Machine Control, Industrial Automation & SCADA Software
    Inductive Couplers

Inductive Couplers

Fixed wiring of sensors and actuators has its disadvantages. Cables and contacts are frequently heavily stressed in automation so that cables can fatigue and break, thus resulting in often costly unplanned downtime.  When quick or frequent wiring changes need to be made, Balluff’s inductive couplers can provide a fast and error-free way to connect multiple discrete PNP sensors. Balluff offers two versions to meet specific application needs. The version in an M18 cylindrical housing can connect to up to four sensors, while the version in a Q40 cuboid housing can connect up to eight sensors.

These IP67-rated couplers transmit power and signals across a small air gap. Thus, there is no mechanical wear to worry about. The system availability is higher, the cycle times are shorter and the sequences are more flexible. The units can quickly be disconnected, are easy to handle and are maintenance-free, enabling you to meet new demands quickly. The couplers are practically immune to oil, water, dust and any other debris in the environment. The data transfer uses magnetic induction so even a barrier between the transmitter and receiver does not stop the data flow.

This is a smart retrofit to replace electromechanical or hardwired connections on existing machines. A slip ring or rotary connector will eventually wear out, but an inductive coupler avoids mechanical failure, since the base and remote don’t come in contact. Changing a die or mold often requires disconnecting and reconnecting cables, where it’s easy to bend a pin in the connector or put other stresses on the connector, eventually causing it to fail.

Inductive coupler systems are now indispensable in many applications. With their non-contact transmission of data and power, they have replaced the once-popular plug-in contacts. The maximum transmittable coupler power plays a central role in many applications including the gripper control in robotics. The couplers are also an ideal method to replace mechanical slip rings, which have mechanical components that require ongoing maintenance. No maintenance is required when using non-contact coupling.

Other uses are found in battery charging stations for automated guided vehicles, automated tool changers and robotic end effectors with high power requirements. With pin-based coupling, pins can break or oxidate, and are susceptible to dust and water. With magnetic induction for power transmission there is nothing to plug in or connect. The remote coupler only needs to be in proximity to the base’s magnetic field.

Additionally, these couplers provide flexibility in aligning the base and remote surfaces. LEDs on the base side of the coupler provide operating status visualizations indicating power, in/out of zone, connection established and overload or short-circuit conditions.


  • 18 mm cylindrical (M18) housing for up to four sensors
  • 40 mm cuboid (Q40) housing for up to eight sensors
  • High-level power transfer — up to 5 A at 24 VDC
  • No mechanical wear, completely maintenance-free
  • IP67-rated protection for harsh environments
  • LED visualization of operating status on base and remote
  • Internal temperature monitoring protects from overheating
  • Higher system availability, shorter cycle times, more flexible sequences

BIC Q40 Inductive Couplers

The new BIC Q40 inductive coupler from Balluff provides a system that delivers power up to 1.7 A for an output up to 40 W of power, three times the output of common couplers on the market. Thanks to its IO-Link interface, the system assists in the smooth and fast exchange of events, parameter and process data between the IO-Link device and the IO-Link master. Data transmission is transparent, with no configuration of the IO-Link coupler necessary. By supporting COM3, the system also enables the fastest possible data exchange. Bi-directional communication allows control of actuators and valve terminals at the same time while also collecting signals.


  • Compact block style form factor
  • Potential 180-degree turn angle of the plug insert (base and remote)
  • Power up to 1.7 A: approximately 40 W power transfer
  • Compatible with existing and future systems
  • Supports COM2 and COM3 operating modes – fastest IO-Link standard
  • Transmission distances between base and remote up to 12.5 mm
For more information on Inductive Couplers from Balluff, as well as how Power Motion can help, please contact us. We have locations in St. Louis, Kansas City and Little Rock, providing distributor and automation solutions services for Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Southern Illinois, Southern and Western Iowa, Northern Louisiana, Eastern Oklahoma and Northeast Texas. Not all products available in all areas.

Balluff Inductive Couplers