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umati demonstrating global data connectivity at EMO Milano

umati will be on dis­play in Hall 7 at EMO Mil­ano, con­nect­ing up more than 50 machines from all over the world, almost half of them remotely. Using the updated umati dash­board, any­one inter­ested can fol­low live to see what these machines, con­nec­ted via the stand­ard­ized OPC UA for Machine Tools inter­face, are doing right now and how they are work­ing. The present­a­tion is part of an inter­na­tion­al pro­gram which the VDW is sta­ging to pro­mote the world lan­guage of pro­duc­tion.


“After mak­ing our first appear­ance over two years ago in Han­over, we are delighted that we are finally back in a face-to-face set­ting – and with such an impress­ive demon­stra­tion,” said Dr. Heinz-Jür­gen Prokop, Chair­man of the VDW, wel­com­ing his guests to the inter­na­tion­al umati event in Mil­an on 5 Octo­ber 2021. In his status report, he emphas­ized: “The most import­ant mile­stone in the devel­op­ment of the OPC-UA Inter­face for Machine Tools was the pub­lic­a­tion of the spe­cific­a­tion almost exactly one year ago. It is now avail­able free of charge world­wide, mean­ing that all com­pan­ies that man­u­fac­ture, use or offer soft­ware for machine tools can now devel­op and refine their products based on this spe­cific­a­tion,” said Prokop, out­lining the cur­rent situ­ation. The machine tool spe­cific­a­tion was also the first to be pub­lished which ref­er­enced the over­arch­ing spe­cific­a­tion for the entire machine and plant engin­eer­ing industry, the OPC UA for Machinery,” con­tin­ued Prokop.


OPC UA for Machinery offer­ing major gains in efficiency

The Machine Tool Group is con­trib­ut­ing to devel­op this har­mon­ized spe­cific­a­tion. Above all, it ensures the stand­ard­iz­a­tion of a cer­tain set of data rel­ev­ant to the entire mech­an­ic­al and plant engin­eer­ing sec­tor. The first step con­cerns the iden­ti­fic­a­tion of the machine. In terms of digit­al name­plates, the type of machine is basic­ally irrel­ev­ant. All machines have a man­u­fac­turer, seri­al num­ber, date of man­u­fac­ture, date of acquis­i­tion, loc­a­tion, etc. Thanks to OPC UA for Machinery, tech­no­logy-spe­cif­ic spe­cific­a­tions now no longer have to worry about iden­ti­fic­a­tion but can con­cen­trate fully on ren­der­ing the rel­ev­ant tech­no­logy-spe­cif­ic data. The next step in devel­op­ment involves har­mon­iz­ing the oper­at­ing states of machines, as these, too, could be used at a high­er, more uni­ver­sal level. This example impress­ively high­lights the gains in effi­ciency for man­u­fac­tur­ers and machine users offered by OPC UA for Machinery.

To pro­mote the use of these open stand­ards is the mis­sion of umati. By now, this com­munity and mar­ket­ing ini­ti­at­ive is no longer aimed exclus­ively at the machine tool industry, but at the entire machine and plant engin­eer­ing sec­tor. umati cur­rently has almost 200 part­ners, includ­ing more than 160 com­pan­ies. These are machine man­u­fac­tur­ers, soft­ware pro­viders and users. Wood­work­ing machinery, sur­face tech­no­logy and glass machines are part of umati with their own OPC UA specifications.


Ver­sion 2 of OPC UA for Machine Tools tar­get­ing the auto­mot­ive industry

The first ver­sion of the OPC UA for Machine Tools aimed to cre­ate a data set that is uni­ver­sally applic­able to all machine tools. A sub­group of the Joint Work­ing Group for Machine Tools is cur­rently work­ing on stand­ard­iz­ing addi­tion­al ana­lys­is data for KPI eval­u­ations. “This will also trans­fer a large part of the machine and pro­duc­tion data which the auto­mot­ive industry already uses to our open inter­face,” pre­dicted Prokop. This should make it easi­er for machine tool man­u­fac­tur­ers to gain accept­ance for the open inter­face from their main cus­tom­er group in the future. The spe­cific­a­tion is sched­uled for pub­lic­a­tion in the first quarter of 2022.


Plans for con­nec­tion of IT, MES and ERP systems

The mar­ket suc­cess of inter­faces depends on the exist­ence of machines and soft­ware that are equipped with the cor­res­pond­ing inter­faces, or that can pro­cess them. “Cus­tom­ers are already ask­ing when their IT, MES or ERP sys­tem will finally be able to pro­cess the stand­ard­ized data,” said Prokop, address­ing the dis­cus­sion. “We have been work­ing on this prob­lem with a num­ber of high-pro­file part­ners for a while now. SAP, for example, has offered us sup­port in sta­ging live demon­stra­tions on many occa­sions. Here at EMO Mil­ano today we are pleased to announce the first pro­duc­tion-ready inter­face imple­ment­a­tions in well-known MES sys­tems in con­junc­tion with our part­ners mpdv and IGH-Infotec,” he announced.


Over­all, umati is attract­ing great interest and meet­ing with approv­al world­wide. In Mil­an alone, 11 machines from Chinese man­u­fac­tur­ers are con­nec­ted via the cooper­at­ing NC Link in China. “The grat­i­fy­ing response is spur­ring the machine man­u­fac­tur­ers and the umati team on to per­severe in the mara­thon task of devel­op­ing such a stand­ard­ized inter­face,” con­cluded Prokop.


To down­load the press release click here: pm_umati_2021-10–05_eng

More pub­lic­a­tions are avail­able in the down­load sec­tion!