Are unexpected issues often determining your schedule? Have you recently had to push back a project because of recurring problems? Having to respond to unplanned issues may seem like an inevitable cost of doing business, but it is becoming harder and harder to settle for a reactive approach to plant management and remain competitive at the same time.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution builds momentum, new technologies are enabling more proactivity than ever before. At the forefront of proactive plant management is the sensor interface protocol IO-Link.
What is IO-Link and how can it help me be proactive?
IO-Link was created by a consortium of industry leaders in automation to be the comprehensive communication protocol of Industry 4.0. An IO-Link system consists of an IO-Link-compatible sensor and an IO-Link master. Sensors collect mass amounts of data that was previously wasted. Now that data can be processed and communicated to the IO-Link master. No special cabling is needed, meaning it is backwards compatible with what is already in place.
For manufacturers, IO-Link means the ability to analyze large amounts of data then immediately communicate that data across your plant, all in real time. Imagine being able to remotely monitor both your machines and individual sensors from a smart device or computer.
IO-Link communication helps you avoid expensive downtime by alerting you when a machine is down or ready for preventive maintenance. The remote parameterization feature allows for quick and efficient adjustments and troubleshooting, without having to set foot on the plant floor. And IO-Link devices offer auto-configuration, allowing for plug-and-play replacement.
IO-Link gives you the insight needed to prevent time-wasting and costly events from affecting your automation processes. And it makes installation, reinstallation, troubleshooting, and preventive maintenance easier and more streamlined than before. The result is a proactive approach that frees up more time for innovation and helps you stay competitive.
IO-Link Products by Pepperl+Fuchs
Pepperl+Fuchs offers a variety of IO-Link related products, including our 2016 “Best of Industry” award-winning SmartBridge®. The SmartBridge is an IO-Link/Bluetooth® interface that allows access to system parameters from a mobile device. We also offer a range of photoelectric, ultrasonic, and inductive position measuring sensors with IO-Link capability, along with the software and IO-Link masters to support these devices.