Advantages of IO-Link

IO-Link communication is one of the latest buzzwords in the tech world and it could potentially change the way we interact with each other forever. The io-link communication device lets you send messages to anyone around you, with or without an internet connection, and share content between devices instantaneously.

IO-Link Explained

IO-Link communication is a way to communicate with your team members, friends and family even when you are away from your mobile phone or computer by sending short text messages through an internet connection to any other io-link enabled device. This has several practical applications, such as being able to check the progress of an ongoing project while you are not around or giving updates on what’s going on while you are away from the office. io-link communication also has some interesting uses in more personal settings, as well. Let’s take a look at how this communication system works, and how it can be used effectively in different contexts.

  • Data Storage/Parameter Server

All IO-Link devices offer a parameter server, which allows you to store up to 64 kilobytes of data such as system parameters or calibration values in nonvolatile memory. Parameter servers are used to keep track of software revisions, network configurations, and other information that might need regular updating. The storage space can be partitioned into individual blocks for each application, allowing multiple applications to use it at once. In addition, data from a parameter server can be copied and pasted into text files stored on an SD card connected to a PC. Having that capability makes it easier for engineers working on separate projects using IO-Link devices to exchange information and reduces costly mistakes caused by miscommunication or misreaders.


  • Configuration and Parameterization

The network-based configuration via IO-Link interface and existing Ethernet network offers simple, standardized configuration. Parameterization and diagnostics are also available via IO-Link. The ioControl graphical user interface (GUI) software is used for parameterization, production data logging and diagnostics of DAQ devices. This supports a more efficient commissioning process as well as plant maintenance in service.

  • Integrated Diagnostics

Serial ATA (SATA) technology provides users with comprehensive support for error notification and fault analysis. In particular, there is no need to interrupt I/O processes or access data records for diagnosis; since faults can be displayed onscreen directly at any time, maintenance times can be reduced significantly.

  • Various Types of Data

In terms of data formats, IO-Link uses two main types: asynchronous and synchronous. Asynchronous data is communicated at a fixed frequency with very little overhead. Synchronous data is similar, but it can also be used for two-way information transfer. Devices that use IO-Link typically transmit their signals through one of these two formats; other formats are less common or even nonexistent depending on the application in question. For example, a sensor might only communicate with its associated controller using an asynchronous protocol. To most effectively control your process, you should have access to as much raw data as possible without having to worry about interference from other sensors and controllers in your network.

  • Reduced/Simplified Wiring

When IO-Link technology is implemented into a PLC, it allows digital data to be shared between systems. This sharing of information can be done without requiring any additional wiring since devices on an IO network are daisy chained together. Using a single cable as opposed to several separate cables not only reduces cost, but makes installation easier and faster because less wiring is required. This can make IO networking one of the most cost-effective ways to connect multiple control systems.

  • Device Validation

As IOH nodes are connected to different applications with different protocols, their validation can vary significantly. That’s why each IOH node is specifically designed to meet validation requirements of a specific application. The IO link architecture provides a flexible means of device interconnection and data transfer that can be adapted to different requirements. Advanced devices can use Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) when faster bandwidth is required; more basic ones can use Internet Protocol (IP). Your application will determine what works best.