IO-Link Wireless Technology

Wireless Communication on the Factory Floor

IO-Link Wireless: Enabling Machines & Production Lines to Do More

IO-Link Wireless was developed as a global wireless communication standard designed to replace cables in remote sensor and actuator control and monitoring for factory automation. Based on the IO-Link IEC 61131-9 standard, it is a system extension to the already established IO-Link technology.


IO-Link Wireless logo

High Performance Industrial-Grade IO-Link Wireless Communication

IO-Link Cable Grade Reliability Without the Wires

IO-Link Wireless technology provides a reliability performance level of 1e-9 Packet Error Rate (PER). In comparison, wireless standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee demonstrate a PER of 1e-3, which is 6 orders of magnitude (a million times) less reliable. This is achieved by a repetition mechanism that is used for critical data in IO-Link Wireless.

To ensure low latency, this mechanism is implemented automatically and is controlled by the physical layer of the radio. IO-Link Wireless also uses the Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) modulation, which is an extremely robust modulation for dealing with interferences and noise.

IO-Link Technology Performance – Wirelessly

IO-Link Wireless was designed as a deterministic protocol with a guarantee that each data packet is delivered within a bounded delay. The structure of the IO-Link Wireless cycle is strictly defined, with a limitation on the maximum number of wireless devices per IO-Link Wireless Master.

Critical data is transmitted periodically in a deterministic manner. The deterministic attributes of IO-Link Wireless ensure the predictable properties of the network and enable algorithms that cannot be similarly applied with non-deterministic protocols such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Low Latency Industrial Wireless Connectivity

IO-Link Wireless provides a deterministic low latency of 5msec with 40 nodes (sensors, actuators, or I/O hubs) per Wireless Master. Each IO-Link Wireless cycle of 5msec is comprised of 3 sub-cycles each with a duration of 1.6msec. Each sub-cycle is transmitted on a different frequency.

The sub-cycles include a downlink portion which is broadcasted by the wireless master to all wireless devices on each track, and an uplink portion which is a single-cast time-multiplexing message sent to the master from the devices according to a predefined timeslot.

Uninterrupted Communication Alongside Other Technologies

IO-Link Wireless is designed to coexist with other wireless networks and interferers through mechanisms such as blacklisting and adaptive frequency hopping. Blacklisting is a mechanism designed to avoid potential air collisions with other wireless systems such as Wi-Fi.

Frequency hopping is used to ensure adequate performance for an IO-Link Wireless system components and to reduce the impact of interferences. Frequency hopping alternates frequency channels for each transmission as a measure against interference, resulting in a PER of 1e-9 which is on par with wired connections.

Easy & Quick Expansion Per Need

IO-Link Wireless is designed to support a large number of devices while still maintaining the required low latency and high reliability. A single IO-Link Wireless Master can support up to 40 IO-Link Wireless Devices divided into 5 tracks. Each track in a Wireless Master can support up to 8 IO-Link Wireless Devices.

All tracks of a Wireless Master communicate at the same time on different frequencies, providing an optimal medium utilization. An IO-Link Wireless Cell can support up to 3 Masters with 120 IO-Link Wireless Devices.

Designed Specifically for Industrial Environments

IO-Link Wireless is a global mission critical wireless communication standard designed for factory automation based on the IO-Link IEC 61131-9 standard, and defined as a system extension to the already established base technology of IO-Link. It is a communication technology intended to replace the cables for remote sensor/actuator control and monitoring in factory automation.

The key features of IO-Link Wireless technology are high reliability, low latency, scalability, deterministic communication, capability of dealing with a high density of clients, and robustness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link stands as the standardized IO technology (IEC 61131-9) designed for bidirectional seamless communication for both control and monitoring. It is a robust point-to-point communication that relies on a 3-wire sensor and actuator connection, eliminating the need for additional cable material. IO-Link is distinct from Fieldbus as it represents a progressive advancement of the reliable and proven connection technology used in the realm of sensors and actuators.


How does IO-Link Wireless work?

The IO-Link Wireless system includes a central device known as the IO-Link Wireless Master or IO-Link Wireless Gateway. These serve as coordinators for wireless communication within the network. They communicate wirelessly with IO-Link Wireless devices (sensors and actuators) and, in turn, interface with the automation control system or PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) using a wired connection, via protocols such as OPC UA, EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP, or PROFINET. IO-Link Wireless-enabled sensors and actuators function similarly to their wired counterparts, using wireless communication to connect to the IO-Link Wireless Master/Gateway instead of wired connections.


What is the frequency of IO-Link Wireless?

IO-Link Wireless utilizes radio frequency (RF) technology to establish communication between IO-Link Wireless devices. It operates in the industrial, scientific, and medical wireless free frequency band of 2.4 GHz. 


IO-Link Wireless Use Cases & Applications

CoreTigo’s solution addresses a variety of industries, such as automotive, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, metalworks, and more. These solutions drive operational efficiency, production optimization, higher availability, and greater intelligence to manage the business.

Transport Tracks & Conveying Systems

Maximize Capacity & Adaptivity

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Transport Tracks & Conveying Systems

  • Increase capacity & perform actions while in motion
  • Enable a range of products/package types
  • Support multiple designs & materials in a singe machine
  • Reduce mechanical components & external equipment
  • Conduct monitoring & predictive maintenance on the go

Retrofit & Condition Monitoring

Reliable & Scalable Data Collection

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Retrofit & Condition Monitoring

  • Simplify relocation & upgrades of existing machinery
  • Support fixed & fast moving components
  • Connect analog, digital & IO-Link devices
  • Reduce cable wear & tear and unplanned downtime
  • Scale to hundreds of wireless units in a work cell
  • Overcome RF, noise and hard to reach areas

Wireless Robotics

Maximum Flexibility for End-of-Arm Solutions

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Wireless Robotics

  • Achieve full rotation flexibility & agility without interference
  • Enable efficient deployments & simple tool changeover
  • Reduce downtime & maintenance caused by cabling issues
  • Reduce end-of-arm payload
  • Save on cost of expensive high-torsion cables & accessories

Smart Machine Tooling

Real-time Control & Monitoring at the Tooling Point

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Smart Machine Tooling

  • Achieve precise workpiece & tool setup automatically
  • Improve quality & performance via real-time measurement
  • Reduce inadequate clamping force safety hazards & damage
  • Enable early detection of deficiencies and wear & tear
  • Enhanced traceability & analytics

Rotary Tables & Carousels

Real-time Control & Monitoring on Rotating Components

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Rotary Tables & Carousels

  • Increase capacity & perform actions while in motion
  • Reduce wear & tear, component dependency & sterilization
  • Enable automatic changeover & rapid tooling setup
  • Simplify sensors & actuators add-ons

Machine Optimization & Data Collection

Machine-centric Optimization & Tuning

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Machine Optimization & Data Collection

  • Centralize all machine data as if coming from a singe source
  • Enhance remote support & collaboration
  • Enable on-machine cause/effect investigation
  • Accelerate time-to-market R&D cycle
  • Optimize processes with optimal recipe tuning & msec resolution
  • Trace past & real-time data as it is being generated

See what IO-Link Wireless can do for your operation

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