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Expanded IO-Link range from RS Components addresses demands for data capabilities down to sensor and actuator level

Simple, effective and flexible communication infrastructure sees massive expansion in RS product range

OXFORD, UK, 24 August, 2017 – RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, has expanded its range of IO-Link compatible hardware and ancillaries, more than quadrupling stock of IO-Link compatible devices over the past six months.

IO-Link, the first standardised IO technology (to IEC 61131-9) for communication with sensors and actuators, will play an important part in the growing creation and adoption of fully connected solutions based around Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) concepts.

Although the concept is very simple, IO-Link represents a huge milestone in sensor technology for industrial customers. Machine and panel builders, designers, research and development engineers and maintenance personnel will all gain from its flexibility and its standardisation on M5, M8 and M12 connectors. The majority of IO-Link devices are equipped with M12 connectors, which can be used without any restrictions for IO-Link’s switching mode and communication mode.

Created by leading sensor manufacturers – including SICK, OMRON, ifm technology, BALLUFF, Baumer, Rockwell Automation and Pepperl + Fuchs – IO-Link’s point-to-point communication (which is Fieldbus independent) is based on long-established three-wire sensor and actuator connections, without additional requirements regarding the cable material.

Each port of an IO-Link master is capable of processing binary switching signals and analogue values, with serial IO-Link communication taking place via the same port. Easy wiring, automated parameter-setting and extended diagnosis add even more functionality to the impressive mix of capabilities.

All of these features combine to deliver multiple benefits, including reduced design and installation efforts and costs, reduced complexity, enhanced design flexibility, and standardisation of cabling and interfaces. Of particular importance to the IIoT-based smart factory approach, IO-Link sensors can be leveraged as an easy and affordable continuous source of information, thanks to the new data-capable connection paths down to the lowest automation level.

Primary applications will be seen in motion control, robotics, machine safety and process solutions, among others, across a great many industries, including food and beverage, packaging, assembly solutions and transportation.

Further information about IO-Link devices available from RS is available here: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/c/?searchTerm=io+link

About RS Components
RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping around 50,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2017 had revenues of £1.51bn.

For more information, please visit the website at www.rs-online.com.

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