IO-Link expert Sai Seidel-Sridhavan is convinced of the usability and easy integration of IO-Link devices in Profinet systems

SIDI Enables Direct Integration of IO-Link Devices

With SIDI (Simple IO-Link Device Integration), Turck's IO-Link masters enable the integration of IO-Link devices directly from the Profinet engineering – without any additional software or programming needed. Turck is thus opening up the engineering benefits of the Profinet world also for IO-Link installations, and in this way making the IO-Link standard also attractive for die-hard Profinet fans. Frank Nolte, deputy chief editor of technical journal etz, spoke to Turck's product marketing manager Sai Seidel-Sridhavan about IO-Link and the new tool.


Mr. Seidel-Sridhavan, why has the integration of IO-Link devices in Profinet systems been so complicated to date?

IO-Link commissioning tasks are normally carried out with an IO-Link tool. However, these tools always have to be started from engineering tools or externally and are therefore ultimately separate to the usual user's environment. A real integration in Profinet systems has not been available for this. 


Weren't the IODD interpreters developed for this?

Although the IODD interpreters are part of these tools, they do not support the integration in Profinet systems. IODD interpreters only provide for the human-readable implementation of the IODD file, which with its XML format is more suitable for machines. Tools are thus able to process the structures and texts contained in the file and support the user in commissioning, but just not the integration in Profinet.


Does your new SIDI function for IO-Link masters now provide a solution?

SIDI enables users without the tools mentioned to configure a system directly in a Profinet engineering software such as TIA Portal. In this way IO-Link devices can be set for commissioning with a minimum of effort. For this, we use existing Profinet processes that users are already familiar with and supplement them with IO-Link relevant information. SIDI offers you some of this work already prepared and enables you to concentrate on the essential properties of the devices. When the device configuration for your machine is completed, you also automatically integrate the IO-Link devices via the GSDML of the IO-Link master – just like all other Profinet device.

»As SIDI uses the Profinet mechanism, the data of the IO-Link parameters is stored in the engineering project. This means that users can choose for themselves whether to trust the IO-Link data or the Profinet variant.«


Sai Seidel-Sridhavan | Product Marketing Manager

What are the outstanding features of SIDI?

Its usability. Straightforward processes always shorten the commissioning times required. Imagine having a number of IO-Link devices that you have to integrate in the configuration. Generic devices can be selected in the device configuration of the IO-Link master. These can be used to integrate all IO-Link-capable components that are available on the market. You already have here the possibility to assign the IO-Link port uniquely via the vendor and device ID and define the process data width. However, you can obtain even more data in advance for some components on the market. This therefore naturally completes the integration of devices from different manufacturers and of course also from Turck in the GSDML. 


What does that mean exactly?

Users can already see the product name and the manufacturer in plain text when selecting the device. They can choose the device and thus also have access to the IO-Link parameters of the IO-Link devices in addition to the vendor and device ID. The user therefore no longer has to integrate the IODD separately since this information is already provided. This means a considerable time saving and thus offers our customers a clear benefit. As SIDI uses the Profinet mechanism, the data of the IO-Link parameters is also stored in the engineering project. This means that users can choose for themselves whether to trust the IO-Link data or the Profinet variant. While both are possible, their degrees of acceptance vary. 


Is the function integrated as standard in all your IO-Link masters, and does it cover all IO-Link sensors from Turck?

All Turck block I/O modules with an IO-Link master come already factory shipped with the SIDI function. This applies to the products of the TBEN series with IP67/IP69K protection and the IP20 FEN series with multiprotocol operation, as well as the safety hybrid modules of the TBPN series with Profisafe and Profinet. All Turck's IO-Link devices are already integrated.

SIDI Integrates IO-Link Devices in Profinet

SIDI simplifies the handling of IO-Link devices in Profinet engineering systems. As the devices are already integrated in the GSDML file of the master, users can select the devices from the device library and integrate them in their projects.

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How open is the library? How can the IO-Link devices of third-party suppliers be integrated?

Turck's entire IO-Link portfolio and also the IO-Link devices of our optical sensor partner Banner Engineering are included in the GSDML. Some other market relevant devices in the actuator field are also included. This list of third party suppliers is being continually checked and extended. The file is regularly updated as soon as new components are added at product launches. 


How is compatibility and functionality ensured?

Each component in SIDI is tested and checked on the IO-Link masters by our integration laboratory. The functionality is ensured through the standardization of Profinet. 


Wouldn't something like the IODDfinder also be ideal for SIDI?

A flexible GSDML that is fed from the IODDfinder cannot be implemented today. Turck has fully integrated the IODDfinder in the IODD DTM interpreter, which supplies the PACTware configuration software. This offers the clear benefit of the IODDfinder in finding connected devices quickly. A complete integration of IODDs with the IODDfinder in an engineering system would definitely be the logical solution here.


Author | The interview was conducted by Frank Nolte, deputy chief editor of technical publication etz elektrotechnik & automation

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