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CANopen training system

Comes with NMT master and NMT slave modules

Published 2018-07-31

De Lorenzo (Italy) has developed a training system for CANopen. It could be used to investigate the concept of CANopen protocols and to analyze the application behavior on network anomalies.

The CANopen trainer comprises hardware and software (Photo: De Lorenzo)

The purpose of this system is education, proofing of network concepts, and testing of system behavior. The system has the objective of allowing students to understand the operation of a CANopen. The teaching of a CANopen communication can be implemented under different points of view: physical layer (design and choice of control boards and sensors, electric signals processing), application layer (study of data transmission), application level (analysis of the process), device configuration, and system programming. For all these tasks it is possible to simulate faults. The training system is addressed to students of technical schools, universities and to students of training courses for technical personnel.

The system is composed of dedicated hardware and software. This includes a NMT master and two NMT slave modules, one with inputs and one with outputs. There are two CAN interfaces provided. Via CANopen third-party products can be integrated into the training system. If desired, an external PLC host controller can substitute the NMT master module. The provided software realizes the functions of protocol and data analysis. It enables to simulate different error situations that may occur in the network. It is possible to set different types of faults, from the simple deletion of the signal (even if the switch is manually moved to a different value, the output shows a zero signal), the addition of CANopen messages (e.g. PDOs) up to the more targeted corruption of the signal. The programming of the NMT master device, to realize the function of automation, is made with a compiler.

On the upper part of the panel there are the input parameters, the digital ones at the side ends and the analog ones in the most central section. On the lower part of the panel there is the display of the detected outputs: in the case where the input signal is not corrupted by the software, the display of the outputs will match with the parameter that is manually set on the panel, otherwise the outputs will be displayed with signal corruption. To the central body various devices can be connected, from the control unit on which the tests are carried out to the networks for connection with the software. The training system also includes a CAN/USB dongle to connect Windows-PCs to the CANopen network.

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