Network blocks
Network blocks

Fieldbus Technologies – for High Performance

Ever faster, more flexible, more efficient and variable production demands seamless communication from the sensor up to the Internet. The result is a growing amount of data within production processes. For industrial automation, therefore, components must be used that supply this information. At the same time, an infrastructure is required that transports the data across all levels. Fieldbus technology provides a solution. Modern data transfer via fieldbus systems such as Profibus, Profinet, EtherCAT, CC-Link or Ethernet IP in combination with IO-Link creates the perfect preconditions to prepare your production for the requirements of Industry 4.0.

What is a fieldbus?

The first generation of fieldbus technology was developed in the 1980s and ousted parallel wiring, which had been standard to that point. The fieldbus replaces the parallel wiring bundle with a single bus cable. When several devices send data over a single cable, it must be clearly determined who (identification) said what (measured value, command), when (initiative). Standard protocols make this possible. Today, many different fieldbus systems with different qualities are established on the market. Since 1999, fieldbus systems have been standardized globally with IEC 61158 (Digital data communication for measurement and control – Fieldbus for use in industrial control systems).

Fieldbus systems and IO-Link

The fieldbus protocol simplifies wiring, saves time during planning and installation and reduces costs. When combined with IO-Link, fieldbus technology demonstrates its strengths even better. Using IO-Link, the fieldbus has a higher data rate and the protocol is put to better use. The systems are less susceptible to noise and more flexibly applicable. Furthermore, costs are lowered, since shielding is not necessary. An IO-Link system consists of several devices: an IO-Link master, IO-Link-capable intelligent sensors and actuators, which are connected to the master. Sensor/actuator hubs make it possible for binary and/or analog sensors and actuators to be attached. IO-Link uses three- or four-conductor standard industrial cables for this purpose. They are highly flexible and suitable for many bending cycles. They are easy to connect, highly economical and their connections are standardized.

We Speak IO-Link

The comprehensive IO-Link portfolio from Balluff includes sensors with different functional principles and 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 Balluff, a manufacturer of sensor technology and a long-time solutions provider for industrial automation, as a partner you are well-positioned for the future and for Industry 4.0. Discover more about the supported fieldbus systems.

Fieldbus technologies

  • Network blocks for Profibus

    Modern production, supported by efficient field and process communication

    Product finder

    As a solution provider, Balluff offers a wide range of components for optimal Profibus use. The mature fieldbus technology has been reliably supporting modern production for decades. Regardless of the controller manufacturer you use, you can find the optimum solution in our range of products.

    You will benefit from efficient field and process communication with simple wiring, fast integration through direct installation in your system, and the capability of quick modifications. This is even true in harsh industrial environments. Our Profibus solutions are IO-Link capable giving you the direct benefit of all the IO-Link advantages. Your efficiency grows with mature connection technology from Balluff.


    • Consistent diagnostics: no system failure
    • Central parameter setting: systems quickly go back to being operational
    • Time and cost savings
    • Facilitated plant expansion and investment security through IEC 61158/EN 50170 standardization
    Network blocks for Profibus
    IO-Link solutions with Profibus

  • Network blocks for Profinet

    Fast, economical and rugged in industrial automation

    Product finder

    The fact that industrial automation has made a significant advancement with Profinet is easy to understand. With Profinet, you directly link drives and safety technology to the network environment.

    This Ethernet-based system is significantly faster than Profibus but can readily be combined with it. The same applies to connections with IO-Link. You save time and money, while connectivity ensures improved process quality.

    With our network blocks, Profinet can be integrated consistently from the control level to the drive, even in harsh environments.


    • Installation freedom, simple wiring, consistent diagnostics and central configuration through a connection with IO-Link
    Network blocks for Profinet
    IO-Link solutions with Profinet

  • Network blocks for CC-Link

    Construct high-performance control topologies with products from a single source

    CC-Link is a standardized fieldbus designed to integrate the most diverse automation components of a wide range of providers. CC-Link is already the principle fieldbus technology used in Asia. The open network is supported by the CC-Link Partner Association CLPA, which is represented globally by over 1,000 companies.

