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IO-Link glossary


Device to convert electrical signals into kinetic energy.


Acyclic data

Data that is only transferred from the controller after a request (e.g. parameter data, diagnostic data).



IO-Link data transfer rates.



A device can be a sensor, an actuator or a hybrid device. It is a passive participant and only replies at the master's request.



Digital input.



Digital output.



Device Type Manager (manufacturer-specific driver).



The device can signal an incorrect operating status to the master per event. This is done by setting a bit in the interface. The master reads this event with a classifying error code.



Field Device Tool (e.g. ifm Container)


GSD file

Device master file - describes an interface to the device which is to be connected to the fieldbus. GSD files are available as files and provided by the device manufacturer.



Operating and observation device of the automation system (Human Machine Interface).



In contrast to the gateways hubs establish connections between two identical interfaces; known are USB hubs.


Hybrid device

A device combining both sensor and actuator functions.


IEC 61131-9

The international standard IEC 61131 deals with the basics of the programmable logic controllers. Part 9 describes IO-Link under the designation Single-drop digital communication interface for small sensors and actuators (SDCI).



Electronic device description (IO device description).


IO-Link device

Field device that is monitored and controlled by an IO-Link master.


IO-Link Masters

Establishes the connection between a higher-level fieldbus and the IO-Link device. The IO-Link master monitors and controls the IO-Link devices.



A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a level of a multi-layer process-oriented production management system. The MES distinguishes itself from similarly efficient systems for production planning, i.e. ERP systems (Enterprise Ressource Planning) by direct connection to the distributed systems of process automation and allows production processes to be managed and controlled in real time. This includes conventional data acquisition and data preparation such as production data acquisition (PDA), machine data acquisition (MDA) and personnel data acquisition, as well as all other processes immediately influencing the production process.



An IO-Link communication channel.


Parameter setting server

An IO-Link master to IO-Link specification 1.1 can act as parameter setting server for the IO-Link device.


Point-to-point connection

A point-to-point connection is a direct, immediate connection between two points, places or devices.



Device to detect and convert physical values into electrical quantities.



A PLC is an industrial computer used to control a machine or system and programmed on a digital basis. The user programs a PLC according to the requirements of his system. The peripheral signals are read or provided via input/output modules or fieldbus masters and decentralised fieldbus slaves.



Standard Input Output Mode: Connection of conventional, digital devices on IO-Link master ports.



Bus participant that does not communicate independently but only replies to requests from the master.


Conversion time

The conversion time is the sum of the time the A/D converter needs to record a measured value and the time needed (diagnostics, wire-break monitoring) to process the measured value in the module.


Cyclic data

Data that is transferred automatically and at regular intervals (process data, value status).


Cycle time

In the context of controllers, the cycle time means the processing of the program from reading of the inputs to the provision at the outputs. In the context of communication systems, the cycle time is the time until all data has been exchanged with all participants and the cycle starts again.