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Joining the Industry 4.0 dots: The IO-Link encoder

03 May 2019

IO-Link is a breakthrough technology that has achieved rapid and widespread acceptance over the past five years and helped ‘join the dots’ for many industrial processes working towards Industry 4.0.

IO-Link has delivered a standard open communications gateway that enables a common architecture to be used for sensors and actuators of all types in a machine. It means they can cooperate at the lowest level of the automation hierarchy, then link, through an IO-Link Master, to transmit data, often with added value, via the factory ethernet network to a controller, such as a PLC. 

Missing link

But until recently motion control sensors were a noticeable ‘missing link’ in the IO-Link mix. Now by adding IO-Link to encoders, a vital step forward has been taken on the transition to Industry 4.0. 

Adding motion sensing into the IO-Link mix could soon be prompting new ideas about organising and configuring sensing capability within machines. Sensors with integrated Smart Tasks, offer the potential for reducing the processing load on the PLC. IO-Link has already made it possible for many devices, such as presence detection and process sensors, to be economically connected into an IO field gateway and at the same time provide transparent access to the intelligence contained within the sensor.

Read the full article in the May issue of DPA



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