The IO-Link protocol allows the user to connect a complex device such as an RFID processor to an industrial network via a gateway using standard discrete sensor wiring.
To simplify network topology and PLC setup, the IO-Link block treats the RFID data like standard I/O points and can reduce costs by running multiple RFID readers off one I/O block using standard, 3-conductor sensor cables. According to Balluff, the typical savings is 12 percent per ID point.
In addition, the Balluff solution can replace the I/O enclosure, four shielded cordsets, and a 4-port RS232 PLC module with a single IO-Link Expansion Module and four 3-conductor, non-shielded cordsets. Additional I/O points are made available by the Expansion Module that can be used for analog devices, pressure sensors, discrete sensors, or a combination of these.