Utilizing the widely accepted IO-Link open point-to-point technology, a new distributed modular I/O from Balluff is fieldbus-independent and easily configured for use with a wide variety of factory networks.
The idea of putting an Ethernet connector on a sensor (RJ-45 was used in the article) as being to large, too inconvenient. M-12 threaded connectors also provide Ethernet connectivity. They have a different keying so that they cannot be mixed with regular M-12 connectors, the most common connector for sensors today. Connector is not a reason to reject Ethernet.
IO-Link in combination with Ethernet in its various protocols sounds very promising though. I'm looking forward to seeing IO-Link/Ethernet adapters gain much higher industrial visibility.
I 'd like to hear more about how this will combine with RFID and ethernet. Once these get to be ubiquitous and connected to the internet we will have an Internet of things and Sensors. With the advent of distributed AI, we can just call it skynet.
The new composites manufacturing innovation center is intended to be a source of grand challenges for industry, like the kind that got us to the moon under JFK. These aren't the words its new CEO Craig Blue used, but that's the idea and the vision behind the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI).
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.