IO-Link? Bi-directional Data Exchange? What’s that?


IO-Link is an industrial communication network standard (IEC61131-9) that allows the easy extraction of data from process control and automation sensors that support the IO-Link protocol and are connected to a device master. IO-Link is the first globally standardised IO-technology that has been designed to allow communication from the primary controller down to a basic automation level.

Linking together

How do you connect your IO-Link devices together? It couldn’t be easier or more cost effective for you to create an effective IO-Link network. Standard, unshielded 3 or 4 core cable and a standard port with M5, M8 or M12 connectors is all that you need to connect a network of digital and even analogue actuators and sensors to your master unit.

The master device, such as the Baumer Wireless IO-Link Master, can transmit the data it has accrued from numerous sensors over integrated WLAN and Bluetooth, other devices may use communication protocols like Industrial Ethernet or PROFINET. This data can be utilised for process monitoring by PLC’s, computers and HMI’s or can be used to facilitate immediate corrective action if the process is under threat. Being an open standard, IO-Link devices versatility and adaptability means they can be integrated into virtually any industrial process and control system that you can imagine

Baumer WLAN and Bluetooth IO-Link Master

Baumer IO-Link Master with integrated WLAN and Bluetooth

Intelligent enabler

IO-Link technology enables you to save device-specific parameter data directly in the IO-Link master which makes the installation and the exchange of like for like sensory and process control devices that much easier, saving you time, money and reducing any potential errors from entering the process.

Each sensory device connected to the master has an allocated IODD (IO Device Description) where technical data is stored concerning its functionality and manufacturing information. Accessibility to the individual sensors at source isn’t required as all of its technical data is stored within the master and can be accessed from your control point.

The seamless communication from the smart sensor to the master and then to the Internet is essential for fast, flexible and reliable production control processes and insight, and is a perfect accompaniment to Industry 4.0 applications.  Devices such as the Baumer Wireless IO-Link Master mentioned previously, can be easily accessed by smartphones and other internet and enabled devices allowing you to monitor your processes from anywhere in the world.

Advantages of IO-Link at a glance:

  • Overall reduced costs – no special wiring required
  • Increased process efficiency –access to all sensory level data, remote configuration and monitoring
  • Easy to replace – existing devices can be exchanged like for like with no lengthy setup times
  • Diagnostics – IO-Link provides users with visibility into errors, performance and health status of connected devices

Kempston Controls stocks a wealth of products that can help you successfully establish your IO-LINK network. Please call our sales helpline on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email us at for help in sourcing your perfect IO-LINK product solution.

Kempston Controls is committed to finding you the ideal solution for your application. Call us today on +44 (0) 1933 411 411, email us at, or alternatively contact us here, we will be happy to help.

Kempston Controls

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