Wednesday 14 August 2013

Not just an update!

Version 3.0 of  CANopen conformance test tool (CTT) has been released by CiA (Can in Automation). The completely redesigned tool is improved in many aspects and complies with the CiA 310 CANopen conformance test plan. The CTT is available free-of-charge for CiA members. Non-members may purchase it from CiA Headquarters in Germany. CiA uses this tool for the conformance testing of CANopen devices (CANopen certified by CiA).

The tool runs on PCs with Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 to Windows 8 and requires a CAN hardware interface plus COTI low-level driver program. COTI software for different PC-to-CAN modules (esd, Ixxat, National Instruments, Port, and Vector) comes with the CTT software. Recently, Peak-System announced that they released COTI-DLLs for CiA’s test tool, which supports all of its CAN-PC interface modules.

Some CiA members (esd, MicroControl, Port, and Sandvik) have developed jointly the CTT with the help of Emtas and Ixxat (testing of the tool). The tool will be maintained by CiA Headquarters also providing technical support. “In order to avoid misunderstandings,” said Thilo Schumann, CiA’s CTT expert, “the tool just proofs the CANopen application layer conformity. It is not an analyzing tool.” This means, it reports the detected failures, but doesn’t provide a high-level interpretation of the messages.

As mentioned-above, the CiA test laboratory uses the CTT for device certification. TK Engineering (Finland) was the first company submitting CANopen inclinometers for a conformance family test using the new tool. All submitted products passed the test successfully. The Italian company C.O.B.O produces them, the AMU-CB series of single- and dual-axis inclinometers. For the conformance testing a CAN-to-USB dongle from Ixxat was used. In addition, the CANalyzer by Vector observed the bus traffic. “The inclinometers passed the conformance test without any problems,” explained Oskar Kaplun, CiA’s test engineer. “The Windows Wordpad was used to read the CTT’s log file.”

Besides conformance testing of CANopen devices, the CiA laboratory provides interoperability testing services. This provided service tests the device on system level: The device-under-test (DUT) is integrated in a CANopen reference network proofing the interoperability of the DUT with the other CANopen devices. Also some stress tests (high busloads, and long bus-lines) are performed. “Conformance tests check the syntax, and interoperability tests check the semantic,” explained Thilo Schumann.

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