» Articles » Innovations » How IO-Link connects the food and beverage industry

How IO-Link connects the food and beverage industry

For food and beverage manufacturers there is very little margin for error when it comes to product quality, hygiene and safety. F&B applications require careful monitoring at every stage of the production process to produce an end product that’s fit for consumption. Baumer’s range of IO-Link master devices and sensors provide F&B manufacturers with a highly connected network of smart sensors that pinpoint any issues quickly and efficiently.

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link is an open-standard, point-to-point communication protocol for sensors and actuators. ‘Point-to-point’ simply means a communications connection between two separate endpoints. This short distance, bi-directional, digital, wired (or wireless), industrial communications networking standard (IEC 61131-9) is used to connect digital sensors and actuators to an industrial fieldbus or industrial Ethernet.

How does IO-Link work?

With IO-Link, field devices are connected to what’s known as an ‘ IO-Link Master’ device, which communicates with a controller – typically a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). The master device processes digital signals and analogue values, which means it can be integrated with existing systems and can communicate using industry-recognised protocols, such as Profinet, Profibus and Modbus.

IO-Link offers the following benefits:

  • Additional data
  • Increased flexibility
  • Fast sensor exchange
  • Extended setting options
  • Simple and safe operability
  • Cost-effective and securely connected.

Advantages of IO-Link for the food and beverage industry

Food and beverage applications demand the most precise measurements to maintain the highest standards of product quality. Any field device issues or systemic failures must be identified quickly to minimise costly downtime. IO-Link helps to mitigate these risks by keeping operators and devices fully connected at all times.

Not only can F&B manufacturers profit from remote monitoring and increased data availability, but IO-Link also comes with the added benefits of reduced wiring, advanced diagnostics and simple device replacements. The upshot is increased process efficiency and improved machine availability, resulting in lower overall costs.

IO-Link solutions for the food industry

Sensor expert Baumer serves up an extensive range of specialist IO-Link solutions for the food industry. Their portfolio positively brims with exceptional IO-Link devices covering every conceivable process measurement relevant to the everyday demands of an F&B plant. From 8-port IO-Link master devices to FDA-compliant flow sensors, pressure sensors, level switches and conductivity sensors; Baumer has thought of everything.

Complementing their wide range of process sensors, Baumer’s comprehensive array of IO-Link enabled light barriers, light sensors and optical distance sensors offer the ultimate in connected automation solutions. With IO-Link and Teach-in capabilities across the board, these intelligent LED and pulsed infrared diode sensors make sorting, safety and quality control more intuitive and reliable for F&B plant operators.

For more information, visit Baumer.

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.

Get the latest process industry news

Interested in receiving even more industry-leading news from Process Industry Forum delivered directly to your inbox? Then sign up to our free newsletter. Bringing you the latest news, trends, innovations and opinion from across the process industry, our exclusive newsletter gives you all the industry insights of the moment in one, easy-to-digest bulletin. Stay ahead of the competition with regular process industry news instalments from PIF.