The new Simatic RF186CI and RF188CI communication modules use the integrated IO-Link master as a basis to offer both the option to connect two or four RFID readers and an additional port for digital I/Os. Via the IO-Link master it is possible to connect various IO-Link hubs or standard sensors or actuators without additional configuration. This makes it easy to integrate light barriers, proximity switches or track switches in the production plant, for example. Furthermore, an I/O expansion module with up to eight inputs and outputs can be integrated, which supports the mixed connection and operation of actuators and sensors. For maximum flexibility in terms of design, the communication modules support star, line, and ring topologies by means of two M12 plugs each for Ethernet and power supply and an integrated switch. This means that every type of application can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively. The new L-coded M12 plugs provide a high transmission current of up to 16 amperes in line topologies, thus reducing cabling effort. In addition to the proven access to configuration, commissioning and diagnostics tools via TIA Portal, web-based management can now also be used. This in addition to adjustable and parameterizable diagnostics and the display of error messages and operating status (for example transponders in the field and status) via LED (Light Emitting Diodes) make commissioning, troubleshooting and service much easier. The integrated logbook can be used to trace when an error occurred, hours or even months later.