Sensors precisely record many different measured values. Valuable additional information is already generated during the processing of the measured values in the sensor. Standardized digital communication interfaces such as IO-Link can be used to access that information and significantly improve your business processes.

Benefits to you

Cost-effective & securely connected
Extended setting options
Additional data
Increased flexibility
Fast sensor exchange
Simple & safe operability


Using digital communication interfaces across technologies - Baumer offers a wide range of IO-Link sensors. 

IO-Link connectivity

What is IO-Link?

Example of a system architecture using IO-Link

IO-Link is an IO technology standardized worldwide according to IEC 61131-9. It permits manufacturer-independent digital, bidirectional point-to-point communication. For this purpose, sensors are connected to the IO-Link master via standardized 3-wire plug-in cables. IO-Link is available for various sensor technologies and can also be integrated into small miniature sensors.

With the IO-Link master, which bundles several sensors, the connection to the controller is made via the respective fieldbus system. In addition, an Ethernet-based connection (with OPC UA) from the master allows direct communication from the sensor to IT systems. IO-Link masters are available as field devices for decentralized mounting or as versions for mounting in control cabinets. Many control suppliers also offer IO-Link input terminals and thus an IO-Link master implemented directly on the control. The maximum cable length between sensor and master is 20 m. However, significantly longer connections from the sensor to the controller can be realized by connecting a field master to a field bus system. This gives you maximum flexibility in the connection solution.

IO-Link glossary

More detailed descriptions of the individual IO-Link functions and definitions can be found here:

To the IO-Link glossary

Additional data through digital sensor connection

Data is the most important basis for process and product optimization. With the help of IO-Link, valuable additional data can be made accessible:


Operating modes

SIO-Mode and IO-Link Mode

Each port of the IO-Link master can be operated either in SIO mode (standard IO mode) or in IO-Link mode and can thus process the information from all sensors. In SIO mode, the senor functions like its conventional counterpart. Measured values and switching states are transmitted to the control system via digital or analog outputs. In IO-Link mode, the sensor's digital output is used as a bidirectional, serial interface in order to exchange measurement data as well as diagnostic information. In this mode, parameters can also be used to reconfigure the sensor.

The standard setup provides for 2-byte process data packets per cycle. The user can also choose larger data packets (frame types). It is therefore possible to transmit even larger process data packets of up to 32 bytes in length at a correspondingly slower cycle rate.

Dual Channel




Some sensors feature one or more dual channels transmitting additional input and output signals in parallel to the IO-Link channel. This allows the implementation of different control concepts.


Every IO-Link device has a device description known as the IODD (IO Device Description). This contains information about the manufacturer, product number, functionality, etc., which can easily be exported and further processed by the user. Every device, meaning every sensor, is uniquely identifiable as a result of its IODD and its internal device ID. The IODD consists of several files: a primary file and optional external language files (both in XML format) as well as image files (in PNG format). 



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