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Flexible functionality

25 April 2022

CDA asks Craig Cookson, UK applications engineer at Murrelektronik about the company's new IO-Link system

CDA: Murrelektronik has recently expanded its IO-Link portfolio. Can you tell us about the new products?

CC: ​We have expanded our portfolio both in 'Master' devices and 'Slave' devices. We have added Masters in two of our core fieldbus ranges – Impact and MVK. The new Impact Pro and MVK Pro are both 8 port IO link master devices with all eight connecting ports having fully flexible functionality. Each port has the possibility to be an IO-Link master (pin 4 only) or fully useable as an input or output (both pins 4 and 2 on all ports). In addition to providing more IO-link ports, the system currents have also increased with 2A available per pin and 4A for each port in total current and 2x16A supplies via an M12 L coded power pin into the block and daisy chainable to the next fieldbus device.

The new slave devices are all about flexibility to suit your application. Our original IO-Link hubs offer the simplicity of 'plug and play' with minimal configuration required so were presented as fixed input devices or fixed input and output devices. However, the slave hubs in new our range are fully flexible being input/output devices so each pin on each port can be configured as the user needs. There is also an M8 port offering for the IO link hubs, enabling a more compact field mounted device.

CDA: What are the products designed to do? ​

CC: The new products are designed for flexibility in design and commissioning; our IO link fieldbus products have always offered flexibility to a degree, but these new products are far more advanced, offering an expanded number of master ports and flexible Input/Output pins on slaves. By having the eight ports as master we also can enable IIoT integration and have tested for parallel access using IIoT protocols.

CDA: What applications are the new products aimed at? ​

CC: These new IO Link modules are suitable for most applications. But my advice is, talk to us first. We offer a free system consultation service and can answer all your questions about all systems with different focuses and requirements, making the best recommendation for your application. IO-link can offer so many benefits in terms of flexibility, in my experience working with machine builders, there is frequently a need for a specification change or an additional requirement that only becomes apparent during build. An IO Link system is flexible enough to soak that additional requirement easily, as a spare port can expand the basic IO, connect to a smart sensor, or be used for analogue converter so these additions/changes don’t have as great an impact on the timescale or profit realised from the project.
CDA: Why are there eight multifunctional class A/B ports? What would these be used for?

CC: ​IO-link class A is a smart device with IO-link communication, that only needs a single power source. This primary power source normally powers the chip and logic for comms and basic input information, it can be used for outputs but then there is the risk of losing that communication under overload or short circuit condition. However with class B there is a second current carrying pair and supply, meaning that any output IO link devices won’t lose connection and communication if any problems are experienced making our additional diagnostics still available for better issue resolution and speedier fixes as the required parts may be obtained before having to go and investigate.
CDA: How beneficial are these to companies developing IIoT solutions/equipment?

CC: If IIOT solutions are a focus then the new master products, Impact and MVK Pro are a must! Using IO-Link for additional smart data fields is the only way to really achieve these goals. With our tested and protected systems providing focused diagnostics, there is no better device to retrieve this data. We have seen this goal and realised devices ideal for retrieving the IIOT data and tested the devices in the most common methods and protocols.