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Posts Tagged ‘IO-Link’

Paint Spraying Operation Integrates IO-Link

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A furniture manufacturer was in need of a time and money saving solution. This company needed something that could identify the size of sections of furniture on the paint spraying line and thus reduce over-spraying and wasting paint. Leuze’s CML720i light curtains that were IO-Link enabled were chosen to accurately measure piece dimensions. They also needed an IO-Link master block that could handle the power requirements and effectively communicate with the PLC.

The CML720i light curtains are positioned at the entrance of a paint powder coating machine which tell the automated paint guns when to spray and when to turn off, based on the size of the piece moving through. Before this solution, spray guns would turn on well before a piece arrived and remained on well after, which over time wastes a large amount of paint. They also wanted to avoid spraying the hooks connected to the conveyor system which guided the pieces through the painting machine. All of this information is communicated to a PLC running on EtherNet/IP via the Comtrol IO-Link master 8-EIP.

By using Leuze’s CML720i light curtains that are IO-Link version 1.1 devices, they are able to save parameters set for the CML720i light curtains right in the Comtrol IO-Link master by using an IO-Link feature called Data Storage. This allows the customer to easily replace a CML720i light curtain and automatically upload the previously saved settings to the newly connected curtain. This eliminates the need to configure the device from the default state.

Comtrol was able to meet the needs of this application in a number of ways. The IO-Link Master 8-EIP supports high power current support, including 1.6 amps on port #1, which is required to operate the large CML720i light curtains. The IO-Link Master also provides power overload protection. If a device is connected that is attempting to pull more power than can be provided, the IO-Link Master will shut down that port once a certain threshold is exceeded. When the power draw subsides, the port will re-activate. In addition, the powerful web-interface provides the customer will multiple benefits that most master blocks do not.

For example, the web-interface allows the user to:

  • Save IODD files in a library
  • Utilize data storage
  • Change the parameters of a device right in the web-page
  • Use device validation to allow a specific device to work on a specified port
  • Configure ports to operate as an IO-Link port, Digital Input or Digital Output
  • Look at PLC diagnostics

For more information, please contact Brandon Roy.

Mining Application Using IO-Link Master and PC

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A North American mining systems integrator implemented a solution for a mining application company seeking a better way to identify particle size and increase awareness of jams on their mineral fragmentation conveyor line.

Mining Application

Mining Application Using IO-Link Master

Comtrol’s IO-Link Master 4-EIP, with the IO-Link laser distance sensor connected, helped them achieve both of these tasks. The main reasons they decided to use Comtrol’s IO-Link master were:

  • Comtrol’s master is able to work directly with a PC, no PLC required
  • Other IO-Link master solutions rely on a PLC to use and set up the master, which was not desired for this mining application
  • The ease of set-up, powerful web interface and Modbus TCP support were other determining factors.

The end-user was using a vision system for analyzing mineral fragmentation on a conveyor line. The mineral would be broken down and sent along the line where the vision system would ensure the particle size was correct.

However, problems exist with picking up accurate readings when the bed depth, or amount of mineral on the line, is great. Working with Comtrol’s IO-Link Master that is used to connect the IO-Link distance sensor has helped the company increase their accuracy with reading the bed depth. The laser distance sensor is also used to pick up the distance to the top layer of mineral going down the line which helps normalize the data along with the vision system. This improves accuracy in analyzing mineral particle sizes as the line moves along.

To continue reading the story, click here.

To learn more about Comtrol’s IO-Link Master, please contact [email protected].

IO-Link 101: 10 Terms to Know

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IO-Link 101: 10 Terms to Know

Here are 10 terms to know to help understand IO-Link 101.

1. IO-Link System

An IO-Link system is comprised of sensors and/or actuators that support IO-Link (version 1.0 or 1.1) which are connected via a master, such as Comtrol offers. The master then will communicate to a controller (PLC, HMI, SCADA, etc.) through an industrial Ethernet protocol such as Ethernet/IP, Profinet IO or Modbus TCP.IO-Link 101

Full Explanation

2. MultiLink – Comtrol Specific Benefit

MultiLink provides the capability to simultaneously access multiple IO-Link controllers running different industrial Ethernet protocols.

Full Explanation

3. IODD: IO Device Description

Every IO-Link sensor/actuator has an IODD file which allows you to interact with the device on a web interface such as Comtrol’s. Each IO-Link device manufacturer will have these available via their website. With Comtrol’s IO-Link Master you can load and store a library (up to 15790K) of IODD files for your IO-Link devices onto the Comtrol IO-Link Master so that you can configure the IO-Link sensors or actuators from the IO-Link Master web interface.

Full Explanation

4. Data Types: Process, Service, Event

Three types of data are visible with IO-Link: Process Data, Service Data and Event Data.

Full Explanation

5. Remote Parameterization

The Comtrol IO-Link Master supports remote communication from a PLC and/or HMI to an IO-Link device so that you can change an IO-Link device’s configuration or operational behavior. In addition, you can change an IO-Link device’s configuration using the Comtrol IO-Link Master web interface without a PLC or HMI.

Full Explanation

6. Auto-Device Replacement (ADR)

Allows an IO-Link device to be automatically configured using previously stored values. Quick and easy replacement of failed or damaged sensors or actuators which means reduction in production line downtime and maintenance costs.

Full Explanation

7. IO-Link Master web interface

Comtrol offers a web interface unlike any other in the IO-Link Master marketplace. It provides extensive benefits to make using an IO-Link Master as easy as possible.

