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.

Similar to the original  IO-Link protocol, IO-Link Wireless technology offers high reliability, low latency, scalability, deterministic communication, high client density capacity, and robustness, all in a wireless format. It is uniquely suited to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 and is already being implemented by some of the world’s largest automation equipment manufacturers and machine builders.

 

IO-Link Technology 

Marking a significant leap in industrial communication, IO-Link is a widely adopted and versatile industrial communication protocol that has become a cornerstone of advanced industrial manufacturing and automation. IO-Link serves as a standardized interface between sensors, actuators, and controllers, enabling seamless data exchange and intelligent 2-way communication in industrial settings. IO-Link’s key strength lies in its ability to facilitate bidirectional communication, allowing not only the transmission of process data but also the repeated configuration and diagnostics of connected devices. This bidirectional capability streamlines device integration simplifies maintenance, and reduces downtime. Moreover, IO-Link is compatible with various fieldbus systems and industrial Ethernet protocols.

 

Elevating IO-Link: The Advantages of IO-Link Wireless

Expanding on IO-Link, IO-Link Wireless represents a significant advancement that builds upon its foundations, further revolutionizing the way industrial automation and communication systems operate. This innovative extension introduces the capabilities of wireless communication to the existing IO-Link framework, enabling the data to now flow seamlessly without the need for cumbersome cabling. By eliminating physical connections, IO-Link Wireless provides greater flexibility, scalability, and agility in industrial environments, as well as reduces installation complexity, eliminating unexpected machine downtime, and more. The technology maintains all the benefits of standard IO-Link, such as real-time data transmission, device parameterization, and diagnostics, while unlocking new possibilities for decentralized and dynamic automation setups. With IO-Link Wireless, industries can achieve enhanced efficiency, streamlined maintenance, and improved scalability, paving the way into the 4th industrial revolution.

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IO-Link Wireless

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. 

 

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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.
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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
Computer Monitoring Data

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
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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

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
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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
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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

Meet the IO-Link Wireless Ecosystem

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