Until now, the challenge of machinery and plant engineering has always been to significantly shorten the time-consuming assembly, commissioning and maintenance phases. In these phases individual components – sensors and actuators – are connected electrically, subsequently adjusted and parametrised, or exchanged if necessary.

Using the IO-Link communication system to connect intelligent sensors and actuators to the controller significantly reduces the amount of time required. Sensors can be connected quickly and without any errors using a pre-assembled cable, for example, while automated commissioning is also made possible by means of downloading parameter sets.

Another advantage is IO-Link’s complete transparency right down to the sensor/actuator level, which convincingly supports plant availability. IO-Link enables precision diagnosis and simplified device replacement, which considerably reduces downtime and hence maintenance costs.

Weidmüller provides comprehensive support for the advantages of IO-Link with u-remote, the flexible I/O system for streamlined planning and accelerated commissioning. Whether used as a control cabinet system, in mixed applications in the IP20 and IP67 degrees of protection or placed directly in the field for signal connection purposes, u-remote provides the user with all the freedoms of a flexible I/O architecture and offers the advantages of a consistent overall system. The u-remote integrated configuration tool enables convenient parametrisation and configuration, independently of the implemented fieldbus/network protocol.

IO-Link is a standardised IO technology (IEC 61131-9) for communication with sensors and actuators. An IO-Link system consists of the IO-Link Master and one or more IO-Link devices, ie. sensors or actuators. The IO-Link Master is the interface to the higher-level controller and controls communication among the connected IO-Link devices.

For every IO-Link, Weidmüller provides a master module in IP20 and IP67 degrees of protection. Parametrisation or configuration of the IP20 Master and the connected devices is performed very conveniently using the IO-Link web-based configurator. Compared with commercially available IP20 master modules, the Weidmüller master module provides increased power supply, with 500 mA per IO channel (type A) available instead of 200 mA, which is an increase of 150%.

The IO-Link modules in the IP67 degree of protection can be directly installed locally in the field and forms the communication interface to the sensors and actuators. The IO-Link master module is 30 mm wide and has four type A and four type B ports. It also has improved parameterisation and diagnostic properties for the connected sensors and actuators. For the first time ever, its type B ports enable the connection of actuators of up to 2 A. Furthermore, each and every port can also be configured as an input or output.

With u-remote in IP67, users can increase the feed-in to the I/O system to 16 A. This means that a larger number of consumers can be connected in a line, thus considerably reducing the wiring required. u-remote IP67 modules with their M12-L-coded plugs therefore provide more power to the system.

The u-remote IO link module in IP 20 and the connected IO-Link devices can be integrated, parametrised or configured very conveniently using the configuration tool on the web. Weidmüller software is additionally equipped with an intuitively operable user interface. Configuration is performed independently of the network.

The engineering tool used and the type of fieldbus implemented also play a role. Upload of the IO-Link configuration files is performed directly by the fieldbus coupler on to the IO-Link Master and in turn, from there on to IO-Link devices. With the high-performance configuration tool, project files can be archived, distributed and modified locally. The configuration software provides an interface to the cross-manufacturer central IO-Link database and the “IODDfinder”. In such a way, users discover a convenient overview of available IO-Link devices and their description files, the IODDs. The joint data source for IODDs provides high quality and consistency beyond that. The u-remote IO-Link configurator is available as a free download on the Weidmüller homepage. For all series machines which use a recurring IO-Link configuration, the single project engineering configuration file can be stored locally and be redistributed from there to other plants. This can be accessed and adapted later where necessary.

The u-remote web server allows on-site or remote verification, such as diagnosis by remote access or input simulation, as well as forcing the outputs on-site. For this a standard browser only is needed. Processes and procedures can also be simulated without a controller being connected. In addition to the simplified start-up in sections, this also speeds up service in the event of unplanned system downtime.

For further information, visit www.weidmuller.co.uk or call on 0845 094 2006.