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Umati expands as a world language of machine tool production

Umati expands as a world language of machine tool production

In the future, the German associations VDMA (German Association of Machine and Plant Manufacturers) the VDW (German Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers) jointly promote the use and dissemination of OPC UA standards for the entire mechanical engineering industry under the Umati brand.

The mechanical and plant engineering industry embraced the unified architecture (AU in English) OPC like the standard for data exchange in the machine tool industry. OPC UA provides a uniform framework for interoperability between machines and systems. Using a bottom-up approach, it became clear that the basic elements of a large part of the diverse range of mechanical and plant engineering products must be defined in a uniform way. The simplest example is the identification of the machine, namely, las features like manufacturer, the serial number, the year of manufacture and the type of machine.

For this reason, various sectors within VDMA, including electric drives, Machinery for plastics and rubber, artificial vision, metallurgy, robotics and machine tools, are working on the accompanying basic specification OPC UA for machinery. Wilfried Schäfer, VDW CEO has been convinced that "commercialization in the industry and in the different technologies will mean a great step forward for our clients. Manufacturing companies often not only have machine tools, but also various types of machines, equipment, robots and systems. If all these technologies are in a common ecosystem that creates soluciones ‘plug-and-play’”.

Hartmut Rauen, deputy general director of the VDMA association has added that “17 trade associations work in more than 30 groupings into their specific technology interfaces, the so-called accompanying specifications. This high level of participation forms the basis of a real and open interoperability between machines and software systems, from the workshop to the cloud. VDMA has the ability to bring together the necessary integration power from the most diverse worlds of production”.

Umati addresses the end customer of machine tools

The machine tool industry has always been at the forefront of this process.. Already in 2017 an initiative was presented to develop a standardized and open interface. OPC UA was quickly chosen as the basic technology. only two years later, an exhibition with 70 partners from ten countries at the EMO in Hannover demonstrated that the connection of 110 machines to 28 software services, that were distributed in a decentralized way in the exhibition area, works practically in a 'plug and play' way. Besides, VDW launched the label of universal machine tool interface Umati already in 2018, the brand with which you can target customers around the world.

Nonetheless, Many other OPC UA supplementary specifications have been developed within the framework of VDMA and its partner organizations. To give them more visibility and make them even more applicable, Umati will now be extended to the entire machine and plant building industry as a community for the use and commercialization of OPC UA Supplementary Specifications. The new name is 'Umati – universal machine technology interface’. Umati is a brand and label for a community that has joined forces to disseminate OPC UA standards in mechanical and plant engineering.. Provides a framework for joint marketing, public relations, demonstration of use cases and customer service. The basis is the standardization of the OPC UA interface in various branches of mechanical and plant engineering..

Next steps include further optimization of the respective accompanying specifications., as well as the dissemination of the corresponding standards and the creation of specific areas at fairs. “Those responsible for the production of this world must be able to trust that the machines of the most diverse manufacturers speak the same language and that they can put the claim of Umati into practice. – Connecting the world of machinery”, concludes Rauen.