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Unlocking efficiency: Witness the power of IO-Link in smart factories!

ifm specializes in automation technology. With over 50 years of experience in industial manufacturing, we are your reliable partner for the implementation of the smart factory.  Watch the videos below from just a few of our global customers using who have implemented ifm's Industry 4.0 solutions with IO-Link-enabled products in various applications.

Replace traditional analog sensors with 100% digital IO-Link sensors

NEREUS develops and produces compact filter pump systems for the filtration of wastewater. With ifm, they have a reliable partner for pressure, temperature, level and conductivity instruments. Improve process data accuracy and eliminate analog signal losses with IO-Link.

IO-Link from ifm increases the efficiency of TechnoAlpin's snow cannons

Technoalpin is a manufacturer of snow cannons based in South Tyrol, Italy. Reliability is of upmost concern for the snow cannons and pumping stations. Equipment downtime can cost the ski resort lost revenue. IO-Link technology allows the user to conveniently evaluate all data, such as flow rates and other system parameters, and adjust them as required.

Optimize resource consumption

The DFA Demonstration Factory in the Smart Logistics Cluster on the RWTH Aachen,Germany campus provides the unique opportunity to research Industry 4.0 issues in a university environment with a real production space. The SD flow meter is used to optimize the consumption of protective weld gas during laser cutting. By employing IO-Link technology, the SD flow meter delivers real-time data on multiple process data values, including volumetric flow quantity and temperature. Furthermore, IO-Link enables direct access to additional diagnostic information and allows for remote parameterization of the flow meter, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the laser cutting operations.

Embrace flexibility and scalability with IO-Link sensors

Skanderborg Brewery in Denmark is a labor of love, passionately run and promoted by dedicated beer enthusiasts who volunteer their time. Only 3 years after it’s founding, the brewery was expanded to meet demand. For this expansion, the brewery wisely opted for instruments equipped with IO-Link, avoiding the inaccuracies typically associated with A/D converters when using analog signals. With IO-Link technology, handling recipe changes became a breeze, thanks to automatic device setup and remote parameter changes. Moreover, the availability of diagnostic data from ifm sensors played a pivotal role in enhancing both reliability and product quality. The sensors can effectively detect heavy build-up or differentiate between media.

Traditional brewery equips tanks with IO-Link

Marston's Company owns 6 breweries and about 1600 pubs in Great Britain. In cooperation with ifm, the company installed a modern and functional system to ensure constant, reliable and simple monitoring of tank level using IO-Link sensors.

Digital upgrade using IO-Link sensors to provide more information for better processes

Starrag Technology GmbH produces machine tools equipped with IO-Link sensors from ifm. Implementing Industry 4.0 creates a digital silhouette of a plant to optimize processes. IO-Link unlocks previously trapped essential information for machine control from many sensors already installed.

The complex machine tools require sensors to monitor all media and to ensure optimum operating efficiency, tight tolerances are required for temperature, pressure and flow.

Dietmar Wallenstein, e-construction and commissioning department manager at Starrag Technologies, says, “One of IO-Link’s great advantages is the automated data backup of the sensor data that takes place in the background. Each sensor (device) sends its parameter sets automatically to the IO-Link master. There, they will be mirrored and stored as a backup.  As soon as a sensor is replaced, the data is exchanged automatically with the new device. The parameter data will then be transferred automatically from the IO-Link master to the IO-Link device. This makes it a lot easier to replace a sensor and it reduces machine downtime significantly in case of a fault.  At the same time, this reduces the workload of the service and maintenance staff."

Modern process sensors from ifm often provide more than just one measured value. Dietmar Wallenstein says, "Often, a sensor processes more than just one physical value. In addition to volumetric flow quantity or pressure, for example, it is also possible to read the medium temperature via the IO-Link interface. In the past, we needed two sensors for this. Therefore, implementing IO-Link saves money for hardware, wiring and mounting since one sensor provides the same data previously provided by two sensors."

Sensors offer a considerable additional value if they are equipped with IO-Link. Dietmar Wallenstein summarizes the advantages for Starrag Technology:

"Everyone is talking about Industry 4.0, and of course we at Starrag are not ignorant of this megatrend. When it comes to mechanical engineering, we think in particular about digital machine upgrading. This is why we opt for IO-Link. Thanks to low-cost robust interfaces, the sensors provide us with more information about the process, which then can be more efficiently evaluated and optimized. This is one of the great advantages of IO-Link and a sensor feature contributing to Industry 4.0."

Optimize energy generation using IO-Link

Ramaplast is an injection molding company that maintains and operates its own power plant to supply electricity and heating / cooling for production lines. The use of IO-link provides transparency to the process, minimizes unplanned downtime and optimizes energy management.

Condition-based maintenance and energy monitoring in the body shop

The company IVECO implements automated solutions for condition monitoring of production plants. This improves maintenance planning, saves energy costs and increases production efficiency.

Vibration sensors are installed on all mechanical system parts to look for wear. Flow sensors are also used to monitor central cooling systems and compressed air systems for leaks. 

All sensors transmit their measured values digitally via IO-Link. Roberto Militello, Body Shop Maintenance IVECO SPA: "IO-Link transmits the data digitally for reliable process control. The measured value is converted into digital data in the sensor and forwarded. Moreover, we can program the switching points of the sensor for early warnings and alarm directly from the server without having to approach the sensor locally. We can see the sensor in the server and calibrate it.  Programming after replacement is no longer required.“

Imminent damage is now detected at an early stage without any unplanned production downtime. Guiseppe Sotira, Body Shop Technical Engineering IVECO SPA summarizes "Thanks to this cooperation with ifm, IVECO is ideally prepared for Industry 4.0“.

Easy parameter setting, fast data exchange, remote maintenance and big savings in wiring

The company SFH, founded in Saint-Étienne France in 1981, makes fluid systems and swarf handling systems.

In 2017, SFH decided to further develop the machines in their plant and to optimize automation. The focus was put on digital manufacturing and solutions of Industry 4.0.  In this respect, SFH use ifm IO-Link sensors and masters. By equipping all machines with IO-Link, SFH saw many benefits. Wiring and commissioning of the machines requires 30% less time than before. Maintenance is better planned through sensor diagnostic data. Automatic device replacement of sensors ensures that saved parameters are transferred to new devices quickly.