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OPC UA moves into international forming technology

umati presents new Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion at Blech­expo 2023 


From Novem­ber 7 to 10, 2023, Blech­expo invites all experts in sheet met­al work­ing to Stut­tgart for the exhib­i­tion. umati, the joint con­nectiv­ity ini­ti­at­ive of the VDW (Ger­man Machine Tool Build­ers’ Asso­ci­ation) and VDMA (Mech­an­ic­al Engin­eer­ing Industry Asso­ci­ation), will also be exhib­it­ing in Hall 9/Stand 9502. Dr. Alex­an­der Broos, Head of Research and Tech­no­logy and Pro­ject Man­ager of umati at the VDW, on the par­ti­cip­a­tion: “Met­al form­ing and related tech­no­lo­gies are an import­ant part of the machine tool and metal­work­ing industry. They are there­fore import­ant key seg­ments on the way to cross-industry con­nectiv­ity in man­u­fac­tur­ing. Blech­expo is the estab­lished show­case in south­ern Ger­many for exhib­it­ing machines, tools, pro­cessing sys­tems and join­ing and bond­ing tech­no­lo­gies – for umati it is a must-attend event.”


At the inter­na­tion­al trade fair for sheet met­al work­ing and form­ing tech­no­logy, the umati team will be present­ing the latest devel­op­ment of OPC UA for machine tools for the first time: the new Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion OPC 40503 “UA for Met­al Form­ing”. A joint mul­tina­tion­al work­ing group has developed a new stand­ard spe­cific­ally for the needs of met­al form­ing tech­no­logy. The stand­ard ref­er­ences the OPC 40501–1 “UA for Machine Tools” spe­cific­a­tion and is aimed at the fol­low­ing use cases, among others:

  • Pro­vi­sion of OPC UA for machine tool use cases using the Machine Tools Facets
  • Access to repet­it­ive form­ing data and cyc­lic­al monitoring
  • Access to char­ac­ter­ist­ic form­ing pos­i­tions and cyc­lic­al monitoring
  • Pro­vi­sion of inform­a­tion on tool-spe­cif­ic para­met­ers for met­al forming
  • Pro­vi­sion of pro­cess val­ues from func­tion­al work units in con­nec­tion with the form­ing process
  • Cyc­lic­al mon­it­or­ing of spe­cif­ic order parameters
  • Cyc­lic­al mon­it­or­ing for shape-spe­cif­ic information
  • Noti­fic­a­tion if cer­tain form­ing con­di­tions occur dur­ing processing


A total of twelve com­pan­ies and asso­ci­ations were involved in the work­ing group: Aida, Amada, AP&T Group, Fanuc, Japan Form­ing Machinery Asso­ci­ation, Komatsu, Mit­subishi Elec­tric, Mur­atec, Oster­walder, Schuler Group, SMS Group and Trumpf. Domen­ico Iac­ov­elli, CEO Schuler Group and Mem­ber of the Exec­ut­ive Board Andritz Group, com­ments on the sig­ni­fic­ance of the devel­op­ment: “The stand­ard­iz­a­tion of inter­faces is the found­a­tion for effi­cient auto­nom­iz­a­tion of pro­duc­tion plants. Schuler was gladly will­ing to take over the lead­er­ship of the work­ing group and to con­trib­ute its know-how and exper­i­ence in order to advance the stand­ard­iz­a­tion of form­ing lines togeth­er with the VDW. We expect to stand­ard­ize and reduce the num­ber of dif­fer­ent inter­faces for con­nect­ing form­ing plants to Level 2 or Level 3 sys­tems, and thus to increase effi­ciency both on the part of the machine sup­pli­ers and on the part of the Level 2 and Level 3 soft­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers. In the future, we will equip all lines with a gate­way that meets the OPC UA Com­pan­ion Spe­cific­a­tion for Met­al Forming.”


Any­one inter­ested can find out more about the back­ground, tech­no­logy and bene­fits of open, stand­ard­ized data inter­faces for mech­an­ic­al engin­eer­ing dir­ectly from the umati team at the umati stand dur­ing Blech­expo. Vari­ous exhib­its will also make it pos­sible to dir­ectly exper­i­ence how mature the tech­nic­al solu­tion has become, includ­ing for pro­duc­tion tech­no­logy out­side of metal­work­ing. Fur­ther inform­a­tion is avail­able in advance at


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