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CANopen support

Electromechanical linear actuators with CAN

Thomson Industries has announced the availability of the CANopen industrial networking protocol as an option for its line of heavy duty Electrak HD electric actuators.

(Source: Thomson Industries)

“Many of our customers are seeking to reduce costs and gain flexibility by integrating their motion systems into higher-level, open automation strategies and have asked us to support CANopen. We are pleased to announce that we are now offering both CANopen and SAE J1939 capabilities for our popular Electrak HD actuators,” said Anders Karlsson, Product Line Specialist – Linear Actuators at Thomson.

Most of our readers, of course, already know CANopen and J1939, but here is a little refresher about this. CANopen is an open industrial integration protocol built on the Controller Area Network (CAN). Originally developed for industrial systems, it is increasingly becoming the protocol of choice for factory automation systems, most notably AGVs (automated guided vehicles) and PLC-controlled (programmable logic controller) material handling systems.

CANopen offers all of the functionality of SAE J1939, another protocol built on CAN, but uses an independent standard platform that enables plug and play integration with other standard devices. This makes it possible to integrate motion into other, higher-level automation schemes.

In addition to simplifying connectivity, CANopen enables users to control the motion of a linear component using programmable parameters such as distance traveled, temperature and speed. Programs can provide data, which can help diagnose problems, signal maintenance alarms, improve quality control, and optimize operations.

Taking full advantage of the CANopen data handling capabilities are the onboard electronics embedded in the Thomson Electrak HD actuator, which eliminate the need for standalone controls. This electric actuator offers an alternative to hydraulic systems. In addition to load handling up to 16 kN, the Electrak HD provides up to 1 meter of stroke, up to 75 mm/s of speed and high environmental resistance, including IP69K.

The linear actuators with CANopen are available immediately and are compliant with specification CiA 301 published by CAN in Automation (CiA). Additional Thomson electric actuator models are being considered for future implementation, said the company.


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