Food and beverage plants all have certain auxiliary services like steam, water or industrial gases that are best served by basic instruments. In those cases, more sophisticated devices simply add unwanted complexity and cost. IO-Link is an established standard for devices which, while basic, provide the data-rich visibility and controllability benefits of digital technology.
What challenges does IO-Link address?
Once the IO-Link system becomes operational, maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) is accelerated. New repair and maintenance concepts become possible, through IO-Link’s self-diagnosis and self-parameterization capabilities, with value added to process measurements by detailed status and error data. Sensors often provide other values, such as temperature, alongside the main measurement, or continuous measurement values alongside a switch status.
IO-Link functions as a compelling alternative to simply monitoring non-digitalized devices such as 4-20mA transmitters or digital input switches, which only permit one process variable per cable pair. Such devices also require scaling and local configuration – operations that must be repeated manually every time a device is exchanged.
What are the key benefits from using IO-Link?
IO-Link offers easy and efficient integration, through using standardized function blocks. It also complements Industrial Ethernet well. High-end Ethernet devices can operate alongside more basic IO-Link sensors and actuators.
Other benefits include:
- IO-Link devices can be parameterized through the engineering system or with software tools. This eases device configuration and reduces stockholding by eliminating multiple variants. Parameterization can be done remotely from the host system.
- Installation is less complex as all IO-Link devices connect to their masters via standard 3 or 5 core unshielded cables to 20m length, and standard M12 connectors.
- Maintenance, repair, and operation (MRO) is accelerated through IO-Link’s self-diagnosis and self-parameterization capabilities: process measurements are enhanced with detailed status and error data.
- Failed devices can be replaced quickly, with minimal risk of manual entry errors, special knowledge, or tools. Parameters are automatically loaded from a central parameter storage point into replacement instruments.
Digitalization of the last mile
Smart Ethernet devices like valve islands, remote IOs, recorders, liquid analyzers and flow measurement devices are digitalized with Industrial Ethernet, PROFINET or EtherNet/IP. Basic devices also become digitally accessible with IO-Link: This makes offline parametrization, data transparency and plug-and-produce device exchange available for all devices. Endress+Hauser’s IO-Link portfolio supports a unique choice of process variables, including level, pressure, flow, and temperature.
Examples of Endress+Hauser’s sensors for level and pressure
Liquiphant FTL31 point level switch for liquids. The FTL31 is designed for industrial applications in machine-building and all other industries.
The piezo-resistive based Cerabar PMP23 price-attractive and compact absolute or gauge pressure transmitter for hygienic applications.
The Ceraphant PTP31B price-attractive pressure switch for safe measurement and monitoring of absolute and gauge pressure in gases, steams, or liquids.