Frequently asked questions about IO-Link


IO-Link is a point-to-point communications standard for automation technology. IO-Link permits integrated communication at all levels, from sensors and actuators through superordinated controllers (PLCs) and beyond to the control level. An intelligent field device can transmit data about its status, energy consumption, and the process via this interface. At the same time, parameters of the controller may be modified and then transferred to the product.

The intelligent field device is both supplied with power and integrated into the system via the IO-Link connection. The device is connected to the so-called IO-Link master via the IO-Link cable and from there is connected to the controller. This substantially reduces the cost of cabling in the system. Parameterization of the devices is saved in the superordinate automation system. If a field device is exchanged, the previous parameters can be transferred to it quickly via IO-Link.

The IO-Link master and the field device are connected by an unshielded three-core cable that is at most 20 meters long.

A system can be comprised of multiple IO-Link devices. Each device is connected to the IO-Link master. The master provides the interface to the superordinate controller and controls the communication between connected IO-Link devices.

The data can be stored in either external or company-internal clouds.

The following products are equipped with an IO-Link interface:

IO-Link and Industrial Ethernet permit integrated communication at all levels, from sensors and actuators through superordinated controllers (PLCs) and beyond to the control level.

IO-Link is a point-to-point communication standard, while Ethernet is based on a bus system. Using Ethernet, multiple participants can communicate directly with each other. Unlike IO-Link, Ethernet does not need an additional IO-Link master for this purpose.

IODD stands for IO Device Description. It contains identification, process and device data for IO-Link interface-equipped sensors and actuators. The IODD consists of a main file and various image files.

The IODD for each intelligent Schmalz device can be found in the online shop. First call up the item in question via its part number or designation. On the "Documentation" tab you'll find the IODD in addition to the operating instructions.

The following products have IODDs:

Schmalz offers function modules for its intelligent devices with which the devices can be integrated into different control systems quickly and without requiring any major manual adaptations. Function modules for IO-Link devices simplify communications with the PLC by providing device and process parameters.

You can find corresponding function modules directly on the page of the product in the online shop. Call up the item in question via its part number or designation. On the "Documentation" tab you'll find the function modules in addition to the operating instructions.