  • Configure IO-Link, EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP settings for your IO-Link device
  • View real-time diagnostics for IO-Link, EtherNet/IP, and Modbus TCP activity on your IO-Link Ports
  • Load IODD files onto the IO-Link Master for your convenience
  • Configure IO-Link devices in minutes using the IO-Link Device – Port table (GUI) or the IO-Link Device ISDU Interface, which provides ISDU handling
  • Data Storage (automatic or manual) for Auto Device Configuration
  • IO-Link Device Validation (compatible and identical) to link specific IO-Link devices to a specific port
  • Data Validation (strict or loose) for data integrity

Full Explanation

8. IO-Link Device Validation

Using IO-Link Device Validation makes your IO-Link master ports intelligent. You can link IO-Link ports to operate only when a compatible or identical IO-Link device is attached.

Full Explanation

9. ISDU: Index Service Data Unit

Comtrol offers ISDU Handling which is when the IO-Link Master handles all programming to provide PLC access to IO-Link device ISDU blocks with a flexible and simplified interface – provides multiple or single ISDU command message support and blocking and non-blocking messaging methods. The PLC ISDU message format is designed for flexibility and ease of use. Each message can contain a single command, multiple commands with the same data area size, or with commands with varying data area sizes.

IO-Link 101

Full Explanation

10. Data Validation (Strict or Loose)

Use the Data Validation option to ensure data integrity by defining the PDI and/or PDO length. Also gives the user the ability to see that data is successfully being communicated to the master.

Full Explanation

This blog post offers IO-Link 101 information to help educate about everything IO-Link 101.

Check Out What You Missed at the North American IO-Link Workshop

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North American IO-Link Workshop

Comtrol recently hosted the North American IO-Link Workshop. The workshop highlighted presentations from recognized experts on the use and deployment of IO-Link, showcased manufacturers from all around the world, and was attended by many network engineers, system integrators and ultimate end users of this new standard. View a short clip of the workshop here.

North American IO-Link Workshop


North American IO-Link Workshop

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North American IO-Link Technology Workshop

The North American IO-Link Workshop will be held on Tuesday, October 13th in Minneapolis from 9am to 5pm.

North American IO-Link

IO-Link Technology Workshop is held by Comtrol Corporation, the IO-Link Competency Center. This workshop will consist of a Vendor Technology Expo area and “classroom” style presentations from IO-Link Consortium members.

Join us to learn about the following IO-Link Themes:
-Comprehensive insight into IO-Link Themes
-Meet with IO-Link Vendor partners
-Real world examples on configuration of sensors and actuators, PLC Integration, and Automatic device replacement.

If you are interested in attending our workshop or interested in learning more please, click here.



Material Handling with IO-Link

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Material Handling

Material Handling with IO-LinkA large industrial supplier in the Midwestern U.S. uses small and large plastic totes to transport material throughout their factory. As these totes move along the line, there are designated locations where they are empty and need to be stacked, but often times these totes entered the stacking area with material left inside, which caused the stacker machine to jam. To prevent this from continuing, the industrial supplier turned to a systems integrator and Comtrol’s IO-Link Master.

Due to its simple installation, the system integrator opted to use Comtrol’s IO Link Master DR-8-EIP to control Leuze Electronic IO-Link enabled light curtains and laser distance measuring sensors. With this implementation, the light curtains determine how the totes are stacked while the laser distance measuring devices scan for contents inside the totes.

The IO-Link Master DR-8-EIP offers eight IO-Link ports, two dedicated Digital Input/Digital Output ports, and ten Digital Input ports. With this configuration, the IO-Link Master allows the flexibility to support up to 20 device connections.

To continue reading “Material Handling with IO-Link”: CLICK HERE

To learn more about Comtrol’s IO-Link Master CLICK HERE 

Update on Comtrol’s IO-Link Resources

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Update on Comtrol’s IO-Link Resources:

As Comtrol has been designated as the North American Competency Center for IO-Link resources, we are in the process of building our online resources.

Update on Comtrol's IO-Link Resources

New: Comtrol’s IO-Link Resources Available

Our IO-Link page is available HERE, and we have added new resources on our IO-Link Products, IO-Link Resources, and IO-Link Solutions

We are continuously updating our online resources, so check back for more updates on IO-Link!

Improve Diagnostics and Reduce Wiring for Sensors and Actuators with IO-Link

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IO-Link Technology

IO-Link, the first standardized IO technology for communication with sensors and actuators, is a powerful point-to-point communication based on the long established 3-wire sensor and actuator connection. In addition to working smoothly in any control system, IO Link encompasses features that give you better diagnostics and can reduce wiring for your devices.

IO-Link mobile diagnostics

IO Link gateways allow you to connect multiple smart devices via one IP address, saving you time and money in installation time.

With IO-Link, you can reduce the time needed to fix a broken sensor. Say a sensor fails. If you have a large control system, it may take a while for that sensor to be found. Then when it is found, it may be difficult to reach. IO-Link gives you all the information you need to find and fix that sensor, including diagnostics of the process control system, remote programming, and even custom replacements that can be done automatically. Comtrol’s IO-Link Masters provide diagnostics about both sides of a given connection; you will get information about the IO Link connection that is running from the IO-link master to the end device and you will get detailed information about the industrial data protocol.

The ability to do remote parameterization can be combined with the support for remote diagnostics. Troubleshooting and fixing problems with a system can all be done remotely. Additionally, for those processes or systems where a “recipe” architecture is appropriate, IO-Link sensors and actuators can be remotely parameterized by the PLC in bulk via a simple selector switch or other minimal operator action. This powerful feature could be used to maximize quality or increase duty cycle via extended capital versatility without the burden of re-configuring each device one at a time.

IO Link is the further development of the existing, tried-and-tested connection technology for sensors and actuators, which can be easily integrated into a system network with existing and new industrial Ethernet installations. Come and see why you should implement IO Link in your system today.

Download PDF Version HERE

Learn more about IO-Link HERE


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