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How does IO-Link work? IO-Link sensors are connected to IO-Link Masters, which in turn can be integrated into any existing industrial fieldbus environment. This flexibility, as well as the robust IO-Link topology, makes IO-Link systems scalable and adaptable to various control system architectures.

A single standard, unshielded, three-wire cable is used both for power supply and data transfer purposes for an IO-Link device, reducing the complexity and cost of cabling.


Pre-processing measurement data for process control simplifies customer applications and cuts costs. Integrated sensor health monitoring ensures safe operation and minimises machine downtime.


Closing the communication gap between control and field levels facilitates remote problem analysis, troubleshooting and minimises downtime.


IO-Link, which is based on IEC 61131-9, consolidates the variety of field-level signals, thereby simplifying the design of machine systems. Its fieldbus independence enables easy integration into all common PLC architectures.

Easy, cost-efficient integration into your existing infrastructure​

Infographic with typical setup of an IO-Link system in combination with force, load cell and torqu transducer.

Advantages of digital IO-Link sensors

With built-in amplifiers, IO-Link sensors eliminate the need for external measurement amplifiers. Direct connections to decentralised IO-Link masters save on cabinet space. Standardised cabling also significantly reduces complexity and cost.

IO-Link reduces costs by simplifying training needs and maintenance tasks. By using standardised M12 connectors for devices and masters, along with a standardised device integration process, system complexity is minimised, leading to reduced training requirements for employees.

Eliminate data overload, increase your decentralisation options and error analysis features and enjoy a seamless communication between sensors and IT systems. The flexibility offered by IO-Link sensors reduces system complexity and facilitates easy adaptation to different PLC architectures, ultimately enhancing operational efficiency. ​

HBK IO-Link sensors address critical industry challenges. They monitor sensor health factors like temperature and load limits, preventing costly machine breakdowns. Our traceable calibration services for force and torque sensors meet ISO 17025 certified standards and feature accurate amplifiers and advanced scaling options. Our sensors meet diverse measurement needs and achieve enhanced accuracy when combined with calibration data. ​

Illustration of an infographic showing smart functions and features with smart sensors in isometric perspective

Benefit from smart, domain-specific features across force, load and torque

Overview of smart force sensors with IO-Link
  • Available sensors: digitalised counterparts of proven passive tensile and tensile and compression force sensors now available with IO-Link. Portfolio is permanently expanded
  • Sensor health monitoring: force sensor specific static and dynamic mechanical and thermal limit monitoring, and warning event triggered when exceeded
  • Analogue process control: one digital Out (additional digital Out available when IO-Link data transmission is disabled)
  • Domain-specific features: 40 kHz internal sampling rate for high dynamic sensing and pre-processing, linearisation (table, polynomial)
  • Domain-specific algorithms: peak value detection, span detection, limit switches, two filter stages (Bessel, Butterworth)
  • Calibration service available in accordance to the international standards. HBK Service: calibration used to linearise your sensor, data already entered on arrival at your facility


HBK IO-Link Force Sensor Products:

Overview of smart loadcells with IO-Link
  • Available sensors: 14 digitalised counterparts of proven, passive, single-point load cell types now available with IO-Link
  • Sensor health monitoring: load cell specific static and dynamic mechanical and thermal limit monitoring, and warning event triggered when exceeded
  • Analogue process control: one digital IO, (additional digital IO available when IO-Link transmission is disabled)
  • Domain-specific features: weighing technology filters (up to five-stage filter cascade)
  • Domain-specific algorithms: filler and checkweigher algorithms
  • Factory scaling implemented on delivery, additional teach-in assistant for mounted cell calibration with proofing weights

HBK IO-Link Load Cell Products:



  • Proven T210 shaft torque transducers for measurements from 0.5 Nm to 200 Nm and up to 30,000 rpm now available with IO-Link
  • Sensor health monitoring: sensor-specific monitoring of static and dynamic mechanical and thermal limits, triggering warning events when these limits are exceeded
  • Analogue process control: one digital Out, (additional digital Out available when IO-Link data transmission is disabled)
  • Domain-specific features: auxiliary information (rotational speed, angle, temperature (rotor/stator), linearisation (table, polynomial)
  • Domain-specific algorithms: power calculation, peak value detection, span detection, limit switches, two filter stages (Bessel, Butterworth)
  • Calibration service is available in compliance with international standards. HBK Service offers calibration to linearise your sensor, with data pre-entered upon its arrival at your facility

Custom solution already available – request a quote now!

As a digital technology, IO-Link is set to be the predominant interface for field-level sensors for many years ahead, providing customers with a future-proof solution. Our portfolio of IO-Link sensors spans multiple domains, reflecting our commitment to this enduring technology. As industries evolve towards incorporating smart sensors in manufacturing processes, our extensive experience in sensor solutions drives product innovation through virtual, physical, and in-process testing across the product life cycle. 

Smart sensors - An engineer uses a tablet computer for machine maintenance, automation tools. Sensors communicate their status.

White paper: Learn how IO-Link smart sensors can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency and achieve your business goals

Investing in IO-Link technology isn’t just about keeping up with the times; it’s a strategic leap towards modernising manufacturing processes. But what is IO-Link? How do smart sensors work? And how do they enable instant cost savings and help your company gain a competitive edge?

Discover how IO-Link and our portfolio of IO-Link sensors can transform your manufacturing landscape – efficient, reliable, and future-proof. 

FAQ | Answers to your questions about HBK IO-Link sensors