Guest contributor: Greg Molinaro, Balluff
Zero downtime. This is the mantra of the food and beverage manufacturer today. The need to operate machinery at its fullest potential and then increase the machines’ capability is where the demands of food and beverage manufacturers is at today. This demand is being driven by smaller purchase orders and production runs due to e-commerce ordering, package size variations and the need for manufacturers to be more competitive by being flexible.
Using the latest technology, like IO-Link, allows manufacturers to meet those demands and improve their Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) or the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. OEE has three components:
- Availability Loss
- Unplanned Stops/Downtime – Machine Failure
- Planned Downtime – Set up and AdjustmentsS
- Performance Loss
- Small Stops – Idling and Minor Stops
- Slow Cycles – Reduced Speed
- Quality Loss
- Production Rejects – Process Defects
- Startup Rejects – Reduced Yield
IO-Link is a smart, easy and universal way to connect devices into your controls network.
The advantage of IO-Link is that it allows you to connect to EtherNet/IP, CC-Link & CC-LinkIE Field, Profinet & Profibus and EtherCAT & TCP/IP regardless of the brand of PLC. IO-Link also allows you to connect analog devices by eliminating traditional analog wiring and provides values in actual engineering units without scaling back at the PLC processor.
Being smart, easy and universal, IO-Link helps simplify controls architecture and provides visibility down to the sensor and device.
IO-Link communicates the following:
- Process data (Control, cyclical communication of process status)
- Parameter data (Configuration, messaging data with configuration information)
- Event data (Diagnostics, Communication from device to master (diagnostics/errors )
This makes it the backbone of the Smart Factory as shown in the graphic below.
IO-Link Simplifies the Controls Architecture
In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.