IO-Link is transforming food and beverage manufacturing

Ifm’s IO-Link has the potential to help revolutionise your manufacturing processes and is perfectly aligned with the rise of Industry 4.0. 

With the rise of Industry 4.0, ifm’s IO-Link emerges as a game-changer for industry offering a powerful solution especially within the food and beverage sector with sensor technology being the backbone of production.

Thanks to real-time data insights from sensors, manufacturing is now streamlined and efficient. Food safety can also be guaranteed with advanced monitoring and predictive maintenance preventing poor quality product entering the market and costly recalls which impacts brand reputation.

Close monitoring of precious resources can reduce consumption which reduces the cost of running a factory. This can now be optimised which minimises waste and removes impacts on the environment.

IO-Link is a manufacturer-independent communication system that connects sensors and actuators directly to automation systems, thus unlocking a wealth of benefits which includes enhanced efficiency, improved production, higher quality assurance and overall reduction of costs.

Standard, unshielded cables create simplified installations and maintenance processes by replacing costly and complex wiring systems, saving time and money.

Predictive maintenance tools such as ifm’s IIoT platform, moneo, work with IO-Link to identify potential issues before they become critical.

This is achieved by unlocking previously untapped data which creates a higher level of data visibility.

IO-Link sensors go far beyond basic on and off signals, providing detailed process data and diagnostic information for users.

This data allows for remote access and insights by monitoring and analysing data in real-time, enabling informed decision-making from anywhere and at any time.

Having IO-Link onsite within manufacturing and processing facilities allows for a broader opportunity for scalability and flexibility, which is extremely easy to expand.

Adding and adapting new sensors, instrumentation and actuators is now seamless which is especially important with ever evolving production needs.

IO-Link is a future-proof technology which adheres to international standards, ensuring compatibility with future advancements.

Real-world examples

Aerofloat, a wastewater treatment specialist, leverages IO-Link to optimise plant operations. They gain valuable insights into process efficiency and identify maintenance needs early, minimising downtime and ensuring regulatory compliance.

“ifm are well known for reliable and high-quality products, so having their brand associated with Aerofloat is a great selling point for us,” said Tim McCann, operations manager at Aerofloat.

“Technologically speaking, ifm’s IO-Link technology suits us as a business perfectly because it saves us and our customers on time and wiring costs.

“We also gain more visibility in terms of data collection than we’d otherwise have with traditional instruments.”

Michael Anderson, general manager at Aerofloat, adds that because ifm has so many instruments in their portfolio, there are always new products that can be added to Aerofloat’s arsenal in servicing its wastewater plants:

“With IO-Link, if we want to add a new instrument in later, I really like that we don’t have to upgrade our control panel,” he said.

“Where traditionally you would want more PLC inputs and outputs on analogue signalling, we can just get this instrument into one of the field modules – which is fast and straightforward.

“Having that scalability, flexibility, and ease of addon functionalities is very important in helping us respond not only to customer demands – but also to potential changes to the regulatory structures that govern our industry.”

Major food manufacturers utilise IO-Link for precise temperature and pressure control, among other key data, ensuring consistent product quality and reducing energy consumption.

ifm’s comprehensive portfolio of IO-Link sensors, masters, and software caters to the specific needs of the food and beverage industry. This commitment to innovation empowers manufacturers to:

  • Boost productivity and profitability
  • Enhance product quality and safety
  • Minimise environmental impact
  • Embrace the future of food and beverage manufacturing with IO-Link.

Key features of IO-Link

  • IEC 61131-9 compliant: Global standard for digital communication protocols
  • Point-to-point communication: Simplifies setup and integration.
  • Ethernet compatibility: Seamless connection to existing fieldbus systems which includes: Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, Modbus TCP, EtherCat, MQTT and JSON.

Benefits of IO-Link

  • Standard M8 or M12 cables up to 20 metres
  • Easy and cost-effective installation.
  • Increased data exchange
  • Gain deeper insights into your production processes.
  • Digital data transmission
  • Eliminates conversion losses and ensures accuracy.
  • Software-based parameter setting and monitoring
  • Streamline sensor management.
  • Event and diagnostic data logging: Preventative maintenance and troubleshooting.

IO-Link unlocks the hidden potential of your sensors, providing valuable data that was previously trapped.

You can also connect your sensors to your SAP interface for real-time monitoring and proactive maintenance as well as identify failing sensors before they cause disruptions, ensuring smooth production flow.

With its flexibility and scalability, IO-Link empowers you to adapt to changing regulations and customer demands. Invest in a future-proof technology that will drive your food and beverage business to success.

Ready to experience the transformation? Visit ifm’s website, www.ifm.com/au/en, to learn more about IO-Link.

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