To reduce the length of the wiring harnesses in vehicles and save on weight, the Bosch company developed the so-called CAN bus for networking control units in 1987. CAN is the abbreviation for "Controller Area Network" and is often used in combination with "bus" (Binary Unit System) to describe a system for the transmission of data between different devices on a shared transmission path.
CANopen is a communication protocol based on CAN that is mainly used in automation equipment for networking complex or time-critical machines and systems. Since 1995, it has been under the care of the CAN in Automation (CiA) organization and it is laid out in the European standard EN 50325-4. CANopen standardizes not only the lower communication level, like RS485 does, but also the command structure for various device types.
Nanotec controllers are based on the CiA402 standard for electrical drives and compatible with products from other manufacturers.