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K 2013: CAN in the plastic industry

Düsseldorf is the home of the K exhibition. This international fair is focused on plastic processing from machines and sub-systems to electronic control equipment. CAN is often used as an embedded machine network.

HISTORICALLY, CANOPEN HAS A STRONG ACCEPTANCE in the plastic processing industry. It was used, and is still used, in injection and blow molding for temperature control. Several providers have implemented the Euromap 67 profile, which is based on the CiA 404 CANopen profile for measuring devices. Beckhoff (Germany) offers generic CANopen interfaces for its Ethercat-based X-Mold embedded PC as well as dedicated Euromap 67 connectivity.

In the past, motion controllers used CANopen interfaces. But now for high-speed applications, Ethernet-based solutions are increasingly preferred. According to sales staff from Baumueller (Germany) and KEB (Germany), the sales figures for CANopen-connectable frequency inverters and motion controllers are nevertheless still important.

In the extruder business, CiA and Euromap (managed by VDMA staff) members have jointly developed the set of CANopen profiles for downstream devices (CiA 420 series). Beckhoff supports this interface for its Panel-PCs. For the fair visitor, such CANopen interfaces often are invisible, because they are embedded in the machine. Hummel uses CAN networks for example in the Temp-Star hot runner controllers, but doesn’t mention it explicitly.

Gefran’s G-Cube comes with CANopen interface

Gefran (Italy) is one of the leading suppliers of CANopen products not just for Italian plastic machine builders. The company presented the AVX300 modular drive for brushless and asynchronous motors in Duesseldorf. It supports profile positioning and interpolated positioning. The devices for up to 110 kW are programmable in IEC 61131-3 languages.

Additionally, the Italian company exhibited the G-Cube controller, which provides displays in different sizes (from 3,5 inch to 15 inch). The scalable PLC features CANopen, Ethernet (GDnet) as well as Modbus RTU/TCP and USB interfaces. The GF-Project development software includes libraries for data recording, evaluation of trends, alarm histories, and PID temperature control, all of which run on the launched control units.