Consider this when using multi-vendor IO-Link solutions

The IO-Link consortium allows for multiple master connections from DIN rail slice IP20 solutions to IP67 ports.  As usage of IO-Link has grown dramatically over the last two years and adoption of multi-vendor solutions continues to rise, there will be a point where you may encounter an alternate type of IO-Link connection for IP67 masters and devices in the market.

The specification allows for a wide variety of connectors and conductors for the IO-Link master/slave connection specifically calling out M5, M8 & M12 connectors.  The default port and pin configuration for an IO-Link master port is the M12 A-coded connection with port type A.  In IO-Link port A, the power for the IO-Link slave device is provided entirely by the pins 1&3 similar to a standard proximity sensor according to IEC 61076-2-101.  This is the most common port type in use today and is found on the widest variety of sensors and slave devices.

An alternate port type is available, IO-Link Port B, to provide galvanically isolated power to the IO-Link slave device.  In this configuration a second power supply can be added for isolated control power.  It is not widely adapted in IO-Link slave devices today but can be found in some products where this is an application requirement.  If a master or device has a port type B it must be clearly labelled on the product per the specification.


If there is not a port type identified on the device then it is assumed to be a port A type device as it is the default configuration.  Balluff IO-Link masters and devices are mostly of the type port A.  Check out Balluff’s IO-Link offering.


Will Healy III is the Industry Marketing Director at Balluff Inc. in Florence, Kentucky and he is enthusiastic about smart manufacturing, automation and STEM education. Will graduated from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering and has been sharing his passion for automation for more than 10 years in a variety of industries. He is published and quoted in various trade magazines, works as an industrial adviser for multiple universities and has widely presented on the value sensors, networking and IIoT bring to manufacturing.

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