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How using an IO-Link interface to digitalise your sensor will enhance process efficiency

Since the introduction of Industry 4.0, manufacturers across a range of environments have sought new ways of delivering increased efficiency, as well as cost-saving and reactive control conditions for their manufacturing processes. Process Industry Forum spoke with Baumer to understand why implementing an IO-Link interface throughout factories and manufacturing environments will enhance process efficiency and help bring facilities into the digital age.

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link (Input-Output Link) has been hailed as the backbone of Industry 4.0 and the 'smart factory' of the future. It allows for bi-directional exchange of data from sensors, actuators, and other devices that support the IO-Link, and are connected to a master device by delivering point-to-point communication.

The IO-Link master can transmit this data over various networks to make the data accessible for immediate action and long-term analysis of industrial information systems.

Baumer explains that with IO-Link, data is not only provided on a serial communication channel that includes the sensor data but also provides so much more information.

What data does an IO-Link communicate?

IO-Link data is smart, easy, and universal. It helps simplify control architecture and provide visibility throughout the whole process. Therefore, it can communicate complex processes, parameters, and event data for control, configuration, and diagnostics.

What are the benefits of IO-Link?

IO-Link technology offers numerous benefits to manufacturers and industrial applications by enabling transparent, standardised communication between sensors and actuators.

Baumer suggests that IO-Link can help manufacturers to reduce overall costs, increase process efficiency, and improve machine availability with greater reliability. Further benefits include increased data availability, with the ability for extended diagnostics to assess and highlight issues before major operational downtime occurs.

This real-time monitoring of sensor data enables operators to address issues as they arise and resolve them before they can result in an operational shutdown. This is achieved by providing valuable insight into machine performance and process inefficiencies.

The more sensors, the better

Within difficult industrial environments, sensors have to adhere to tough requirements. These often include low power consumption, compact sizes and the ability to survive in harsh factory environments.
Baumer concludes that generally within these environments, the more sensors you implement, the better. This enables operators to collect more data and analyse this to make intelligent process decisions through a reliable cable-to-connection IO-Link interface. By utilising a larger number of sensors, operators can gather a full view of the factory and its processes.

vPressure sensor PP20H and conductivity sensor CombiLyz AFI deliver dual-channel control

Baumer states that digital communication opens up many opportunities for industrial application improvement, but only sensors that can reliably deliver precisely measured valves offer real added value by IO-Link. The PP20H pressure sensor and CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor excel by delivering outstanding measuring performance and IO-Link interface, whilst offering simple and fast parameterisation - even during operation.

As a result of this, secondary data can be communicated from sensor to controller and even retrieved from the sensor memory when required to deliver further insights into the functioning of a manufacturing process and enable superior process control.

Dual-Channel - analogue and digital interface in a single sensor;

Dual-Channel enables analogue and digital sensor operation at the same time. Baumer’s process sensors, such as the conductivity sensor CombiLyz AFT and pressure sensor PP20H, work in conventional control technologies and digital IO-Link control environments.

Baumer goes on to explain that IO-Link provides access to much more data than ever before; enabling process effectiveness. For example, the CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensor delivers information on media concentration in food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and many other applications, in addition to media conductivity.

In doing so, the medium being processed and its concentration can be precisely identified. Working in conjunction with this, the PP20H pressure sensor can deliver ambient pressure information, in addition to process the pressure of the medium. Therefore, the sensor can be deployed for absolute and relative pressure measurement.

Enhanced process efficiency thanks to fusioned sensor data

Due to the nature of IO-Link, this allows for mutual and bi-direction sensor communication via the controller. This ensures that every sensor can utilise the measured values of other sensors to solve complex measuring tasks and optimise the process and production flow. Optimisation of this process enables reduced waste, a reduction in costs, and a reduced level of operational input.

The range of CombiLyz AFI conductivity sensors and PP20H pressure sensors area available from Baumer, alongside numerous solutions for flow and level detection using digital communication standard.

Inductive IO-Link sensors provide comprehensive diagnostic data

By implementing IO-Link sensors, and a digitised workflow, manufacturing applications leave nothing to chance.

Baumer supplies a range of fully digitised IO-Link sensors with the most comprehensive diagnostic data, collect sensor temperature, operating voltage and operating time data for allowing operators to monitor process control and reactively respond to changes in the environment.

Baumer can provide a complete range of sensors to deliver incredible IO-Link results; ensuring efficiency and cost-saving results. Speak to one of the team at Baumer to discuss your process control needs and the appropriate solutions from Baumer UK by calling 01793 783 839.

Company Profile

Find out how Baumer IO-Link solutions are driving OEE efficiencies

The Baumer Group is leading at international level in the development and production of sensors, shaft encoders, measuring instruments as well as components for automatic image processing.

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