Sound Bytes: IO-Link Solutions for Wide-ranging Applications
What do engineers think about the IO-Link terminals used in their applications? We’ll let them speak for themselves about how Beckhoff I/O solutions simplify implementation while providing the advantages of EtherCAT.
In the complex world of industrial networking, simplicity and openness are key. IO-Link helps engineers accomplish both as a streamlined way to connect wide-ranging sensors and devices. Beckhoff has fully embraced the potential of IO-Link as another tool in our comprehensive communication solutions portfolio.
Automation experts in the field have relied on the EL6224 IO-Link master terminal as the standard component from Beckhoff to establish connectivity. However, we also provide IO-Link solutions in IP67-rated form factors for machine mounting and the pluggable, space-saving EJ modules for serial production of machines and other equipment. These provide applications with critical connectivity from the sensor level to the fieldbus, typically the EtherCAT industrial Ethernet system. From there, we can just as easily push IO-Link data to the cloud.
As the creator of EtherCAT, we also value simplified network communications, and by making this protocol available to other device manufacturers, we guarantee openness. We provide solutions not just for IO-Link but for 30 common communication protocols, including EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, TSN, CANopen and more. This ensures you are not locked into an architecture and can choose the best components for your application, every time.
So what do engineers think about Beckhoff IO-Link solutions specifically? You can find responses from experts in a range of industries below about how these I/O devices, used in conjunction with EtherCAT, enhance simplicity and openness in the field.
“We benefit from the extremely broad and modular I/O spectrum. In all, we cover 408 data points, which are recorded and processed via 218 EtherCAT digital I/Os, 110 EtherCAT analog I/Os, nine CAN masters, and two RS485 interfaces, as well as 31 IO-Link terminals, five encoder terminals, and two power metering terminals. In addition, 33 TwinSAFE terminals are used for the personnel and machine safety systems. … Integrating the systems is also easy, because all safety data is available in the controller automatically and without any additional hardware.”
– Markus Rees of aerodyn Energiesysteme
“We often use IO-Link to collect the previously analog sensor signals digitally, which requires much less wiring than before. The numerous valve clusters and the overall system modularity are other areas that benefit from PC-based control. This is where we deploy the EL6224 IO-Link master terminal from Beckhoff, which can be easily parameterized via the EtherCAT master.” – Heiko Hillenbrand of Texpa Maschinenbau
LJ Welding Automation
“On the Pipe Titan, the EL6224 IO-Link master terminal was particularly useful for connecting a laser displacement sensor, and we’ve used it in many other applications. IO-Link is a flexible technology to connect sensors and other devices. The nodes can be inputs or outputs, so I don't have to stock numerous analog cards. The ability to bring the IO-Link devices into an EtherCAT network with a compact bus terminal adds greater flexibility to the system.” – Dean Jacobs of LJ Welding Automation
Ready to maximize the potential of your IO-Link applications with open networking technology? Contact your local Beckhoff sales engineer today.
Azad Jafari is the I/O Product Manager for Beckhoff Automation LLC.