Networking your ECUs into a system

The procedure for networking a CANopen system and integrating external devices can be subdivided into four work steps:

Step 1: Define the components

Once the system requirements are clear, the individual components can be selected. The main problem here is that there are so many CANopen devices on the market to choose from. Mixed systems – consisting of purchased components and CANopen devices designed and developed in-house for the specific application – are very common.
Typically, a CANopen system contains a CANopen master that configures the remaining network nodes at the system start and monitors the system at runtime.

Step 2: Create the network structure

The components supplied with a CANopen device must include an EDS file that matches the device. EDS files form the foundation for manufacturer-independent configuration tools such as ProCANopen. The network structure is created by successive integration of EDS files. A device that is not yet available can still be integrated in the configuration via its EDS file. A suitable tool such as CANoe.CANopen may be used to simulate such devices based on the information contained in the EDS file.
A sample configuration of CANoe.CANopen for a simple, simulated CANopen network with central control and IO node: