CAN in Automation: profiles, expansion, seminar, guide


Use of CAN (control area network) in automation increased recently with announcements from CiA GmbH, the non-profit CiA e.V., and Varan bus user organization. The news covers CANopen device profiles for Varan; CAN in Automation (CiA) headquarters Asia expansion; free seminar on safety-relevant communications with the CANopen Safety Chip, and a CAN product guide for devices, software, literature and services.

Varan-bus User Organization and the CAN in Automation non-profit group have agreed to use CANopen device profiles on the Varan-Bus, enabling device manufacturers to connect already existing CANopen sub-systems in a simple way to a Varan-Bus system by converting existing CANopen device profiles to Varan device descriptions. "The CANopen profile family includes generic device profiles for I/O modules, electric and hydraulic drives, as well as encoders. Furthermore there are specific CANopen device profiles for extruders, weaving machines, closed-loop controllers and specific sensors (such as inclinometers)," says the managing director of CiA Holger Zeltwanger. "This is why CANopen has been accepted very well especially in serial machine building." However CAN's bandwidth is limited to a maximum of 1 Mbit/s, which does not fulfill all speed requirements, especially those of fast drive controllers. Varan provides CANopen users with an Ethernet-based alternative that provides extremely fast data transmission.

CAN in Automation (CiA) headquarters, in a recent CiA Business Committee (BC), decided to extend activities in Asia As requested from the CiA Marketing Group (MG) China CiA will provide Web pages in Chinese language. The first version with introductions on CAN, its higher layer protocols, and CANopen as well as information on the CiA group and its services will be published in fall 2006. In 2007 the Chinese CiA web site will be extended. A row of seminars is planned in Beijing in October 2006, and in November in Shanghai and Chengdu (Sichuan). An exhibition stand at the Bauma Shanghai will round up the activities for 2006. In 2007 further seminars at universities, presentations at congresses and conferences as well as a CiA Information Day will be organized in China. Presentations and training events are also planned for Japan and Singapore/Malaysia.

At CiA's free seminar for the CANopen Safety Chip, Nov. 9, 2006, in
Frankfurt/Main, Germany, representatives of the companies ifm electronic,
Port, and Sys Tec electronic will report about experiences with the chip. The CANopen Safety Chip (CSC01) was certified by the TÜV Rheinland for safety-relevant applications up to safety integrity level 3 (SIL3) according to IEC 61508 as well as SK 4 (Sicherheitsklasse 4) according to EN 954-1, CiA says. The CANopen Safety protocol
for safety-relevant communication is pre-programmed on the chip. CiA expects to introduce the CAN-based higher-layer protocol CANopen and its add-on CANopen Safety. Expected language is English for the 11 a.m.-5 p.m. event.

Click here for more from CiA on the chip.

Click here for more on the event

CAN Product Guide on devices, software, literature and services online is said to cover products that by topic do not belong in the CANopen Product Guide or the J1939 Product Guide. Listed are CAN-Layer-2 products, DeviceNet devices and devices with manufacturer-specific software. Click here for more on the guide.

For more on the organization and industrial protocols, search CANopen atop any page at .

-- Edited by Mark T. Hoske ,
editor in chief , Control Engineering

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