Thomson Industries Inc is announcing the availability of its CANopen industrial networking protocol as an option for its heavy duty Electrak HD electric actuators. Designers of linear motion systems requiring up to 16kN load handling can now, according to the company, enjoy the cost savings and flexibility of this CAN bus standard. CANopen is an open industrial integration protocol built on the Controller Automation Network (CAN) system. Originally developed for industrial systems, it is increasingly becoming the protocol of choice for factory automation systems as well, most notably for AGVs and PLC-controlled material-handling systems.
CANopen is stated to offer all of the functionality of SAE J1939, another protocol built on the CAN network bus, 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 also enables users to finely control the motion of a linear component using programmable parameters, such as distance travelled, temperature and speed. Programs can provide data, which can help diagnose problems, signal maintenance alarms, improve quality control and optimise operations.
Taking full advantage of the CANopen data-handling capabilities are the onboard electronics embedded in the Thomson Electrak HD actuator, which Thomson says eliminates the need for standalone controls. This smart electric actuator is claimed to offer an intelligent, powerful and compact alternative to hydraulic systems. In addition to load handling up to 16kN, the Electrak HD provides up to 1m of stroke, up to 75mm/s of speed, and high environmental resistance, including IP69K.
Thomson Electrak HD linear actuators with CANopen are available immediately and are compliant with specification 301 published by the CAN in Automation (CiA) standards body. Additional Thomson electric actuator models are being considered for future implementation. Go to www.thomsonlinear.com for more information.