“The bus system AS-Interface (ASi) and IO-Link with its point-to-point wiring are ideal partners on the field level,” says Jan Melter, head of marketing at Bihl+Wiedemann. “ASi is a simple, robust and cost-efficient way to connect sensors and actuators in the field with just a single profile cable. With the ASi-5 Slave/IO-Link Master with four ports, intelligent IO-Link sensors and actuators can now also be integrated into ASi networks, right where they are required.”
The yellow ASi cable transmits power and data at the same time. Important benefits of ASi are drastically reduced wiring effort, free choice of topology and cost-efficient integration of safety on the same infrastructure, as well as other things. In addition, ASi doesn’t need any plugs for the connection of data and power.
ASi-5 is the latest generation of the globally standardized fieldbus system for the first level of automation. “It replaces centralized solutions with complex parallel wiring, as well as field devices with expensive Ethernet-based fieldbus interfaces,” explains Melter.
As former generations, ASi-5 was again jointly developed by multiple manufacturers. The result is an extension to the sophisticated ASi technique with high data bandwidth and the short cycle times. This opens up new options, such as transmitting analog values faster and making it easier to integrate IO-Link sensors with up to 32 bytes.
“IO-Link is a perfect way to give sensors and actuators some kind of intelligence, as it provides the interface for giving additional diagnostic data,” says Melter. “In order to connect the sensors and actuators in a simple, robust and cost-efficient way, ASi is the perfect match.” ASi-5 also is backward-compatible, so slaves of multiple generations can be combined in existing or new ASi networks by using the Bihl+Wiedemann ASi-5/ASi-3 Gateways.
The ASi-5 Slave/IO-Link Master with four ports allows intelligent IO-Link sensors to be integrated in the ASi network, right where they’re needed. The ASi-5 slave can cyclically transmit up to 32 bytes of I/O data. In default mode, the Bihl+Wiedemann ASi-5 Slave/IO-Link Master transmits 8 bytes—2 bytes/port—in 1.27 ms.
“The all-new ASi-5 as the latest generation of the globally standardized cabling system gives the ASi-5 Slave/IO-Link Master power to transmit the rising amount of cyclic data, as well as acyclic diagnostic data,” explains Melter. “We are talking about up to 16-bit cyclic data per port in 1.27ms.”
The ASi-5 Slave/IO-Link Master is available rated IP67 with M12 connectors and IP20 with terminals. Both offer two Class A and two Class B IO-Link ports in one housing, including power supply of IO-Link ports out of the auxiliary, as well as passive-safety with a performance level up to PLe.
Configuration of IO-Link sensors and actuators is easy and convenient using the ASi Control Tools360/ASIMON360. With the live view the parameters can be set and changes observed directly over the network. Even in case of a sensor fault the system is easy to use, as a new sensor will be parametrized automatically exactly like the replaced one.
“With the extended diagnostic information coming with most IO-Link modules, the industry has the base of data available for what one could call Industry 4.0 or digitalization,” says Melter. “Most of the Industry 4.0 applications rely on these data, for example, big-data analysis and predictive maintenance. With the integrated OPC UA server, the Bihl+Wiedemann ASi-5/ASi-3 Gateway also comes with the perfect interface to easily have access to all the collected data.”
In 1995, the first ASi Master certified by the AS-International Association was introduced by Bihl+Wiedeman. ASi-5 products were introduced by Bihl+Wiedemann in 2018.