Before IO-Link the controller could communicate only up to the fieldbus devices. Communication up to the sensors and actuators wasn’t possible. Only IO-Link makes sensors and actuators capable of communicating. Now devices can be parameterized centrally, diagnostics information can be sent from the device to the controller, and process data can be exchanged in digital form with high signal quality. And, IO-Link enables standardized and significantly simplified installation, as plug-and-play of the devices allows a connection using the same simple 3-conductor standard cable. In this chapter we will show you how to use IO-Link to detect, measure, identify as well as connect and network. Automated object detection has been raised to a new level of quality thanks to IO-Link. Here the color sensor detects the colored labels on the packages. Since it has an IO-Link interface, commissioning, format changes and recipe changes are performed centrally from the controller. You no longer have to manually set parameters on the sensor itself. If the sensors themselves do not have IO-Link, then IO-Link sensor/actuator hubs send the signals from binary switching sensors to the IO-Link master, which in turn passes them on to the PLC. In automated measuring IO-Link offers you noise-immune communication with the highest signal quality, since 3-conductor, unshielded standard cable can be used. Here you see for example photoelectric IO-Link distance sensors controlling the roll diameter and sag at a winding station… or IO-Link pressure sensors which precisely measure the pressure in a hydraulic unit. IO-Link also gives you lean identification solutions, in this example where the angled data carrier is read by an RFID read/write head with integrated processor unit and the data is sent to the IO-Link master via IO-Link. This also works with an RFID read/write head and separate processor unit. This solution enables identification when space is at a premium. IO-Link also provides opportunities for intelligent connecting and networking. You can network multiple IO-Link masters in a machine with each other and with the PLC across various fieldbuses. Each individual IO-Link master can also be connected to a variety of various devices, such as here with IO-Link sensor/actuator hubs and IO-Link pressure sensors. As Industry 4.0 sees the automation world meld with the IT world, new challenges will be placed on communication. Process data will continue to be exchanged within the automation pyramid. Access to diagnostic data and configuration will need to be possible via the cloud. IO-Link opens up this path from the cloud directly to the field device and vice-versa. For detailed information visit our website at www.balluff.com In order to better understand automation, we will also cover the following topics: Fundamentals of Automation, Detecting, Measuring, Identifying, Connecting and Networking.