Ethernet IO Modules with Integrated IO-Link Master – the best in Industrial Communication

Pepperl+Fuchs’ Ethernet IO modules offer an array of innovative features. With a versatile multi-protocol capability, they provide optimum efficiency for standardizing manufacturing facilities. IO-Link and comprehensive diagnostics are important for maintaining and troubleshooting your machines. These innovative, high-performance ethernet communication modules can help optimise your installations.

Managing the Demands of Modern Industry and Beyond

If industrial process control sensors are to manage the demands of the future manufacturing processes, they need to do more than simply deliver process data to a PLC. An industrial process control sensor must be able to communicate with multiple receivers and send and receive data to and from higher-level information systems efficiently.

Ethernet IO modules

The Pepperl + Fuchs Ethernet IO modules with integrated IO-Link master deliver first-class communication between system management and process sensors and actuators as they assume a gateway function between Ethernet and IO‑Link. With these capable ethernet modules up to 8 IO‑Link devices may be directly connected, with 4 channels available for sensors and 4 channels for actuators.

The ICE1 series IO-Link master enables integrated diagnostics and parameterisation from the control level right down to the process sensor level, and commissioning times will be  reduced primarily in large production plants. Ultimately, this means that Ethernet IO modules with integrated IO-Link master can be incorporated into the requirements profile of innovative machine and plant manufacturers easily, forming a crucial component of Sensorik4.0.

Ethernet IO modules

Sensorik4.0 is the next generation of interconnected sensor solutions from Pepperl + Fuchs that helps bring Industry 4.0 to life. The integrated Ethernet IO-Link masters bring the concept of Sensorik4.0 to reality. IO-Link sensors and actuators can be easily connected across all technologies creating a whole range of possibilities for the user, ranging from parameterisation to diagnostics down to actuator/sensor level and simplifying maintenance, paving the way in the digitalisation of factories of the future.

IO-Link Masters with OPC UA Interface, Dependable Information Exchange from Field to Cloud

In addition to the ICE1 masters, designed for PLC-based applications, two other modules are available for use in cloud-based and hybrid systems: the ICE2 (EtherNet/IP) and ICE3 (PROFINET) IO-Link master series.

These 2 ethernet modules support industrial protocols such as EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and MODBUS TCP, and provide an OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) interface in addition to real-time fieldbus protocols.

Ethernet IO modules

The open architecture of OPC UA allows cross-vendor, platform-independent, and the interoperable collaboration of machines in processing environments and makes communication between machines and computer or cloud-based systems possible, both in closed networks and via the internet.

Both IO-Link masters come with web-based configuration for setting all module parameters and all connected IO-Link devices (web IODD operation).  When replacing or expanding modules, all the module settings can be saved as a separate file and transferred to a new device using the module cloning function. OPC UA ensures a constant exchange of information across all levels so that plant processes can be designed more efficiently.

IIoT Starter Kit—Connecting Factory Floor Sensors to the Cloud

With the IIoT starter kit and the user-friendly IO-Link masters from Pepperl+Fuchs simple visualisation and analysis of sensor data becomes a reality. Discover the advantages of IO-Link and experience the seamless integration of IO-Link sensor data into your Industry 4.0 application.

The kit includes among others:

  • An IO-Link master, (3) IO-Link sensors, an Ethernet switch, a power supply, RFID tags and all the necessary cabling to get started
  • A quick start guide for connecting the IO-Link master and IO-Link devices
  • Connections for various platforms such as AWS, PTC, AVEVA

Connect your software dashboard via OPC UA or MQTT for easy interpretation of real-time data and start the digital transformation of your installations now with the IIoT starter kit, available from Kempston Controls.

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RocketLinx – Industry 4.0 Ethernet Switches you can depend on from Pepperl + Fuchs

Dependable production and industrial processes rely upon a whole series of activities and events to take place concurrently when required, from the press tool forming component parts to film packaging machines at the end of a conveyor. Ensuring these events occur when they should typically relies upon digital communication between the various mechanisms at play such as PLCs, computerised monitoring systems and the machines themselves.

Industrial ethernet has a long-established history of providing reliable and dependable factory floor communication in numerous industries and applications.  When a demanding working environment calls for an capable industry 4.0 ethernet installation solution the RocketLinx Range, designed by Pepperl + Fuchs, is the perfect go-to solution which is available to buy from Kempston Controls.

Meeting and exceeding digital communication demands

Pepperl + Fuchs RocketLinx Ethernet Switches have been designed to meet the demanding requirements of industrial ethernet networking and industry 4.0. This impressive offering consists of managed and unmanaged industrial Gigabit and Fast Ethernet switches to suit numerous applications and budgets.

RocketLinx Communication

RocketLinx switches are robust, with a rugged metal construction, (either steel or aluminium depending on the model) which increases thermal conductivity and heat dissipation, extending operating temperature ranges. The slim, space-saving design of these ethernet switches allows for easy integration within control cabinets and panels, while compliance with industry standards including Class I, Div 2, CE, FCC, and UL508 ensure safety and reliability.

