MUNICH, Germany Industry user and manufacturers group CAN in Automation (CiA) has published several new specifications regarding the CANopen environment. The specifications are intended to support the proliferation of the protocol set in industrial automation environments.
Probably the most important new specification is CiA 311 which will replace specification CiA 306. Based on international standard ISO 15745, CiA 311 defines the exchange of data sheets for configuration, diagnosis and test tools. Unlike its outdated predecessor which used ASCII descriptions, CiA 311 supports XML mechanisms to define CANopen devices.
While most CiA specifications refer to OSI level seven protocols, the new CiA 303-1 specification describes a simple three-pin cable connector to be used in the Chinese automotive industry. According to a CiA spokesperson, the Chinese automotive industry is very interested in using CANopen protocols. But since the connectors in use in western countries seemed too costly to the Chinese OEMs, they approached CiA with the request to get their own connector - which is described in the specification at hand. "It is a very rugged, simple, cost effective connector", the spokesperson said.
The other two specifications released now are targeting to very specific industrial applications: CiA 425 Part 2 defines the communication of contrast medium injectors in medical devices. CiA 412-1/2 describes the CANopen interface for looms in the textile industry.
According to CiA managing board member Holger Zeltwanger, more device profiles will be released in the months ahead.