Two German industry consortia, the Association of German Machine Tool Builders (VDW) and the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), have announced a plan to strengthen their collaboration and to introduce umati as a brand for universal OPC UA standards for the machinery industry. The technology and pan-industry activities are intended to help drive the worldwide acceptance of umati as a standard communication protocol. What does this mean for machine builders and their end users?
What is umati?
Umati stands for “universal machine technology interface” and is a communication standard for machines. The initiative of the VDW is based on an OPC UA companion specification. Initially intended for machine tools and their infrastructure, umati already enjoys broad acceptance with many of the world’s leading machine tool manufactures and suppliers as partners in the so-called Joint Working Group. By merging the efforts of VDW and VDMA, umati can become a driver for standardized communication protocols in the machinery and automation markets.
Machine builders and users can benefit from a standardized communication protocol on various levels. The integration process to realize a synchronized control and data exchange between machines of different kinds stands to benefit from a standardized communication interface. OPC UA is web-based, which offers many advantages for vertical data integration. Moreover, the link of OT and IT can help to digitalize and connect the whole process chain of order, design, planning, production, and logistics. Using the umati communication platform, machine builder and users can speed up development and deployment of IoT solutions at all production levels.
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Co-Author: Johannes Anzeneder.