With the evolution of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), factories are transitioning to a more digitised and connected environment, where data from machines and equipment is continuously monitored to improve manufacturing processes.
As more sensors are being installed, an increasing number of IP67-rated interconnections that can withstand harsh conditions of the factory floor are being deployed on machines.
IO-link is a major enabling force for IIoT and smart factories. It is an open communication standard that can enable the integration of various sensors, be they analogue, binary or digital, into the control system. Additionally, with IP-67-rated housing, IO modules can operate in harsh environments where liquids, dust or vibration may be present without the need for a protective cabinet.
Another trend in the industrial environment that has been prominent with the adoption of Industry 4.0 is shifting from proprietary and serial fieldbus infrastructure towards Ethernet-based networks like PROFINET and EtherNet/IP. There are now Ethernet communication and connectivity solutions available with products specifically rated for the toughest industrial requirements in applications such as food and beverage, automotive, material handling and much more.