TRUCK CHASSIS MANUFACTURER CHALLENGE
INCOMPATIBLE BODY AND CHASSIS CAN BUS NETWORKS
A leading producer of custom designed severe-service truck chassis has upgraded the CAN bus network on the chassis they manufacture, incorporating a high speed 500 kbps network. However, the truck bodies they source to mate with their chassis are typically still utilizing 250 kbps networks. The problem is, the two different network speeds are not compatible — data cannot flow between the networks.
The chassis 500kbps CAN network is not able to communicate with the body’s 250kbps CAN network in order to monitor and control process throughout the truck, such as allowing the operation of a refuse truck arm safely until the truck comes to a full stop..
THE DESIGN CHALLENGE
ENABLE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN 250 KB AND 500 KB CAN BUS NETWORKS
The truck chassis manufacturer turned to Marlin Technologies, inquiring, “Does Marlin have a solution that allows communication between chassis and body CAN bus networks that are running at different speeds?”
KNOW THE INDUSTRY. ANTICIPATE CHALLENGES.
Marlin’s answer was, “Yes, we certainly have that solution. In fact, we stock it on our shelves.” Our team at Marlin had realized that some truck manufacturers are upgrading their CAN bus networks, while others are not. Marlin’s engineers anticipated the incompatibility problem, and developed the solution.
M-FLEX CAN BRIDGE MODULE AND PROGRAMMING TOOL
Marlin’s M-Flex CAN Bridge module and proprietary Programming Tool provide the solution that enables the chassis’ 500 kpbs CAN bus network to communicate with the body’s 250 kpbs network.
Marlin’s M-Flex CAN Bridge module is hardware that can be custom-programmed to function as a gate-keeping bridge that allows certain messages to pass from the 250 kpbs network to the 500 kpbs network, back and forth, or block certain messages. It establishes a node on both networks that makes data transmission compatible.
Marlin has a proprietary Programming Tool for custom-programming the M-Flex CAN Bridge, to enable network communication to be prioritized and filtered based upon three identifiers — CAN ID, PGN and Hardware ID. The Programming Tool provides flexibility to each customer application. They can choose to have Marlin program their M-Flex CAN Bridge, or, their in-house technical people can use the Programming Tool.
In this case, as a beta test to prove the solution within their application, the truck producer chose to program the M-Flex CAN Bridge themself. To properly empower them, Marlin provided a spec sheet along with an M-Flex CAN Bridge and Programming Tool, and facilitated an instructional video-conference to show the truck producer’s people how to use the Programming Tool. They were surprised at how simple and intuitive the Programming Tool is.
The flexibility of having three different types of filters and 20 different filter options provides great latitude in customizing control of CAN bus network communication for their specific application.
After the truck producer successfully completed testing, they engaged Marlin to provide over 3,000 M-Flex CAN Bridge units. They put an M-Flex CAN Bridge on every truck they sell.
CAN BUS NETWORK COMPATIBILITY AND CUSTOM-PROGRAMMED CONTROL OF COMMUNICATION ACROSS NETWORKS