As most software developers who have worked with vehicles can tell you there is nothing simple about CAN signals.
Developed in 1983, and released as a standard in 1986, CAN bus (Controller Area Network) is a cost efficient and robust vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other's applications without a host computer. It is a message-based protocol, designed originally for multiplex electrical wiring within automobiles to save on copper and weight, but it can also be used in many other contexts including tool control and engine monitoring on industrial vehicles.
While the next generation of machines may rely more on distributed domain or central processing Zonal architecture, the majority of industrial machines today are based on established domain architecture (and even the coming adoption of Zonal architecture will still require the management of CAN signals until a newer standard is eventually adopted).
Qt is the industry standard toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces for smart and industrial devices. Since QtCreator does not have built in support for high level CAN protocols and most CAN based vehicle systems are based on J1939 and CANopen CrossControl has developed a plug-in component called Fieldbus Access to help manage CAN signals and incorporate them into applications built with Qt.
Fieldbus Access is a LinX module for fieldbus management with J1939 and CANopen available out-of-the-box. With Fieldbus Access you can shortcut the low-level complexity around fieldbuses and focus your resources on value-adding application development. Easy configuration in UX Designer allows you to set up the fieldbus you want to use and the signals and bus specific diagnostics to access and apply as needed. For J1939 you can just drag and drop the needed signals from the signal database and then they become available for the other LinX modules.
Fieldbus Access works with our Data Engine module. Data Engine acts as a signal manager and gateway and efficiently handles the routing of communication inside the system and makes all machine signals available to all relevant modules and applications. Data Engine manages all information available through Ethernet, CAN and other buses in your machine system, as well as internal signals within the HMI system so that signals can be easily combined and processed in your application.
The Data Engine module includes resources for internal communication with a content independent signal interface, Open API for adding custom software, proprietary software or integrating legacy applications and an application for debugging at the signal level.
With CrossControl’s open and modular application platform integrating CAN signals into your design is easier than ever before.