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SICK expands its IO Link portfolio
Waldkirch, April 2007 – SICK, which already offers a comparatively wide range of IO link devices, is presenting a variety of new IO Link sensors at the Hanover Trade Fair 2007. In addition to optical binary devices (e.g. photoelectric proximity switches such as the 3rd sensor generation from SICK), multi-bit and non-optical binary sensors with the IO Link communication interface will be presented for the first time.

“The presentation of IO Link devices that are actually available will make it clear that SICK sees IO Link as one of the most important future technologies for automation,” says Klaus Halder, Manager of the Standard Sensors Business Unit in SICK’s Automation Technology Division. The new developments include the MLG IO Link automation light curtain as a multi-bit sensor and the MZ2Q IO Link cylinder sensor as a non-optical binary sensor. In addition, there are the WTB4-3 IO Link photoelectric proximity switch, the WTB18-3 IO Link photoelectric proximity switch, the WTB27-3 IO Link photoelectric proximity switch, the WL12G IO Link through-beam photoelectric switch for transparent objects, and the IOLSHPB connection module.

IO Link on the march: customer appreciation of the advantages is growing

As a sensor supplier with broad market access to the most varied of customer segments, SICK is actively reacting to current interests and trends. “We are convinced that IO Link, i.e. the reasonably priced expansion of a sensor switching output to create a communication interface, has greater potential now than ever before,” says Klaus
Halder. The advantages, including parameter download from a machine controller, comprehensive remote diagnostic capability, increased plant availability, automatic plant documentation, and – important for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries – validation of the entire machine, right down to the sensors, show how varied the operational benefits of sensors with IO Link can be. “Interest within many sectors is correspondingly large, so that we expect a rapid spread of the technology and its use in projects soon to be implemented,” Klaus Halder describes the market’s current level of acceptance of IO Link. “Though it is also true that the users’ expectations of the advantages are growing and are becoming increasingly more concrete.”

Which is why SICK is taking IO Link forwards dynamically – not least because all the IO Link sensors presented have also proved themselves during cross-producer interoperability trials based on IO Link Version 1.0. This allows potential users to gradually upgrade to the new technology – with long-term investment protection.