Under "IO modules", all connections with sensors are summarized which cannot be covered with already existing protocols. Frequently, these are analog sensors which, for example, output a voltage (e.g. 0-10V) or operate with a current loop (e.g. 4-20mA). Since almost every conceivable sensor initially has to generate such a "raw" signal, this connector is by far the most flexible. Additionally, it can be used for retrofitting existing systems. Even if the sensor is already connected to a PLC, it can still be read in parallel by a second system.

In order to capture the physical sensor value (e.g. voltage or current), we do not connect directly to the sensor, as the SPARK does not have such an interface. Instead, we rely on proven IO modules from reliable manufacturers, which digitize the signal and make it available for the SPARK. A prime example here is the ET200SP, a module from Siemens which can often serve as a link for a large number of sensors.

Although this connector is primarily designed for analog signals, other low-level signals can also be captured with it, such as switches, light barriers, or rotary encoders.

Required Information:

  • Exact type of sensor is required, including manufacturer number

  • If it is not already apparent from the manufacturer information, it is important to know what output the sensor uses (current, voltage, resistance output), what range (e.g. 0-10V, 0-5V), and what transfer function (e.g. 3V → 20bar) it exhibits

  • If an IO module is already installed, the manufacturer number is also required