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OPC UA for Machine Tools integrates inventory systems

A new ver­sion of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion has recently been released. The Joint Work­ing Group of the OPC Found­a­tion is sup­por­ted by the VDW and has pro-duced a sup­ple­ment that now makes it pos­sible to integ­rate exist­ing invent­ory sys­tems. The col­lec­tion of import­ant oper­at­ing data and KPIs gives rise to fur-ther advant­ages. Dr. Wil­fried Schäfer, Exec­ut­ive Dir­ect­or of the VDW, is pleased with the pro­gress: “The update of the spe­cific­a­tion for machine tools sees us pass a fur­ther import­ant mile­stone. This will make the use of the Com-pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tions even more attract­ive in the future and ensure great­er ac-cept­ance among industry cli­ents. We hope to be able to provide demon­stra-tions at the upcom­ing trade fairs. Our umati con­nectiv­ity ini­ti­at­ive show­cases the open data exchange in a tan­gible form and nat­ur­ally plays an import­ant role in this.”

Numer­ous OPC UA Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tions for machine and plant engin­eer­ing are cur­rently being developed at great pace. They enable open inter­face stand­ards based on OPC UA to be used between machines, devices and soft­ware and are being developed into a glob­al pro­duc­tion lan­guage under the lead­er­ship of the VDMA. Just under 50 such spe­cific­a­tions have already been pub­lished or are cur­rently under devel­op­ment. How­ever, before the exchange of data via exist­ing inter­faces or sys­tems can be trans­lated into new, open stand­ards, it is becom­ing clear, how­ever, that future-proof tech­no­lo­gies such as OPC UA must first be broadly estab­lished on the mar­ket. This applies in par­tic­u­lar to shop floor and machine data col­lec­tion (SFDC and MDC), which are well estab­lished in the auto­mot­ive industry. In most cases, how­ever, cus­tom­ers apply their own in-house stand­ards, which is an obstacle to wide­spread standardization.


Wide­spread stand­ard­iz­a­tion based on estab­lished systems

The new exten­sion of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion addresses this dilemma. The first ver­sion con­cen­trated on the glob­al mon­it­or­ing of machine tool status, where­as the focus of the next step, ver­sion 1.01.1, is on col­lect­ing import­ant oper­at­ing data and key per­form­ance indic­at­ors (KPIs). The update is avail­able now from the umati web­site:

The large num­ber of com­pany rep­res­ent­at­ives involved in the pro­cess made it pos­sible to incor­por­ate their exper­i­ence with all the dif­fer­ent SFDC/MDC sys­tems used by cus­tom­ers. Finally, almost all para­met­ers that are cur­rently used in these sys­tems are included in the KPI exten­sion. This makes it pos­sible to use shop floor data in an OPC UA eco­sys­tem through simple map­ping or, dur­ing a trans­ition­al phase, also vice versa. Cur­rent ini­ti­at­ives such as the “Catena‑X” auto­mot­ive net­work are clearly point­ing the way toward integ­rat­ive, plat­form-based eco­sys­tems that will replace pro­pri­et­ary install­a­tions in the medi­um term.

Now that this mile­stone has been reached, Dr. Alex­an­der Broos, Head of Research and Tech­no­logy at the VDW, already has his sights firmly set on the next steps: “We plan to upgrade our umati demon­strat­or to include “pub/sub” (publish/subscribe) tech­no­logy in the fourth quarter of 2022. This fur­ther sim­pli­fies the con­nec­tion of machines and soft­ware by a sig­ni­fic­ant degree yet also con­sid­er­ably increases the added value of the inter­faces for cloud devices.” Oth­er upcom­ing devel­op­ments include energy mon­it­or­ing, job man­age­ment and machine tend­ing. All three are cur­rently being developed by the OPC UA for Machinery work­ing group in con­junc­tion with the VDMA as part of the har­mon­iz­a­tion efforts. In addi­tion, an inde­pend­ent work­ing group for addit­ive man­u­fac­tur­ing is to be estab­lished in the com­ing months. A new sub­group of the exist­ing machine tool group has also been set up for form­ing technology.

Any­one wish­ing to view for them­selves the bene­fits of a com­mon world lan­guage of pro­duc­tion for machine tool man­u­fac­tur­ing and its cus­tom­ers, can do so at a series of inter­na­tion­al trade fairs start­ing in Septem­ber. umati will have its own stand and be invit­ing vis­it­ors to live demon­stra­tions and “Meet the Experts” meet­ings at IMTS in Chica­go (Sept. 12–17, 2022, West Hall (Lakeside), Level 3), at AMB in Stut­tgart, Sept. 13–17, 2022 (Hall 10, Stand 10A75) and at Jimtof in Tokyo (Nov. 8–13, 2022, umati stand in East Hall 8, Stand E8016). Under the dir­ec­tion of the VDMA, umati will also be present at oth­er trade fairs.


To down­load the press release click here:–14_EN.pdf

More pub­lic­a­tions are avail­able in the down­load sec­tion!