Can Open

Written by Patricia Skinner
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CAN Open is a higher layer protocol developed by the members of CiA (CAN in Automation) international users group. The need for such a protocol became evident because of the large number of CAN-user industries who were not equipped to cope with the specific details such as bit timing and implementations' specific details. CAN Open meets these needs admirably.

CAN Open basically provides standardized communication objects for real time data. This means it provides reliable control over a range of machinery and applications via computer software. Used primarily for embedded networks, it is particularly appropriate for low and mid-volume embedded systems. Like CAN applications themselves, CAN Open is appropriate for embedding into a very wide range of industrial applications.

CAN Open Protocols

There is a range of specialized CAN Open protocols, such as CAN Open Lift, and CAN Open Rail Vehicles. These packages are specifically designed and developed to meet the needs of lift and rail vehicles controllers. This enables further ease of implementation even than that which was already available with the initial Can Open packages. Essentially, these are plug and play packages.

Recently, the CAN Open safety chip was introduced to add an extra element of reliability and safety to CAN Open systems. This new chip will enable companies to design their own systems for safety relevant devices to be networked over a standardized network. This is good news for companies who need to make their services or applications safer and more reliable.


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