PI (Profibus and Profinet International) is releasing the documents on the integration of I/O-Link into Profibus and Profinet. Together with the existing physical layer and protocol specification, the integration specification forms the basis for the wider deployment of I/O-Link in Profibus and Profinet systems.
The requirements for the development of products with an I/O-Link interface were laid out with the physical layer and protocol specification. Since then, almost all relevant sensor manufacturers and many manufacturers of I/O modules have introduced I/O-Link products to the market. The publication of the integration documentation makes available the basis for open integration of I/O-Link in Profibus and Profinet systems. To illustrate this, PI had a live application at its stand at the Hannover Fair 2008, with which the engineering of I/O-Link products from various manufacturers were demonstrated.
The physical layer and protocol specification of I/O-Link is fully independent of Profibus and Profinet, so I/O-Link can be subordinated to all fieldbuses or Ethernet-based systems. Only the integration takes place under the consideration of fieldbus-specific aspects. Work to integrate I/O-Link into additional fieldbus systems is already in preparation. The definition of an appropriate independent device description for I/O-Link, I/O Device Description (IODD), is already under review by PI.
I/O-Link is gaining more and more support. The number of actively contributing companies in the I/O-Link consortium is claimed to have already surpassed 30. In addition to manufactures of sensors and actuators, it includes manufactures of I/O components, automation systems and semiconductors.