HMS (Sweden) has developed the Anybus Communicator gateway family. Mid of 2011, the company introduced the first gateway devices and extended end of the year the device series. Now, eleven serial bus systems and Ethernet variants are supported. On the CAN side, the devices support the CAN base frame format (11-bit CAN-IDs) as well as the CAN extended frame format (29-bit CAN-IDs).
THE CAN GATEWAYS PROVIDE a maximum throughput delay of 5 ms. The devices are configurable by means of the Anybus Configuration Manager with flexible CAN frame building capability. The graphical frame building method support CAN request/response (e.g. SDO) as well as producer/consumer protocols (e.g. PDO). The gateways support multiple CAN ports with up to 128 transactions containing 256 customizable CAN data frames. The integrated dual-port switched Ethernet interface allows daisy chaining. The gateway is compatible to PLCs from different manufacturers and don’t require specific PLC code or IEC 61131-3 function blocks. However, the configuration requires knowledge about the CAN communication protocols.
"There is a great need to connect industrial automation devices running CAN to different industrial networks,” said Martin Falkman from HMS. “The networks in highest demand so far have been EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet, but we have also seen an increase in orders from Profinet users.” The uplink serial bus or Ethernet slave interface to the PLC is configured with a device description file (GSD or EDS) in the PLC engineering tool. All data between the other communication system and the CAN network is stored in an internal memory buffer inside the gateway. The data exchange between the PLC and the automation device is then made using the input and output areas of the internal memory within the gateway. The internal storage of I/O data inside the gateway decouples the two networks. This allows automation devices, even those with “slow” CAN communication, to be integrated into high-speed networks without any restrictions to the upper network.
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