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How is an IO-Link sensor different from a standard sensor?

Difference between IO link sensor and standard sensor

There are some useful differences between IO Link sensors and Standard sensors :

  1. A standard sensor provides an input to the PLC in the form of process data so that the machine can perform its task as per the PLC program. It does not provide any additional information for e.g. status / diagnostics etc.
    An IO-Link sensor communicates additional DATA, besides process data, that can be useful in predictive maintenance, performance analysis and other applications requiring Industry 4.0, IIoT and Digitalization. It can now communicate with the world beyond the machine and provide intelligence to the operation.

  2. Sometimes it is required to re-calibrate a sensor or setup a sensor for a different recipe. A standard sensor would require you to access the sensor and make the necessary changes manually. The sensor may be in an inaccessible location requiring the machine to go off production until the task is complete.
    An IO-Link sensor can be quickly parameterized remotely not requiring us to physically access the sensor.
  3. If a standard sensor needs to be replaced, then the new sensor will have to be setup to the same settings. This is often not possible as the settings may not be available or there may be no expert technician available to help with the settings. This would result in downtime.
    If an IO-Link sensor needs to be replaced, then it is possible to save such settings on the master so that those same settings can be copied to the new IO-Link sensor automatically. This is possible in IO-Link version 1.1
    The best solution is to decide where you need to have more intelligence, control and agility and replace such sensors with an IO-Link sensor.
    Standard sensors can still be useful for non-critical processes.


You can discuss your concerns with our local Balluff expert.

Learn more about Balluff IO link sensors