IO-Link with Bihl+Wiedemann: Easy, Flexible & Cost-efficient

Why Should you Choose Us for IO-Link integration?

IO-Link devices are nowadays common in machines and systems. This is because IO-Link allows sensors and actuators to be connected to the control level via a cost-effective point-to-point connection. Find out more about IO-Link and the associated advantages here.   


This page mainly deals with the following question: What is the best way to integrate IO-Link? Bihl+Wiedemann offers you a sophisticated concept for this: IO-Link can be embedded perfectly in ASi-5 and our user-friendly PC software – from the device to the PLC or cloud. Our fieldbus independent solution provides more benefits than just freedom in the choice of topology, reduced wiring complexity without switches, and a smart power supply concept. Other advantages include reduced IP management complexity and low-cost IO-Link masters, which we provide with 1, 2, 4 and 8 ports. Numerous technical features also enable you to commission IO-Link devices with maximum convenience. For us, one thing is certain: There is no smarter and more economical way to integrate IO-Link.

Advantages at a Glance

Extremely Simple Commissioning

IO-Link masters can be easily integrated using our convenient configuration tool. For example, you can easily open the IODD and get graphical support for the parameterization of IO-Link devices. Live device parameterization gives you direct control over the settings while being online.


Automatic Parameterization when Replacing Devices

When using a setup multiple times, the parameters of the connected IO-Link devices can be easily copied from master to master thanks to our PC software. This applies both within and across projects. The copy feature saves a lot of time and reduces parameterization errors, especially when using many IO-Link devices.

OPC UA Server

All our ASi-5/ASi-3 gateways have an integrated OPC UA server. This enables you to transfer the process, parameter and diagnostic data of the IO-Link devices easily and cost-effectively to the cloud or HMI – a prerequisite for modern systems in the age of Industry 4.0.

Reduced IP Management Complexity

Well over 100 ASi nodes with up to 8 IO-Link devices each can be connected to our gateway via 2 ASi circuits. All signals are transferred compactly in bundles to the PLC. This way you have to assign and manage only one IP address.

Wiring Concept

The amount of effort required for wiring is reduced because all nodes – IO-Link devices, standard sensors and safety modules – are connected to an unshielded 2-core cable using piercing technology. Besides, the maximum IO-Link cable length of 20 meters plays a secondary role in our case because you can distribute the IO-Link masters anywhere on the AS-Interface cable with up to 200 meters in length.

Energy Distribution

In round cable solutions, the respective connector indirectly determines the "limit" for individual IO-Link masters and for the total current of all IO-Link masters connected in series. With ASi, no loop-through from module to module is needed . The AUX supply is done over reverse polarity protected profile cables, so each IO-Link master draws its energy individually – at 20 A per AUX cable.


While common IO-Link masters are only available from 4 ports or more, ASi also offers the possibility to efficiently integrate 1- or 2-port IO-Link masters. This means that even distributed individual IO-Link devices can be perfectly integrated. You also enjoy great freedom in the choice of topology

and can implement a star, ring, line and network structure, for example. You also gain maximum flexibility through the fieldbus independence of our IO-Link masters.

Overall Costs

Our IO-Link masters with 4 ports are, for instance, about 50 % cheaper than comparable modules from other manufacturers. This means that the costs for our gateway are recovered, for example, from just 3 IO-Link masters with 4 ports each. You also reduce your installation workload and benefit from the elimination of switches and pre-assembled cables. Click here to view our main cost comparison.


IO-Link with Bihl+Wiedemann

  • The IO-Link master is integrated as an ASi node into the ASi network

  • IO-Link devices can be integrated into the ASi network along with standard sensors, standard actuators and safety components

  • All process data (up to 32 bytes per port) of the IO-Link devices is available via the cyclic ASi communication.

  • All IO-Link parameters can be conveniently adjusted through the B+W Software Suite or acyclically via the control system

  • Diagnostic information from IO-Link available via ASi

  • Our IO-Link masters can be optimally combined with IO-Link devices from any manufacturer

  • If an IO-Link device needs to be replaced, its parameters are stored in the IO-Link master and are transferred automatically to the new one.


Instead of Connecting IO Hubs to IO-Link Masters, use our IO Modules Directly

In order to collect many digital I/Os, IO hubs and IO-Link master ports are often used - there is great potential for optimization here. Simply use an ASi-5 self-configuring I/O module from Bihl+Wiedemann: The 16 digital signals of the BWU4230 can be used as inputs or outputs in any desired way - and can be integrated without the detour via IO-Link. By simply integrating digital I/Os via ASi, you do not need any additional IO-Link masters and also transmit the standard signals significantly faster. At the same time, there is no need for M12 connection cables between IO-Link I/O hubs and IO-Link master ports.


The maximum IO-Link cable length of 20 meters is also irrelevant. Find out here why this is the case.


More Information

IO-Link Products

All IO-Link masters offer up to 32 bytes of cyclic process data per port and up to 4 x 16 bits of usable data are available in 1.27 ms each. The Bihl+Wiedemann software suites always enable convenient parameterization.

ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master with 4 Ports, IP67

  • 4 × IO-Link Ports, e. g.:

ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master with 4 Ports, IP20

Active Distributor
ASi-5 / IO-Link Master

  • 1 IO-Link Port Class A (BWU4748), Power supply of IO-Link ports out of ASi
  • 1 IO-Link Port Class B (BWU4088)

    ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master with 8 Ports, IP67

    • 8 × IO-Link Ports Class A in one housing (BWU4386)
    • Additional I/O Signal on pin 2

    ASi-5/ASi-3 Gateways with Safety Monitor

    • Compatible with existing networks
    • 1.27 ms cycle time for up to 384 input and 384 output bits
    • Most powerful platform by Bihl+Wiedemann
    • ASi Safety integrated
    • Safe fieldbus protocol

    ASi-5/ASi-3 Gateways in Stainless Steel

    • Compatible with existing networks
    • 1.27 ms cycle time for up to 384 input and 384 output bits
    • Cost-effective solution for all standard applications from Bihl+Wiedemann
    • Feldbus systems, e. g.:

    StarterKit ASi-5 / IO-Link

    (BW4211, BW4229)

    • Set consisting of:
      • ASi-5/ASi-3 PROFINET Gateway (BWU3847
      • ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master with 4 Ports, IP67, M12 (BWU4067)
      • Bihl+Wiedemann Software Suite for Configuration, Diagnostics and Commissioning (BW2902)
    • Starter kit is shipped fully assembled and wired in a convenient case
    • Cost-effective version for starting with ASi-5
    • Sufficient space for installing your own IO-Link sensor

    Compatible with all common fieldbuses

    • EtherNet/IP + ModbusTCP
    • EtherCAT
    • Sercos


    Safe fieldbus protocols are supported

    • PROFIsafe
    • CIP Safety
    • Safety over EtherCAT


    Jochen Bihl explains why ASi and IO-Link are ideal partners on the field level. With ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master by Bihl+Wiedemann you can incorporate intelligent IO-Link sensors and actuators into ASi – right where they are located.

    Video length: 2:58

    Jochen Bihl introduces the ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master with 4 ports from Bihl+Wiedemann. The ASi-5 module can transmit up to 32 bytes of I/O cyclic data – which fits IO-Link perfectly. By default the modules transmit over AS-i a total of 8 bytes – 2 bytes per port – in 1.27 ms.


    Video length: 2:39

    IO-Link is an integral part of ASi-5. Paul Werge, Product Manager at Bihl+Wiedemann presents the new ASi-5 Module with inetgrated O-Link Master at Hanover Fair 2019. The new ASi-5 Module with integrated IO-Link Master is able to integrate any IO-Link devices into ASi. Up to 32 bytes of process data can be configured.


    Video length: 1:43



    Bihl+Wiedemann IO-Link masters can be optimally combined with IO-Link devices from various manufacturers. Paul Werge will give you several examples as to how easy it is to parameterize the IO-Link devices. For a Festo valve terminal, a Zimmer gripper and a Banner tower lamp


    Video length: 1:37

    André Bideaux, member of the Bihl+Wiedemann sales team, presents the advantages of our IO-Link solution and two new products: The 1-port IO-Link master (BWU4748), which is powered entirely from ASi, and the 8-port master (BWU4386).


    Video length: 1:08

    IO-Link Safety Solutions from Bihl+Wiedemann

    IO-Link Safety is an extension of IO-Link. There is an additional safety communication layer on the master and device side. These become the "Fail-Safe (FS) master" and "Fail-Safe (FS) device". Bihl+Wiedemann is in the process of developing its own "FS master". IO-Link is already a perfect match for the safety components of Bihl+Wiedemann.

    FAQ about IO-Link

    The open IO-Link interface requires only a simple standard industrial cable. Intelligent sensors and actuators can be connected in a cost-efficient manner on an unshielded three- or five-wire cable. For point-to-point communication, each IO-Link device needs an IO-Link master.

    The IO-Link master handles the communication to the intelligent sensors and actuators. It enables parameterization, diagnostics and access to the cyclic data by means of a connection to the control system.

    Reduced machine-related costs

    A cost-efficient standard cable establishes a connection up to 20 meters long between the IO-Link master and IO-Link device.


    High machine availability

    Downtimes are reduced because when a defective IO-Link device is replaced, its parameters are automatically transferred to the new sensor by the IO-Link master or control system.


    Efficient operation

    IO-Link devices can be positioned in the machine directly at the work site. These do not have to be accessible for parameterization.


    Demand-oriented maintenance

    Continuous diagnostic data of the entire process lengthen maintenance intervals, since systems and machines need to be maintained much less frequently due to the automatic readjustment via IO-Link


    More information about the advantages of IO-Link

    It is possible to extend existing bus systems. As a prerequisite, the system mapping of IO-Link for the respective bus system must be already implemented. It is particularly easy to use IO-Link in conjunction with the ASi intelligent wiring system. Thanks to piercing technology, corresponding IO-Link masters can be easily retrofitted where they are needed.

    Do you have questions about our products and solutions?

    ASi – A resource-saving technology

    Thanks to the greatly reduced wiring effort with AS-Interface, you save assembly and material costs. This saves valuable resources.


    More information!