What is IO-Link?

IO-Link technology is an intelligent way
to communicate with automation components.

Manufacturing plants worldwide are preparing to leverage data and information technology to improve their overall equipment efficiency. IO-Link is a breakthrough technology that will make this possible. IO-Link allows the pathway for sensors to communicate diagnostic information to the PLC and directly to higher-level business control systems.

IO-Link (IEC61131-9) is an open standard communication protocol that allows for the bi-directional exchange of data from sensors and devices that support IO-Link and are connected to a master. The IO-Link communication standard is quickly expanding within the Factory Automation market space as a low-cost method of connecting I/O “on the network”.

System Overview

  1. IO-Link masters – gateways between intelligent IO-Link enabled devices and the fieldbus. Available in 4-port and 8-port versions for IP67 industrial automation environments, IP69K washdown environments and IP20 cabinet mount versions.
  2. LR Device parameterization software – read and write parameter sets on IO-Link masters and devices via a central point on the network.
  3. Ethernet / Fieldbus cabling – adding IO-Link technology to your current controls architecture requires very little changes and cost. IO-Link is not a fieldbus, but rather a new way to communicate to sensors. It uses the same cabling and system design as your current control system. In fact, if you are using ifm sensors, you might already have IO-Link!
  4. IO-Link devices – IO-Link is a serial, bi-directional, point-to-point connection for signal transmission. Sensors featuring embedded IO-Link behave the same way as standard I/O sensors you’re already using until you connect them to an IO-Link master. That’s how you access all the advanced data and configuration capabilities of IO-Link with a conventional 3-wire unshielded patchcord.
  5. Standard industrial cordsets – IO-Link uses standard unshielded cordsets to connect to IO-Link enabled sensors.
  6. Input / Output hubs – use the IO-Link bandwidth to transport the status of simple ON / OFF devices.
  7. IIoT communication port – separate Ethernet connection from the DataLine and CabinetLine masters. The IIoT port requires its own IP address and offers a safe physical connection to the IT world so you can transfer data directly to your higher-level software without tying up the resources of your PLC.

5 Advantages of IO-Link:

1. Standardizes and reduces wiring
2. Increases data availably
3. Remote configuration and monitoring
4. Simple device replacement
5. Extended diagnostics


• Is an IEC 61131-9 global standard digital communication protocol
• Is point-to-point communication, not a fieldbus
• Is a complement to control systems utilizing Ethernet-base fieldbus such as Ethernet/IP
• Uses standard, unshielded device cordsets – M8, M12, etc. with a 20 m maximum length
• Allows a device to send and receive significantly more data
– Digital measured value of sensor’s process data
– Parameter setting and monitoring
– Event and diagnostic data
• Allows for connection of standard I/O (binary sensors)
• Is the foundation of the “Digital Factory”

Watch Videos

Watch and learn the basics of IO-Link and it’s benefits. IO-Link is a short distance, bi-directional, digital, point-to-point, wired, industrial communications networking standard used for connecting digital sensors and actuators to either a type of industrial Fieldbus or a type of industrial Ethernet. Learn how if can help your business! 

Learn how IO-Link communication is quickly expanding within the Factory Automation market space as a low-cost method of connecting I/O “on the network”. The Moduflex IO-Link module brings this exciting technology to Parker’s key valve manifold ranges. Process data is easily accessible and can be monitored by PLC to help reduce or even prevent downtime. Watch to learn more! 

How IO-Link Technology Will Get Your Business Ready for Industry 4.0 and IIOT

Is your company ready for the future of I/O communications and Industry 4.0 and IIOT? If not the RG Group with the power of IO-Link can help!

Do you want to get your IO devices onto your industrial network, but aren’t sure how to do it cost effectively? Do you spend too much on labor costs and are looking for ways to build your machines faster and more efficiently? Are you using expensive proprietary equipment? Are your customers asking you for RFID on your equipment? Would you like to simply add valve manifolds to your network without the high cost of valve drivers? Are analog cards getting too expensive and complicated to wire? Well IO-Link could be your answer to all of these.


DOWNLOAD Parker's IO-Link Solution Brochure

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