New standard practice for CANopen-based operator sub-systems

July 16, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
CiA (CAN in Automation) has released version 1.0 of the CiA 852 CANopen recommended practice for operator environment sub-systems.

This is used with the CiA 401 specification of device profiles for generic I/O modules.
The document specifies the CANopen interface for operator environments with human-machine interface (HMI) functions in applications ranging from simple remote control units, operator seats with integrated joysticks, foot pedals, pushbuttons and indicators to complete operator cabins. This equipment is widely used in construction, mining, agriculture and forestry machines, for harbor cranes, for boats and vessels, for wheelchairs and any other kind of mobile machines.
The document also recommends the numbering of the operator environment devices depending on the location (for left and right hands or feet). In addition, a standardised numbering of components in a device is suggested.
“This recommended practice is very helpful for the system designer,” said Holger Zeltwanger, CiA managing director. “It reduces significantly the commissioning and configuration, because pre-programmed routines can be re-used.”
The CiA 852 document is downloadable free-of-charge from CiA’s website (