the location of operation because the sensor's accessibility no longer plays a role. That is optimal in terms of technical aspects of the process. Process monitoring, configuration and error analysis of the IO-Link sensors take place in the controller. Machine processes are now time-optimized. Additionally, signal delays and distortions are reliably eliminated because the digital transmission of data also ensures high signal quality. A wide range of application requirements can be easily met with IO-Link due to standard binary and analog devices being used at the same time as IO-Link sensors and actuators.

IO-Link offers a high-performance, consistent network

Control concepts using IO-Link provide you with simple and universal solutions for a high-performance, consistent network, meaning you benefit from lower costs and are more flexibility than ever.

We Speak IO-Link

The advantages of IO-Link are obvious: easy installation, high machine availability, need-oriented maintenance, efficient operation and a high-performance, consistent network. As an engaged partner for industrial automation, Balluff offers not only an enormously wide spectrum of products and services with devices such as our IO-Link master, IO-Link hubs and IO-Link sensors, but together with you also develops solutions for industrial automation that are precisely suited to your needs and are globally applicable.


  • Migrate fieldbuses

    IO-Link provides a high standardization factor

    Plug-and-play in all networks

    As a systems and machine builder you market and sell your products around the globe. This means your products have to adapt to the conditions of very different countries and can be tuned to very different networks.

    No matter what countries you are active in, with IO-Link there is one concept for field installation for various markets – Profibus, Profinet, Devicenet, Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, CC-Link or CC-Link IE/Field.

    To adapt the bus system, simply change out the master and you can continue working seamlessly with virtually the identical schematics – without any added effort.

  • Automate Robots

    A simple M12 connection is all you need

    Benefit from minimal downtimes

    Modern robot systems need many sensors – primarily in the robot arm. However, mass must be limited to ensure proper dynamics and minimize energy consumption. Expensive wiring of multiple cables makes it difficult to achieve high efficiency.

    Thanks to IO-Link, difficulties like this are a thing of the past. A standard M12 connection is all you need to ensure the function of the robot – no need for special connectors. I/O modules and valve terminals are easily linked and complexity is reduced.

    Inductive couplers provide you with quick tool changes by sending both data and power simultaneously over an air gap. With plug-and-play, the new tool can be quickly connected and is automatically parameterized by the controller via IO-Link. Instead of struggling with cable breaks, you benefit from high flexibility and minimal downtimes.

    1. IO-Link master 2. Fieldbus cable 3. Power cable, 7/8" 4. Inductive coupler 40 × 40 mm, Base, IO-Link, bi-directional 5. Inductive coupler 40 × 40 mm, Remote, IO-Link, bi-directional 6. M12 sensor hub, configurable, I/O with expansion 7. IO-Link valve interface (Festo, Bosch Rexroth) 8. M12 sensor hub, 16 inputs, PNP, 9. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor

  • Expand decentralization

    Consolidate and gather I/O signals

    Minimize critical installations

    With IO-Link, you only need a node/IP address to transmit the data of up to 496 inputs/outputs. With data compression you preserve the valuable addresses and minimize critical installations.

    The IO-Link actuator/sensor hub with its expansion port sets the standard. Combined with an IO-Link master, you have completely new options for expanding the decentralized structure of your network topology. You can use this port to simply connect valve interfaces or an additional IO-Link hub using plug-and-play. Additional inputs and outputs are processed this easily as well – with no additional master needed.

    Configure up to 496 I/O's

    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.

    All you need to implement this network structure is a standard unshielded cable. You maintain access to the entire IO-Link functionality while reducing your wiring effort and saving money.



    1. IO-Link master 2. Fieldbus cable 3. Power cable, 7/8" 4. IO-Link sensor hub, configurable, I/O with expansion 5. IO-Link valve interface (Festo, Bosch Rexroth) 6. IO-Link valve interface (SMC, Parker, Norgren) 7. IO-Link valve interface (Numatics) 8. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor

  • Track Data

    Maximum transparency for the optimal process

    Handle ID and process signals simultaneously

    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.

