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Market survey about IO-Link in the German machinery industry

Users are content with IO-Link, boost expected until 2016

According to a market survey about IO-Link from Quest TechnoMarketing at the end of 2013 the very most machine-builders are content with IO-Link. IO-Link is on the brink of a dynamic intensified use until 2016.

13% of the machine-builders using IO-Link

May 28th, 2014 - At first IO-Link has been developing step by step and continuously from 1% in 2007 to 13% at the end of 2013. Now a boost is imminent.


Boost until 2016

Until 2016 47% of the machine-builders want to use IO-Link, i.e. almost each second one! That means almost a triple increase in the next three years.


Also the use of IO-Link at the machines is to expand. The number of machines with IO-Link will grow more strongly than that of the machine production by 15% to 2016.


Finally the current users aim for the future to implement much more sensors with IO-Link per machine. Of course, the future first users do not have such a view sharpened from experience yet. Accordingly these machine-builders intend still relatively few IO-Link sensors per machine.


What is the security for the fact that IO-Link will win more users and will intensified be implemented at the machines in the future?

Current users are unified content with IO-Link

The possible benefit of IO-Link was comprehensively highlighted by nine aspects of use in the interviews.

  • More than 90% of the users are content with the four benefits „fieldbus-independent connection, three-core standard cable, condition-based maintenance and reduced control cabinet.

Machine-builders are content with IO-Link.
Source: "Use and acceptance of IO-Link until 2016 in the German machinery industry". Market survey by Quest TechnoMarketing 2014.
  • More than 80% of the users are content with the benefit of the unscreened cable as well as with the feature that the IO link master stores the sensor parameters.
  • With the assigning of the sensor parameters through the control system, the sensor smart profile and IO-Link’s downward compatibility for binary sensors over 70% of the users are satisfied.

IO-Link reduces costs by up to 30%

On top of that 13% of the users called cost reduction as a benefit of IO-Link. A machine tool-builder justifies a cost reduction by 30%:

  • „The first crucial point is the reduction of the installation expenses, combined with cost reduction. We estimate the cost reduction with 30%. These 30% are a mix for more expensive hardware, reduced installation costs and saving regarding the coworkers’ work times. On the one hand the cost saving is not always immediately apparent for a procurement manager as he is only looking at the prices. At first all field bus systems are more expensive than the discrete wiring. On the other hand just the mix of work time for installation and startup together with the material costs reduces total costs to 30%. “

Reasons not to use IO-Link

53% of the machine-builders do not want to implement IO-Link until 2016. Over half of these machine-builders call for operating conditions at the machines or their characteristics and sizes.

  • That doesn’t prove its worth with us. We have too few sensors. And the temperature sensors are installed directly analogue/digital.“ (Rubber/plastics machines)
  • „We have shortcuts; sensors are already supplied with cable of 1-6, max. 8 m length, on request even also with connector“ (Wood processing machines)
  • „Because we are using a well-known technique, a solution that works. We do not expect any cost savings through IO-Link because intelligent sensors will become thereby more expensive and there are to bypass no large distances within the devices. The machine’s wiring is more favorable with the existing solution.“ (Printing/paper handling machines)

Representative market survey

The study interviewed nearly 200 companies, i.e. 30% of the machine-builders in 10 important mechanical engineering sectors with 100 and more employees about IO-Link.