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IO-Link in the process industry

Level detection

LMT level sensors are used in a tank application. They detect and signal when the level in a tank drops below or exceeds the set limits. They also prevent run dry conditions of the pumps. Typically, the switching output will be "active" when the media is present and "inactive" when there is no media.

Added value with IO-Link:

By using IO-Link, additional information is accessible. With IO-Link, the real digital process value is available to differentiate between simple media, such as water or milk, and suppress build-up or foam formation. For example, these functions can be used to determine the current tank content and implement an efficient cleaning process. The sensor detects when pure water is in the tank. The rinsing process can be stopped and the next production process can be started immediately to maximise production time.

Continuous tank level measurement

The PI pressure sensor provides a 4…20 mA analogue output and a switching output. However, traditional analogue signals can be prone to EMC disturbances.In addition, the detected value of the sensor is converted several times into analogue and digital data on the way to the PLC. The conversions cause measurement inaccuracies. The value received by the PLC differs from the actual value determined by the sensor.

High and low pressure spikes are stored in the sensor but have no direct access to the control system.

Added value with IO-Link:

With IO-Link, the determined pressure value is transmitted in a purely digital form - without conversions or scaling - from the sensor to the PLC and the IT infrastructure. The digital signal is not prone to EMC disturbances. The measured value is accurately transmitted to the control system and the software without any loss in precision.

By retrieving high and low sensor pressure values via software, any pressure spikes and dips can be monitored directly. Pressure peaks can have a direct impact on the sensor function. In addition, the product quality can be reduced if the pressure limit is exceeded or not reached.

Redundant temperature measurement for pasteurizers

During the production of dairy products, it is of high importance that the correct temperatures are maintained. The self-monitoring and diagnostic functions of ifm's TCC temperature transmitters ensure that the process runs smoothly. The TCC sensor is the first sensor with drift detection for the food industry. This is possible because the sensor has two independent measuring elements with different characteristics that help to detect sensor drift quickly and reliably. When a drift occurs a warning signal is transmitted to the PLC.

Added value with IO-Link:

IO-Link enables the monitoring of both TCC temperature elements. In addition, a third value, which is the average of both values, is transmitted to the control system. This means three different temperature signals can be transmitted and monitored via a single cable. The redundant temperature signals allow for customised drift detection based on the machine process and offer a reliable solution where calibration of the sensor is reduced.

Cooling water monitoring in the foundry

The cooling system is of great importance for the correct functioning of an industrial furnace. This applies both to the service life and safety of the machine and to the quality of the manufactured products. In order to keep the temperature at a precise and constant level, several parameters of the cooling water such as temperature and flow need to be closely monitored. In conventional measurement structures, this requires multiple sensors and installation points throughout the machine.

Added value with IO-Link:

Using IO-Link, ifm's magnetic-inductive flow meter SM transmits three relevant values via a standard 3-wire cable: the flow rate, the temperature and the determined total quantity (totaliser). This eliminates the need for multiple costly analogue cards, pipe fittings, required termination points and excessive stock inventory.