Intelligent IO links boost Industry 4.0

October 29, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Intelligent IO links boost Industry 4.0 designs
IO-Link reference design with intelligence at the edge simplifies equipment reconfiguration and commissioning of sensors in Industry 4.0

Maxim Integrated Products has launched a reference design to provide flexibility with faster reconfiguration of IO to reduce factory downtime.

The MAXREFDES177 IO-Link reference design demonstrates the flexibility of the MAX22515 IO-Link transceiver, configuring all modes of the MAX22000 software-configurable analogue IO.

This builds upon the benefits of IO-Link’s two-way universal interface for sensors, actuator or IO expansion module to be interchangeable to a standard hardware interface. It also provides software-defined performance parameters and selectable analogue input or output performance modes.

Industry 4.0 is also moving to using the existing 4-20mA lines for sensors and actuators with single pair Ethernet (SPE) connections.

“We believes SPE and IO-link can coexist,” said Sui,  “Between the IOLink hub and the PLC is Ethernet so we see that to be a cost effective way to use both technologies, just like in computing here are places for Ethernet and there are places for USB, each have their own application.”

“For sensors in particular IOLink has a major advantage by using standard connectors and cable so you can upgrade to an IOLink sensor without recabling the factory which is a major expense.

“For the last metre to the sensor, IOLink has an advantage from that point of view. With SPE you still have to do a bit more work on parameterising the sensors, which can be overcome with software but IOLink is designed for that for the start.”

“IOLink can only go 20m and the 4-20mA wires can go kilometres so usually it is more the digital IO while IOLink is for the analogue.”

The software-configurable analogue IO in the MAX22000 cuts the power by half, integrating a 24-bit ADC analogue input mode and an 18-bit DAC analogue output mode, as well as operations over either a single 2-wire interface or a 4-wire resistance temperature detector (RTD)/thermocouple temperature measurement.

The MAX22515 is

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