    When it comes to quality assurance, RFID systems record the entire production sequence and make it traceable in real time. The data is documented directly on the workpiece or pallet, regardless of ambient conditions, read distances or technologies (low-frequency, high-frequency, ultra-high frequency).

    Depending on the data volume and speed, we offer different devices: BIS V processor units for fast processing of high data volumes. It also lets you run and process LF, HF and UHF read/write heads simultaneously.

    An IO-Link master is appropriate for standard ID tasks to connect I/O units or IO-Link capable sensors/actuators. Each individual production step, for example, can also be displayed using the SmartLight tower light.

    1. Profinet, 8 × IO-Link master 2. Profinet cable, M12 → RJ45, shielded 3. Profinet cable, M12 → M12, shielded 4. Power cable, 7/8", 4-conductor 5. Industrial RFID, 4 Profinet processor units, 1 × IO-Link master 6. Industrial RFID, read/write head 7. Industrial RFID, data carrier 8. M12 sensor hub (metal), 16 I/O, configurable 9. IO-Link SmartLight, 3 segments 10. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor 11. RFID single-ended cordset, M12 → M14, shielded, 4-conductor

  • Measure, Control and Regulate

    Correctly feed process media

    Ensure correct feeding of your process media

    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 so you only use one bus address for the entire control circuit of the master assembly.

    For example, for the oil feed of a hydraulic cylinder you can fully automate the measurement, control and regulation of all the relevant components – pressure-, temperature- and flow sensors, control valve and the hydraulic cylinder itself, which ensures the optimum oil flow.

    The sensors measure the flow, temperature and pressure of the oil. This data is continuously passed to the variable regulator through the master, with the regulator comparing the data with the nominal value, initiating – if necessary – 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. A great feature: you can wire the entire control circuit with unshielded, 3- or 4-conductor cables.

    1. Profinet, 4 × IO-Link master 2. Profinet cable, M12 → M12, shielded 3. Power cable, 7/8", 4-conductor 4. IO-Link pressure sensor 5. Profinet transducer BTL7, max. length 7,620 mm 6. IO-Link analog converter, input 0...10 V DC 7. IO-Link analog converter, output 0...10 V DC 8. M12 sensor hub, analog 0...10 V DC, digital 9. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor 10. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, shielded, 4-conductor 11. Magnet for transducer 12. Power cord, M12, 4-conductor

  • Signaling

    Simple visualization of operating states

    Setup without mechanical reconfiguring

    If you need seamless visualization of the production sequence on your line, the SmartLight signal tower light provides the perfect solution. The SmartLight displays trends and tendencies so you can continually monitor various stages. This optimizes cycle times and gives early indication of possible bottlenecks or maintenance needs.

    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.

    Just as important: the SmartLight is simple to retrofit.

    1. IO-Link-master 2. Fieldbus cable 3. Power cable, 7/8" 4. IO-Link SmartLight, 5 segments and buzzer 5. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor 6. Stand for IO-Link SmartLight, 400 mm high 7. Stand for IO-Link SmartLight, 100 mm high

  • Handling and Assembly

    A network distributor for complex tasks

    Modules reducible

    Whether you are bundling signals, switching pneumatics, recording and tracking data or want to display operating conditions with the SmartLight signal tower light, one network distributor used as a remote data compressor can handle such complex tasks: all the analog functions, RFID applications, the valve control, signaling and the use of remote I/O.

    One IO-Link master per production segment is all you need. This lets you reduce various modules and select and deselect equipment options. This affords you great flexibility and saves you cash. At the same time, an IO-Link master is extremely powerful. It scores additional points by virtue of additional features like a display, integrated switch and web server, which make it especially user-friendly.

    1. IO-Link master 2. Fieldbus cable 3. Power cable, 7/8" 4. M8 sensor hub, 16 inputs, PNP 5. IO-Link valve interface (Festo, Bosch Rexroth) 6. IO-Link SmartLight, 3 segments 7. Industrial RFID, read/write head 8. Industrial RFID, data carrier 9. Single-ended cordset, M12 → M12, 4-conductor 10. RFID single-ended cordset, M12 → M14, shielded, 4-conductor

Discover more about Balluff IO-Link

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