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Unmanaged Ethernet Switches

  • Cost-efficient -industrial-grade solution
  • Simple plug-and-play network expansion at the field level


RocketLinx Communication

Managed Ethernet switches

  • Rapid reliable expansion of Ethernet connectivity, Industry 4.0 ready
  • Advanced management, security, network redundancy, mission-critical reliability



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Reliable Industrial Communications

These capable Ethernet switches combine reliable and cost-efficient RJ45 connections for short distance communication and SFP fibre ports for areas with high electronic noise or for long distance communication up to 120 km. Ideal for PROFINET IO and EtherNet IP, Industry 4.0 applications.

RocketLinx CommunicationDepending on your installations requirements the connections can be individually tailored to the network application. Even if the configuration needs to be adjusted due to network infrastructure changes, hot-swappable SFPs allow for individual transceivers to be replaced rather than the entire switch.





RocketLinx Security and Performance Features

  • Improve reliability and supports deployment in a wide range of industrial environments
  • Incorporated VLAN support for network segmentation enhances security and performance
  • Redundant power inputs offer guaranteed uptime in the event of a power supply failure
  • Rapid Spanning Tree and ring protocols, loops are eliminated and network redundancy is established
  • Built-in configurable alarm relay provides on-site notifications for port link and power events

RocketLinx Communication

Configuration Software

PortVision DX is free software from Pepperl + Fuchs, that allows you to configure network settings of all of their managed Ethernet switches within the network. In addition to simplified configuration, this software also provides real-time monitoring and diagnostics of connected switches and easy firmware updates.


Kempston Controls has a long-established relationship with Pepperl + Fuchs which gives us access to the RocketLinx range along with their entire product portfolio. Speak to us today either by phone on +44 (0) 1933 411 411, email via or using the contact form below. We will be happy to discuss your requirements and help you ensure that your new installation or retrofitting project goes exactly as planned.

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Industrial Ethernet

The Industrial Ethernet – Processing Communication

The Ethernet, as a communication protocol is no youngster, slowly edging its way to half a century in age.  Developed by Robert Metcalfe and his team at Xerox in the early 1970s, it took a decade or so of competing with rival communication protocols such as Token Ring, ARCNET and FDDI before it rose to the fore.

Today, the Ethernet, although designed originally for office-based computer communication is the protocol of choice for the modern industrial installations. Known as the Industrial Ethernet, this new iteration is finding its way into installations in the petrochemical industry, heavy industry, food and beverage and factories all over the world.

The Industrial Ethernet, with its high network communication speed, versatility, durability and cost-effectiveness are perfectly suited to motion control, monitoring and safety applications within industrial scenarios. Obviously, an industrial environment can be a tough place so the need for durable RJ45 connectors and cabling with a more substantial resistance to wear and tear is required and there are many options available to the discerning design and installation engineer.

Ethernet Cable Network in situ

Determined Communication

Determinism? An essential ingredient in the Industrial Ethernet recipe, brings real-time control and safety functionality of Industry-specific protocols including PROFINET and EtherCAT, combining digital traffic with regular traffic in one Ethernet network. Scheduled traffic is partitioned from all other data traffic meaning it is immune from disturbance. Add to that the very fast communication speeds offered by fibre, it can provide a robust and electrically isolated data transmission service over incredible distances.

Where guaranteed latency is vital, Deterministic Ethernet is used in a growing and varied range of applications either for operational efficiency or functional safety. Some of these applications include autonomous driving and machine-to-machine communication.

Fitting in with the IIoT and Industry 4.0

The Industrial Ethernet is a perfect fit for the IIoT and Industry 4.0 and the driving factor for this is the need for process data concerning automation, safety and real-time control as well as process planning and trends. Certain aspects of the monitoring of an industrial process have existed for a while but never within a real-time seamless network infrastructure that’s easily accessible by anyone who needs the data.

Suppliers of process equipment are providing Ethernet-enabled devices including motors, inverters, encoders, sensors etc, simplifying the user’s ethernet network process. Ultimately this adoption is leading ever more to entire IIoT based smart factories, where the precision monitoring of processes, exact service and repair schedules based on performance data and a self-evolving process improvement methodology is the norm.

Industrial Ethernet isn’t encapsulated by the constraints of a mere building, the data gathered in real-time from process sensors can be shared at all levels within a business whatever the location. From the processing plant itself to a subsidiary on the other side of the world where a service engineer can use valuable data to fine-tune another process line. It also allows traditionally separate systems to interact such as energy infrastructures, industrial process and building management systems.

A vast network of Ethernet Connections

Growing Demand

The demand for seamless interconnection from the smallest industrial process sensor via an IO- link master to a system-level computer system, with no need for expensive cabling networks it is clear to see why Ethernet has become the main choice for industrial installation. This middle-aged system is certainly still punching its weight and with iterations such as the IoT, the IIoT and Industry 4.0 adding yet more strings to its bow of communication versatility, Ethernet communication is destined to remain with us for a while to come.

Kempston Controls stocks a wealth of industrial Ethernet products, ideal for whatever your application requirements demand. Call our sales and technical teams on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email to discuss your Ethernet system requirements.

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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.