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Q&A with Motronica

“Compact displays are hard to find”

Giorgio Delucchi from Motronica answered five questions about his experiences with CANopen. He found CANopen EDSs are of different quality, depending on the specific field of the device supplier.

Giorgio Delucchi is responsible for customer engineering of the brand “Motronica” (Photo: Motronica)

THE ITALIAN COMPANY MOTRONICA, which is part of the Terex group, develops control applications for mobile industrial vehicle and pleasure boat and is a system integrator of STW and Wachendorff in Italy. The company offers mobile vehicle applications, like a reach stacker, mobile harbor cranes, and municipal vehicles. All of these come with one CANopen network and one J1939 network with two to four nodes in the CANopen network. Other available applications with CANopen networks are telehandlers, pleasure boats (with NMEA2000), and concrete mixer vehicles.

Q: When you used CANopen for the first time, what did you find most challenging?

A: To find a clear and comprehensive documentation online, like a tutorial.

Q: Which CANopen devices did you find on the market easily and which ones did you think were missing?

A: Finding sensors and I/O devices like keyboards, encoders, inclinometers, accelerometer, or I/O expansion boards was easy. In my experience, compact displays (e.g. 2,3-inch) with CANopen interfaces for tuning and diagnostic messages are hard to find.

Q: Which CANopen tools do you use for system design and how did you evaluate them?

A: We use Kefex Coedit from STW, which we think is very good, and CANeds from Vector, which is also good.

Q: What is your experience with CANopen EDSs provided by device suppliers?

A: We found that EDSs are generally good from off-highway suppliers, but less good from industrial automation suppliers.

Q: Did you calculate the expected busload in advance and have you optimized PDO communication in respect to message priority, scheduling (transmission type), or process data mapping?

A: No, I did not calculate the expected busload in advance. Instead, I did a busload check during the system integration test phase. We did optimize PDO communication in respect to message priority, scheduling (transmission type), and process data mapping.

Interviewer: Annegret Emerich

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