CiA® 417 series: Profile for lift control systems

The CANopen application profile for lift control systems, also known as CANopen Lift specification, defines the communication interfaces for different virtual devices. This includes call, car drive, and car door controllers as well as input panel, output panel, car drive, car position, load measuring, car door, light barrier, remote data transmission, and power-measuring units. All necessary PDOs for a single-shaft lift control system are defined; some of them are distributed in broadcast, others peer-to-peer. For multi-shaft lift control systems, the communication between the controllers is manufacturer-specific. Nevertheless, each device may implement up to eight instances of the application profile, so that it can be used in up to eight lift control systems.

The virtual device concept allows the design of PDO-transparent bridges. The virtual device definitions for the car drive unit (motion controller) and car position unit (encoder) follow the generic CANopen device profiles for motion controllers and encoders. However, in lift control applications different object dictionary entries are used.

The CiA 417 specification comprises several parts:

  • Part 1 describes general definitions (including additional error codes)
  • Part 2 specifies virtual devices
  • Part 3 specifies PDOs
  • Part 4 specifies application objects (process data and configuration parameters)

As far as possible, the virtual device definitions are implementation-independent. The CANopen Lift specification enables system designers to select CiA 417 compliant devices from different suppliers and to integrate them into networks without huge efforts. For example, the car position unit can be implemented in traditional rotary encoders as well as sensors using other technologies to measure the position, such as ultrasound or magnetic tape.

Usage of standardized interfaces allows the lift operator an open maintanance of the lift system. Software tools for implementation and diagnosis are available from different providers.

Since CiA 417 version 2.1.0 the boot-up and program download procedure was introduced. The CiA 814-1 application note provides the implementation hints for CiA 417 bootloader.

CANopen Lift demonstrator at Interlift

At the biannual Interlift trade show in Augsburg (Germany), CiA members have been presenting the CANopen Lift demonstrator since 2009. It demonstrates the interoperability of CiA 417 compliant devices. The growing number of CANopen Lift suppliers is impressive. The demonstrator comprises four independent lift control systems. The demonstrator can be rented for other events on request.