IO-Link - integration into automation concepts

IO-Link sensors are integrated into the overall automation system with an IO-Link master. The device description (IODD) is used for the specific configuration; function blocks simplify programming.

IO-Link Master

IO-Link master (hardware)

Several PLC master-types are available for device connection:

SIG200 REST API IO-Link Master, SIG200 PROFINET IO-Link Master, EtherCAT IO-Link master, EtherNet/IP IO-Link master, PROFINET IO-Link master. The respective master is itself a fieldbus node itself or part of a modular I/O system connected to the fieldbus. Fieldbus nodes are integrated using a device description f(GSDML, EDS, ESI, etc.).



During the design or configuration of the automation structure, the required fieldbus nodes are defined in the engineering tool provided by the PLC master manufacturer and the communication relationships are configured.

The IODD (IO Device Description) is used for specific configuration of IO-Link devices. It contains information on identification, device parameters, process and diagnostics data, communication properties, and more.


An IO-Link-device-specific function block is used to simplify programming. Function blocks simplify the acyclical communication between the PLC and IO-Link devices, service data communication and the interpretation of process data. They provide device parameters and correct device data types - and translate the provided parameters into indices and sub-indices.