    CC-Link is an effective integral system that will absolutely meet your requirements. Utilize our extensive, high-quality CC-Link portfolio to implement your own powerful control topologies using products from a single source.


    • For harsh environments: Fully potted, robust housing
    • Powerful diagnostics clearly identify problem areas
    • Constant data throughput, even when processing large data volumes
    • Reliable real-time control
    • Controls are programmable via a network
    • Network stations can be switched on and off during operation
    • Network stations can be restored automatically
    IO-Link solutions with CC-Link

  • Network blocks for CC-Link IE-Field

    Meet the challenges of automation with highly functional and practical blocks

    Fieldbus and network technologies should meet the demands for increasingly powerful communication. This applies to all areas of industrial communication.

    At the same time, the communication should be as uniform as possible. Specifically with the automation tasks in Asia in mind, Balluff was able to connect communication at the machine and system level with sensor/actuator communication – BNI network blocks for CC-Link IE/Field for the system level on the one hand, and the direct connection with the sensor/actuator level on the other.

    We have developed highly functional and practical fieldbus modules for the perfect connection of I/O systems to the open, deterministic high-speed network block for CC-Link IE/Field. This new generation outshines everything before it with its outstanding configuration and diagnostics options.


    • Protection class IP67
    • Fully potted housing
    • Display, LEDs and integrated SLMP access (Seamless Message Protocol) for diagnostics and configuration
    Network blocks for CC-Link IE-Field
    IO-Link solutions with CC-Link IE/Field

  • Network blocks for Devicenet

    Optimal network components for efficient use with Devicenet

    Balluff supports you with an entire spectrum of high-performance network technology so you can easily select the right network components for your applications. We can provide all the blocks required for efficient Devicenet applications in the USA.

    Regardless of the controller manufacturer, with our portfolio you benefit from a comprehensive and mature network and connectivity range of products. Consistently designed to meet your requirements, our portfolio offers everything you need outside the control cabinet. This lets you choose an efficient field and process combination that saves you both time and money.


    • Simple installation, fast integration and modification
    • Independent of the controller manufacturer
    Network blocks for Devicenet
    IO-Link solutions with DeviceNet

  • Network blocks for Ethernet/IP

    Our network technology standard for high system performance

    High efficiency is only feasible with an optimized network. Balluff offers a comprehensive Ethernet/IP line of products for your high-efficiency system. As a standard for network technology recognized worldwide, Ethernet/IP has already replaced Devicenet in many areas. The Ethernet-based technology is significantly faster and enables the integration of drive technology.

    Our network blocks for Ethernet/IP also score points for their high user-friendliness. Only Balluff Ethernet blocks can block IP addresses and protect against accidental changes. This increases your security and simplifies maintenance.


    • Time and cost savings: Fast installation and simple integration into existing networks
    • Easy module replacement through an innovative address plug
    Network blocks for Ethernet/IP
    IO-Link solutions with Ethernet/IP

  • Network blocks for EtherCAT

    Powerful technology for full flexibility

    Outstanding performance, low costs, flexible topology and easy handling: these are the advantages of EtherCAT, an industrial Ethernet technology. It provides full flexibility from free topology selection, to the possibility of connecting and disconnecting devices and segments during operation, to the performance redundancy of the ring topology.

    EtherCAT is suitable for both centralized and decentralized architectures, supports Master/Slave, Master/Master, and Slave/Slave communication. Additionally, it can integrate secondary fieldbuses.

    By using the existing infrastructure, the factory level is also optimally covered with the EtherCAT automation protocol, preferably without network blocks.


    • Supports up to 65,535 nodes at a distance of up to 100 m
    • International standard since 2007
    Network blocks for EtherCAT
    IO-Link solutions with Ethercat

Discover more about Balluff IO-Link

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