Balluff Non-Contact Connectors with IO-Link

Distributed Modular I/O

As the first standardized, uniform, universally applicable interface in control technology, IO-Link transmits all sensor and actuator signals to the controller. Likewise, IO-Link passes control data down to the lowest sensor level. All of this makes automation even more powerful than ever before. IO-Link advantages at a glance - Easy to get started, time-saving installation - Automatic adjustment during operation - Continuous monitoring 

What is Distributed Modular I/O?

Think of a remote "slice" I/O. In a typical application, the communication head and the power supply sit on the left hand side and are followed along the backplane by the individual I/O devices. Usually there are a limited number of slots available in the backplane and individual slices of control components, for example, discrete 24V input cards or 0-10V analog cards can be inserted. 

In a similar fashion, a Distributed Modular I/O system has a communications head that talks over the desired industrial network on one side and the right hand side acts as a data collector. In lieu of a backplane, each device is connected to an industry standard M12 port utilizing a basic 3-wire sensor cable for IO-Link communication. With the ability to be installed within a 20 meter radius from the data, collector devices can be easily distributed across the machine.

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Flexible IO-Link Master Blocks

Each port of the Balluff IO-Link master block can be configured to fit any IO-Link and/or discrete application. The top 4 ports can be configured as NO/NC inputs, outputs, or diagnostic points depending on the block type. The bottom 4 ports can be configured as IO-Link or as any of the discrete settings, depending on the block type.

IO-Link Input/Output Devices

One of the major values of IO-Link over standard network I/O is the ability to run many sensors and actuators back through one node or IP address. This is accomplished using the many varieties of I/O hubs offered by Balluff.

  • Multiple analog sensors can be run into an input hub with discrete inputs as well
  • Balluff's full line of mini sensors can be run in small spaces using M8 hubs
  • Metal Inputs and Outputs allows for I/O in the most hostile environments

Intelligent Sensors with IO-Link

As manufacturing needs to get more flexible, sensors and other devices installed in the process need to be flexible as well. Right now, most production lines require the operator to reprogram a sensor, or the engineer needs to design multiple sensors into the process. Intelligent sensors with IO-Link built into them can reduce this downtime and the errors that come with reprogramming. IO-Link sensors can have their parameters changed via the PLC to accommodate multiple recipes or configurations. Some examples of sensors with this capability are:

  • Color sensors for detecting product colors for error proofing or JIT (just in time) production
  • Measurement sensors for detecting the position of targets or measuring their size
  • Precision Mechanical Switches have been in the Balluff product portfolio from the very beginning, use their upgraded functionality by connecting them via IO-Link
  • Edge detection sensors allow for positioning on machines or in production

Data Tracking with Industrial RFID using IO-Link

In today's manufacturing environment, it is becoming more and more important to track every step of the production process. Many manufacturers have installed barcode systems or hand written paper work filed by operators or maintenance crews. This can be time consuming and prone to failure. Industrial RFID systems can be used to track production data and record plant floor information in every step of the process. There are two main ways to track part data.

  • Centralized Data Tracking: All of the information is stored in a central computer and the RFID system is used only for identification of the part in the work cell. This is a very similar concept to barcoding, but it is more rugged and 100% reliable. (Read Only Systems)
  • Decentralized Data Tracking: Data per part is stored on the RFID tag and is written to the tag at each workstation. This concept allows for the data to always stay with the part throughout the production process.

Connectivity Products with IO-Link

IO-Link's versatility can be seen in the deep product offering covered in these pages. There are times when a standard sensor cable is just not enough. Maybe you need to have I/O on constantly changing end effectors or a rotating fixture. Valve banks with built in network control can add additional costs to a project. Then there are the times you wish you could just hook the device to your computer, just to get that extra bit of interaction with the device. All of these things are capable with IO-Link by Balluff.

  • Non-contact connectors allow for quick change out and free rotation without loss of power or signal
  • Remove costly valve bank network controllers and go to an intelligent 25-pin D-sub connector
  • Connect directly to any IO-Link device with your computer for easy setup or parameterization

Available in: Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, W Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, Alabama, Mississippi & NW Florida