I have mentioned the CiA (CAN in Automation) user group several times in this book. Let us return briefly to this topic.
Founded in March 1992 by many users, vendors and manufacturers of CAN components, this fully independent international association is intended ‘to provide technical, product and marketing intelligence information in order to enhance the prestige, improve the continuity and provide a path for advancement of the CAN network and promote the CAN protocol’.
At present (June 2006), the association has about 500 full class member companies, including all the major industrial businesses of the sector to which this subject relates, all the major electronic component manufacturers and a large number of SMEs, SMIs, universities, etc. of all nationalities. The open approach of this association, recognized by the whole profession, is structural, its main aim being to promote the CAN protocol. I should point out, by way of example, that the group supports all application layers (CAL, CANopen, Device-Net, SDS, etc.) in the same way and with equal enthusiasm.
The general organization of CiA is shown in Figure A1. You will see from this that CiA has local organizations or delegations in each country.
The main activities of this organization are as follows: