Festo Offers Automation Technology with IO-Link Standard

Standardised IO-Link technology makes communication with sensors and actuators simple and economical. The result of an evolutionary development, this low-cost connection technology with three or five conductors achieves point-to-point connection without complex wiring and with minimal material requirements. With controllers, valve terminals, proportional valves and sensors, Festo offers a complete range of IO-Link-capable automation technology.

IO Link pyramid IO-Link: With controllers, valve terminals, proportional valves and sensors, Festo offers a complete range of IO-Link-capable automation technology. (Photo: Festo AG & Co. KG)

IO-Link is not a new bus system but has been further developed as a new kind of communications interface for fieldbus and Ethernet systems. It allows you not only to download parameter data from the control system to the sensor or actuator, but also to send diagnostic data in the other direction to the control system. Whereas integrating a fieldbus interface all the way down to the lowest field level used to be very costly, digital or analogue values and all parameters and diagnostic data can now be transmitted with only a simple 3-wire or 5-wire cable – with no special features in terms of screening, twisting, impedance or terminating resistance.

The gateway between the fieldbus and one or more IO-Link slaves is normally provided by a fieldbus device with multiple IO-Link master channels. In smaller machines or systems, which may not require a fieldbus due to their size, the PLC acts as the IO-Link master.

Increased security
IO-Link provides a secure connection for analogue, binary and serial communication devices. Typical IO-Link applications for complex sensor technology and terminals can be found in automotive body-in-white production and assembly, for personal protection with safety fences, in heavy machinery construction and for machine tools, at manual workstations, assembly cells, input/output stations etc.

Standardisation also means less investment risk, since an international, open and fieldbus-independent IO-Link standard provides support for existing and future connection concepts. The result: less machine downtime and thus higher productivity. The comprehensive exchange of diagnostic and operational data between device and master systems accelerates troubleshooting and forms the basis for condition monitoring systems.

Increased efficiency, greater simplicity
IO-Link is a uniform, standardised and therefore efficient technology for installation and wiring. IO-Link devices can be parameterised simply and conveniently – and can be put back into operation immediately after replacement with no need for engineering software tools.

Software-supported parameterisation of intelligent sensors and actuators via the IO-Link master makes it extremely easy to set and reassign parameters. The uncomplicated wiring of the sensor-actuator combinations with standardised, unscreened cables reduces material costs, simplifies logistics and saves time. This makes installation much easier.

Greater competency
Festo offers a comprehensive range of products for IO-Link from a single source: several masters, pressure and flow sensors, displacement encoders/position transmitters, five valve terminal series, proportional pressure regulators, stepper motor controllers and connecting cables. In addition, Festo has a wealth of application knowledge in factory and process automation, as well as basic and further training for industrial users.

IO-Link master with CECC controller
Competent and consistent decentralisation of an installation can be achieved with the compact controller CECC with four IO-Link master ports. The controller operates with electric and pneumatic drives in small installations. This compact controller not only reduces the installation and networking costs for intelligent sensors and valve terminals. It also provides valuable diagnostic options inside and outside the control cabinet.

CPX terminal
Used as a remote-I/O or in conjunction with the valve terminals MPA or VTSA, it allows the integration of one or more master interfaces for IO-Link devices. Many customers appreciate the on-site installation. Thanks to comprehensive function integration, controlling pneumatic and electric drives is very easy with the CPX terminal. The CPX terminal has – in combination with PROFINET or Sercos – an I-Port interface with two channels for IO-Link. Individual IO-Link third-party devices can thus to be connected in the near/direct vicinity of the valve terminal

Valve terminals
There is a major gain in economic and efficient installation compared with valve terminals such as MPA-L, VTUG, VTUB, VTOC or the classic CPV. Multi-pin connecting cables for valve terminals are replaced by standard M12 cables and IO-Link. This reduces material costs and in particular offers technological advantages such as more flexible, easier installation, energy chain through-feed or adaptation to damp or particularly challenging or harsh operating conditions.

Electric automation
The motor controller CMMO-ST with integrated web server for configuration and diagnostics is now also equipped with an IO-Link interface. The CMMO-ST is a closed-loop servo controller for stepper motors and an important part of Festo's Optimised Motion Series (OMS). The OMS system makes positioning extremely easy. The package with electric cylinder EPCO, stepper motor EMMS-ST with servo functionality, motor controller CMMO-ST and all the necessary cables costs significantly less than conventional electric positioning systems.

The Optimised Motion Series with EPCO can be configured in two ways. Very simple and fast configuration can be carried out using Web Config and the parameter cloud on a server. The controller has its own IP address and a catalogue is available with all the data necessary for pre-defined and tested combinations. This means users save a great deal of time.

Proportional pressure regulator VPPM
Proportional pressure regulators VPPM connected to IO-Link do not need a screened analogue cable, making the signal level less prone to interference. Parameters are set and data saved in the IO-Link master. This is practical and allows a quick restart after component replacement. IO-Link allows short cycle times thanks to its point-to-point connection. The applications of pressure regulation, testing, metering, pressing and fitting are used mainly in the special machinery, food and beverage, printing and paper, automotive and electronics and light assembly industries.

Position transmitter SDAT
The uniform interface in IO-Link replaces individual sensor connections, making complex sensors easier to integrate. That means that even position transmitters SDAT and parameterisable pressure and flow sensors can be integrated and installed at low cost. The position transmitter SDAT, for example, detects a piston position with high repetition accuracy – no matter whether used for process monitoring for screwdriving, riveting, ultrasound welding, pressing and clamping or for object detection.


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