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Sensors of an automation solution not only have to provide measured values ​​or signals, but also have to be communicated. Communication should be as simple and seamless as possible - from the sensor level to the control and management level right up to the company level. This is the only way to realize many of the benefits of Industrie 4.0 in the first place. Therefore sets IFM Electronic on IO-Link.

This makes it easy to communicate digitally with sensors. This interface, which is implemented in almost all of the manufacturer's new sensors, complements traditional analog interfaces such as 4 ... 20 mA. IO-Link has even more potential to replace the analog measured value transmission. Since the measured value is transmitted digitally, falsified values ​​due to interference on the line are virtually eliminated. The biggest advantage of IO-Link transmission is the simultaneous transmission of further information such as status information from the sensor. When configuring sensors, for example, the parameterization can be transmitted directly from an IO master so that a complex set-up at the sensor can be dispensed with.

The new generation of IO-Link masters is particularly robust and has two Ethernet ports with switch for Profinet. The "LR Device" software is used to configure the connected sensors and actuators. The intuitive software finds all IO-Link masters in the Ethernet network and creates an overview of the entire system.

In addition, the IO-Link connection of the sensors offers the option of using sensor data for higher-level ERP systems. For this purpose, the automation provider offers the so-called line recorder, which allows bidirectional communication between a large number of different interfaces. This enables communication between ERP systems on the one hand and the data of the devices from the field, control and management level on the other hand. With this system, the data can be transferred directly to the ERP system without additional load on the PLC in the automation solution. This direct way of sensor data bypassing the control plane is called ifm Y Communications.

For example, 500 IO-Link products are currently part of the IFM program, and 100 and 150 are adding more products every year.

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Pepperl + Fuchs