IO-Link: the gateway for easy and reliable access to connectivity

Connectivity is becoming increasingly important in new and existing systems as a decisive lever for increasing availability, including in metallurgy. Rexroth is now taking advantage of the benefits of the open standard IO-Link in order to digitally connect hydraulic valves and sensors easily and reliably without having to interfere with the process control.

In parallel to analog controls, the open standard IO-Link provides numerous ways of digitally retrieving operating states and diagnostic information. This type of information improves process reliability and increases availability.

Rexroth is the first hydraulics manufacturer to equip 4WRPEH analog proportional control valves and HEDE10 pressure switches with the IO-Link interface. The point-to-point connection transfers data in parallel to the field bus without having to interfere with the process control.

IO-Link is able to standardize and simplify the cabling thanks to the robust M12 standard connector with unshielded 3-conductor/5-conductor cables. This removes the need for time-consuming and error-prone manual single-wiring tasks.

The cross-manufacturer standard is supported by numerous control system manufacturers with master modules, e.g. Rexroth’s decentralized, fast IO-Link master IP67 E/A system S67E. The devices are planned using the relevant PLC manufacturer’s engineering tool. Technicians can even modify the parameters of the actuators at a later date simply via software.

During operations, maintenance technicians can retrieve and assess operating states, such as temperature, operating hours and error status, via the control system or authorized remote access. This enables them to identify any wear and/or errors in the system before they can lead to a malfunction and ultimately plant downtime. The software immediately indicates the location of the devices in question.

What’s more, the standardized electronic name plate of Rexroth’s plug-and-play devices simplifies the commissioning process and makes it easier to replace components. Rexroth’s IO-Link master automatically parameterizes interchangeable components without the technician having to intervene. This reduces the number of potential sources of error and minimizes any downtime.