Machine Building
Posted to News on 2nd Mar 2009, 13:39

Balluff's new IO-Link system enables quick and easy expansion or simplification of Profibus and Profinet networks. Users and OEM equipment builders can now achieve a higher level of flexibility and easier system modification for their networks at significantly lower costs.

A Balluff IO-Link Expansion module also known as IO-Link Master attaches directly to the Profibus or Profinet network, either as a new node or by substituting it for an existing node. Then, using standard low-cost three-conductor M12 cordsets, it attaches up to four intelligent IO-Link sensors up to 20m away from the Balluff IO-Link expansion module. Hardware includes network expansion modules, sensor hubs, standard M12 non-shielded three-conductor cordsets, standard sensors and intelligent IO-Link sensors. These sensors are available in a range of different sensing technologies, including distance feedback, RFID, pressure monitors, etc. This provides less expensive Profibus/Profinet products for automation customers to build and retrofit machines with an overall cost saving in components, cabling, installation and integration effort.

For example, one Balluff Profibus IO-Link expander and four discrete sensor hubs can replace five discrete Profibus modules, with 30-40 per cent savings including network components, network cabling, integration time, while providing 78 inputs. One expansion module and a combination of IO-Link sensors and/or sensor hubs can replace up to five nodes, reducing expensive network cabling and time-consuming controller configuration without the need for node addresses or expensive Profibus chips or software.

At the heart of the Balluff system, the sensor hubs enable connection of 16 standard discrete sensors to the network per hub. Up to four hubs per expansion module can be put on each node, giving a grand total of 76 sensors per Profibus node.

The Balluff IO-Link device will provide significant savings in components, in the installation phase, in system integration and in system flexibility. It will save money in planned and unplanned downtime with centralised parameter storage, which can be used for automatic re-parameterisation of replacement IO-Link sensors - you can swap an intelligent sensor just as easily as a discrete sensor.

For further information, go to

Balluff Limited

20 Cheshire Business Park
Cheshire Avenue
Lostock Gralam

+44 (0)1606 812777

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