New liaison: IT/OT convergence by combining IO-Link and mioty

August 23, 2023

In a significant move towards enhancing industrial IoT capabilities, the IO-Link community and the mioty alliance have joined forces to intensify their collaboration. The two entities have established a collaborative working group dedicated to integrating IO-Link (IODD) data models seamlessly into the mioty standard. This strategic partnership aims to enable the deployment of low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies for industrial IO-Link applications, facilitating enhanced connectivity and data transfer in the industrial landscape.

The IO-Link community, known for its globally standardized bidirectional communication technology (IEC 61131-9) for sensors and actuators, and the mioty alliance, renowned for its innovative LPWAN protocol, are converging their strengths to bridge the gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT). The newly formed working group focuses on merging the robust software tools of IO-Link with mioty’s wireless technology prowess. This synergistic approach envisions a harmonious integration of device on-boarding processes and the comprehensive system architecture of IODD, ensuring optimal compatibility.

By combining the strengths of IO-Link, which initially found its roots in industrial automation on the OT level, and mioty technology, which originates from smart city, smart building, and smart metering applications, an unprecedented opportunity emerges. This collaboration creates a holistic bridge that facilitates the seamless transfer of pertinent data from the OT level to higher-level IT systems. The adoption of mioty’s robust wireless technology unlocks the potential to implement novel applications in the industrial sector that were once limited by cost or feasibility constraints. Leveraging established IoT system architectures and security concepts, this partnership lays the foundation for analogous systems, including those within the realm of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

At the core of this collaboration lies mioty—a pioneering LPWAN protocol tailored for reliable networking in the realm of massive IoT deployments. Distinguished by its reliability and scalability, mioty excels in scenarios with numerous IoT nodes distributed over expansive distances. Employing telegram-splitting technology as defined by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI TS 103 357), mioty ensures robust data transfer through multiple packets transmitted at varying times and frequencies. This approach not only ensures high immunity to interference but also contributes to exceptionally low power consumption.

Complementing mioty’s wireless prowess is the IO-Link technology—a globally standardized communication protocol for sensors and actuators. IO-Link’s key advantage lies in its ability to integrate even the simplest sensors and actuators into diverse fieldbus systems with minimal effort. With over 22,000 distinct products and more than 36 million nodes deployed worldwide, IO-Link has earned its position as one of the fastest-growing technologies in industrial automation.

The partnership between the IO-Link community and the mioty alliance aims to seamlessly merge mioty technology with the IO-Link ecosystem, thereby expanding the scope of applications that were once deemed unfeasible. This collaboration streamlines integration, offering users a plug-and-play experience, eliminating time-consuming configurations. Members of the mioty alliance can harness the benefits of describing specific sensor data via the IODD—a distinct advantage over traditional LPWAN technologies, making the integration of new sensors into existing systems more straightforward.

For IO-Link members, the collaboration brings forth new possibilities through cable-free transmission technology that ensures reliable and energy-efficient data transfer over extensive distances. The uniform description file built upon IODD principles breaks down the barriers of the existing IO-Link landscape, enabling applications previously unattainable. Simultaneously, this integration supports the seamless inclusion of thousands of sensors within a network without hampering the performance of other wireless systems like WLAN.

In essence, the cooperation between the IO-Link Community and the mioty alliance signifies a pivotal stride towards a broader communication standard, transcending the limitations of cables or traditional wireless technologies. This collaboration not only amplifies industry networking but also sets the stage for a future where the boundaries of IoT and IIoT are pushed to new horizons. The amalgamation of IO-Link and mioty technologies ushers in a vibrant ecosystem for innovative applications, propelling industries towards unprecedented levels of efficiency and connectivity.

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