"The benefits become soon evident: because we are using standardized cable and connectors instead of individual wiring, cabling took just half the usual time. With IO-Link you can test each module in advance at the factory and just have to plug them in, which noticeably reduces costs," as Berthold Wiesinger emphasizes. Wiring mistakes are virtually precluded, while the IO-Link philosophy also saves space and provides a clear overview. Internationally active companies especially appreciate the advantage that IO-Link can be used essentially with any bus system: the complete structure beneath the bus level always remains the same, only the bus nodes need to be adapted for a particular country.
The bi-directional communication standard provides greater perspective in other ways as well: IO-Link diagnostics information that enables quick localization for fault and error correction which in turn reduces unnecessary downtimes. "For some reason we had a problem with a sensor hub in the startup phase, but it was easily replaced and reinstalled by a colleague. The hub gets its data then from the IO-Link master, which
contains the relevant parameter values. After just a short interruption the system was back up and running," says Berthold Wiesinger. This is a benefit wherever systems aren't located close by and a specialized personnel are not available for the majority of the tasks that arise. Thanks to IO-Link remote maintenance all the way down to the process level is possible. In addition to clear diagnostics and targeted actions and action instructions when a fault occurs, preventive maintenance concepts are easy to implement.
Berthold Wiesinger even goes a step further: intelligent sensors will continue to improve system availability in the future.
"Sensors which measure oil temperature and oil moisture,monitor highly stressed motors for temperature and bearing condition and autonomously notify of service intervals will become indispensable to our sector in the future as well."
The offering of universally applicable IO-Link products continues to grow. For the user this brings with it further opportunities for optimization in wiring, diagnostics and configuring. "Balluff for example offers an analog hub that can be used among other things for connecting thermocouples and similar devices to a module. Using the new safety concept "Safety over IO-Link“
IO-Link and Profisafe can now be used to directly connect
safety auxiliary equipment. The advantage: in the future this standardized wiring concept will require just one infrastructure for both automation and safety technology. And with the highest level of safety up to PLe/SIL3“, emphasizes Mario Ober, who had local responsibility on the part of the Austrian Balluff subsidiary.
Since the end of last year the Mount Coffee Dam in Liberia
has again been producing electricity chiefly for the metropolis of Monrovia. For Berthold Wiesinger there is no question that IO-Link will find increasing use both in new construction and reconstruction projects. Especially as facilities continue toage and modern control and electronics concepts will be demanded.