Switzerland and Germany drive industrial digitization together

By December 14, 2018November 6th, 2020Press Release

The Swiss VPT (Ver­ein­i­gung für ange­wandte Produk­tion­s­tech­nik) and the Ger­man VDW (Ver­ein Deutscher Werkzeug­maschinen­fab­riken) will work togeth­er in the future to stand­ard­ize the exchange of inform­a­tion with pro­duc­tion machines. The two asso­ci­ations announced this in the run-up to the Indus­trial­is trade fair. A cor­res­pond­ing declar­a­tion was signed on Decem­ber 06, 2018.

“VPT unites machine man­u­fac­tur­ers and oper­at­ors in its ranks, both of whom have a great interest in a simply func­tion­ing exchange of inform­a­tion between the machines and high­er-level IT sys­tems,” says Dr. Jürg Kreb­ser, Pres­id­ent of VPT. They need the machine inform­a­tion to optim­ize their products and pro­duc­tion pro­cesses. “Non-man­u­fac­turer-spe­cif­ic data formats should make access to this inform­a­tion more dif­fi­cult,” Kreb­ser continues.

VPT has taken this as an oppor­tun­ity to launch the Prod­Net pro­gram in 2016. As part of its activ­it­ies, it aims to devel­op cross-industry solu­tions for using digit­iz­a­tion oppor­tun­it­ies and has already car­ried out pre­lim­in­ary con­cep­tu­al work and cre­ated con­crete found­a­tions in a num­ber of key areas.

To solve this task, the VDW has developed the umati inter­face (uni­ver­sal machine tool inter­face) togeth­er with eight machine tool man­u­fac­tur­ers and presen­ted a pro­to­type in Stut­tgart in Septem­ber this year. Two Swiss com­pan­ies are also involved in the pro­ject group. Andreas Rauch, Head of Digit­al Busi­ness at GF Machin­ing Solu­tions says: “Thanks to the open cooper­a­tion, the top­ic-spe­cif­ic pre­lim­in­ary work of the Prod­Net con­sor­ti­um can be trans­ferred to the stand­ard­iz­a­tion pro­ject of the VDW. Prod­Net also con­trib­utes its dense net­work of mem­bers, which can check the umati inter­face at an early stage and thus identi­fy risks”.

Both ini­ti­at­ives enable a quick achieve­ment of the com­mon goals. With their con­tri­bu­tion, the par­ti­cip­at­ing com­pan­ies can not only help shape machine digit­iz­a­tion, they also secure access to tech­no­lo­gic­al com­pet­ence at the forefront.

Oth­er asso­ci­ations under the umbrella of the VDMA (Ger­man Engin­eer­ing Fed­er­a­tion) are doing sim­il­ar work in their respect­ive sec­tors. Here, the VDW is involved in order to make umati usable for oth­er mech­an­ic­al engin­eer­ing sec­tors as well.

“It is thanks to the ini­ti­at­ives in Ger­many and Switzer­land that machine man­u­fac­tur­ers are work­ing togeth­er oper­a­tion­ally with this intens­ity for the first time. This is a cul­tur­al change. The momentum from this is to be used to intensi­fy cooper­a­tion across nation­al bor­ders and also to involve cus­tom­ers in shap­ing the new forms of cooper­a­tion,” adds Lorenz Zell­weger, ini­ti­at­or and branch man­ager of VPT.

Authors: Lorenz Zell­weger, VPT/ProdNet and Dr. Alex­an­der Broos, VDW