IO-Link has specified a simple cabling architecture that makes power, device and communication connection easy. It can also help users reduce or multiplex cabling in a number of ways.
- Connecting devices in the field vs. wiring back to a cabinet. Example: Sensors can be connected on a conveyor or machine, instead of running each individual sensor cable back to a cabinet.
- Using IO-Link expansion I/O hubs to connect Digital Input/Output or Analog Input/Output devices. a. This can greatly reduce cabling of common Digital or Analog sensors, especially the further from the field or operation you go. Especially if the user is running cabling back to cabinets. b. When the user has to add PLC I/O cards, additional cost is added as well. c. These I/O hubs are connected to a Comtrol IO-Link master which then communicated the sensor data up to controllers via EtherNet/IP, Profinet, OPC UA or Modbus TCP.
- Some IO-Link devices such as motor starters or push buttons also require less wiring compared to other versions. This can help reduce wiring by multiplexing systems, then having to only run power and Ethernet cables back to a cabinet instead of each device individually.