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IO-Link Protocol

The IO-Link protocol is a powerful standard, and it has had an increasing influence on the device networking industry in recent years. According to a study conducted by Quest TechnoMarketing, referenced in an article from Profibus, 47% of machine manufacturing companies are expected to be using IO-Link technology by 2016. Furthermore, IO-Link has been implemented into the systems of nearly all PLC manufacturers. Fourteen fieldbus systems, along with the majority of sensor and actuator manufacturers, have followed suit.

IO-Link Master EtherNet/IP Comtrol

There are numerous reasons for IO-Link’s impressive growth, the first being the potential cost savings that go along with using IO-Link technology. According to Profibus, companies that switch to IO-Link protocol stand to save up to 30% on the costs of using alternative protocols. This savings is made possible by IO-Link’s simplistic cabling through standardization of interfaces and cables and faster troubleshooting with IO-Link’s diagnostic mechanisms. According to the research from Quest TechnoMarketing, upwards of 90% of IO-Link users in the study reported satisfaction with the IO-Link protocol.
The second reason for IO-Link’s growth, according to Quest TechnoMarketing, is its compatibility with most industry sectors. As stated before, nearly all PLC manufacturers have implemented IO-Link into their systems, along with 14 fieldbus systems and the majority of sensor and actuator manufacturers. This makes IO-Link a viable solution in any industry sector, from automotive and carpentry, to manufacturing and energy.

IO-Link protocolComtrol, a member of the international IO-Link Consortium and named the North American IO-Link Competency Center, foresaw the success of IO-Link.  In 2010, we began developing a line of IO-Link products labeled IO-Link Masters. Comtrol’s IO-Link Master 4-EIP gateway is the industry’s highest density IO-Link gateway. Furthermore, The IO-Link to EtherNet/IP™ master combines the benefits of standard IO-Link with the EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP protocols. This allows easy integration of IO-Link Masters into system networks with existing or new industrial Ethernet installations.

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