The benefits of IO-Link technology for your teaching equipment

All done.

We have definitely enteredIndustry 4.0.

In concrete terms, “Industrie 4.0” factories feature machines equipped with wireless connectivity and sensors, connected to a system that can visualize the entire production chain and make its own decisions.

In short, a digital transformation of machines. This means you can interconnect more sensors and transfer more process values for analysis in a controller.

Without precise cooling control, for example, partial tolerances can drift, resulting in increased loss of productivity and reduced quality of the final product.

In this way, we are moving from an analog to an all-digital process. And here’s how it works.


Transforming an industrial plant into an all-digital facility

Analog process operation: flow and temperature sensors are used to keep the furnace cooling system running smoothly. To check water consumption, a totalizer is used to count the number of liters of water consumed, but this requires the use of, say, three different sensors and several cables. This complicates machine design and increases the time needed for installation and programming.

Operation with IO-Link, the digital all-rounder: now, a single flowmeter can supply several process values such as flow, temperature and totalizer over a single cable. The sensor accurately transmits digital values for totalizer, flow rate and temperature via a standard three-wire cable. This ensures smooth operation of the cooling system, simplifies engineering and installation time, and reduces overall costs.

Advantages of IO-Link technology

Thanks to IO-Link technology, faults can be identified before it’s too late, enabling maintenance decisions to be taken. Unplanned downtime and loss of production due to unexpected repairs are therefore avoided, as are unexpected pressure variations on a cutting machine that can lead to failure.

Component degradation

And the icing on the cake is automatic data backup in the background. Each device automatically transfers its data to an IO-Link master, where it is replicated and stored. When a sensor is changed, automatic communication with the new device is initiated, and parameters are automatically imported from the IO-Link master to the IO-Link slave. No intervention is required, which saves time and labor.

Maintenance differences on industrial machines


The benefits of IO-Link in didactics

In essence, Industry 4.0 is the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes, which includes the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and the Computerized Maintenance Management Tool(CMMS).

io-link technology on a trainer

And, as we have seen, IO-Link technology enables :

  • eliminate multiple analog/digital conversions to ensure no loss of precision,
  • do not invest in shielded cable, as the digital signal is resistant to EMC influences,
  • and eliminates the costs associated with entry cards, and frees up space.

But what about the didactics market?

With education following the industry, we have developed a connected training bench using the I/O Link communication protocol to meet the new demands of the industry.

As you know, we design and manufacture training benches. With IO-Link technology, our benches are now connected, and we’re part of an Industry 4.0 dynamic.

Monitoring the operation of a hydraulic power plant

This technology will not only make wiring easier for electricians, but will also enable retrofits to be carried out on existing machines in factories. For MEI industrial maintenance training courses (which should move towards a new name, MSPC, for maintenance of connected production systems), the aim is to gain a better understanding of this technology.

The advantages of all-digital teaching benches :

  • Digital communication from the bottom (sensors/actuators) to the top (ERP),
  • Keep your PLC standards: Ethernet IP, Profinet, EtherCa…
  • Keep your sensor standards: Sensor interface available for most ifm sensors -> No added value,
  • 24VDC communication -> more shielded cables,
  • Access to parameters,
  • Parameter storage and automatic reloading – not a single extra line of programming, just simple parameter setting,
  • Access to additional information -> diagnostics with CMMS software,
  • Calibration of the sensor only: greater accuracy on the overall measurement loop,
  • No scaling, simpler and faster maintenance.

Humidity monitoring

So, do you use IO-Link technology? If so, share your impressions with us in the comments.

Author Mickaël Langlais

Written by Mickaël Langlais

As Business Manager at ID System, I help training professionals define their didactic equipment needs. I keep a close eye on technological developments to design tomorrow’s teaching materials. Let’s be proactive in an evolving market.

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