Industry 4.0 is generally understood as the comprehensive digitalization of industrial production. In Industry 4.0, entire production processes are interconnected with people, machines, products, factory facilities, and logistics processes. Production speed is increased significantly. In this blog post, we give an overview of the past Industrial Revolutions that have brought us to this point and outline how Pepperl+Fuchs is involved in Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 applications require sensors to do more than just deliver process data to the PLC. In smart manufacturing, sensors must be able to communicate with other devices and higher-level information systems. This is possible with IO-Link, a simple, flexible, and secure open communication technology that enables continuous communication at the sensor level.
The IO-Link communication protocol has become a recognized standard in almost every branch of industry. The microcontrollers used make the sensors even more intelligent and can store parameter settings and provide additional information about device status and signal quality. This makes it easy to replace defective sensors since stored settings can be automatically transferred to new sensors during operation. IO-Link can be integrated into any network independently of the fieldbus via point-to-point connection and 3-wire standard cabling. An IO-Link master can also be used to operate both IO-Link and conventional switching signals with identical wiring. In addition, IO-Link sensors can be connected to conventional digital inputs. Read more about these and other advantages in this blog.