Presentation of visual and acoustic special indications

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The application profile CANopen CiA417 defines many special signals (messages) which can be shown on a display. Controllers and other devices connected with the bus CAN, can send several special indications at the same time. Some of these special indications are only informative while others are prescribed by the normative. The decision of which of the special indications must be shown on the display is configured in the displays. Some displays are able to show several special indications and some of the defined standard signals should only be used in concrete situations. In the following paragraphs you find a recommendation for a sensible standard configuration of special signals and voice messages.

Presentation of visual Special Indications

Signals with high priority

The following signals (basic function = 43h) must be permanently shown when they are active, respecting their priority. In a single-row display, only the signals with highest priority will be shown.

  1. Overload (03h) (highest priority)
  2. Fire service (05h)
  3. Fire recall (04h)
  4. Fire Alarm (0Ch)
  5. Special service (07h)
  6. Out of order (0Ah) (lowest priority)

With the signals “Fire service”, “Fire recall” and “Fire alarm” the message “Out of Order” will additionally be sent by the controller.

Informative Signals

In addition to the “signals with high priority”, it is possible to show informative signals on the display, for example:

  • Help is coming
  • Load Time
  • Travel to evacuation floor
  • Travel to fire recall floor

These signals can be activated in the display, so they are always displayed when the corresponding signal is sent by the controller. If there are more signals than lines on the display, they can be displayed alternatively according their priority.

Signals for special applications

The following signals should be disabled by default and be activated only in the display if required by the application:

  • Occupied (09h)
  • Close Door (0Bh)

Multiline Displays

If several rows are available, it is possible to display various signals simultaneously.

If the messages that are shown are only informative messages, they will be just distributed through the available lines.

If a signal with higher priority is received, it must be displayed. The informative signals will be then shown in the rest of the lines available.

Output of Voice Announcements

The output of voice announcements is independent of the display. To output voice announcements a complete sound file is played even if the triggering signal ceases before the file has finished. If several signals, which require a voice announcement, must be played, they will be played consecutively. This can last quite long, especially if the message has to be announced in several languages. In this case, it is difficult to prioritize the announcements. We recommend to set the default configuration so that an ongoing announcement is interrupted if a higher priority message has to be played.

  1. Overload (03h) (highest priority)
  2. Fire brigade service (05h)
  3. Fire Alarm (0Ch)
  4. Special service (07h)
  5. Out of order (0Ah) (lowest priority)


The messages are only played once by default. If the continuous repetition of the voice announcement (e.g. "Overload" and "Case of Fire") is needed. This must be configured in the voice announcement device accordingly.