The German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the German Machine Instrument Builders’ Affiliation (VDW) are collaborating to advertise using OPC UA requirements within the mechanical engineering sector below the Common Machine Know-how Interface (umati) customary.
Launched in 2017 by VDW, umati goals to determine a worldwide customary for easy knowledge switch between varied tooling machines, which incorporates 3D printing techniques and manufacturing administration software program. As it’s based mostly on the OPC UA open machine-to-machine communication protocol, it permits units throughout completely different industrial sectors to attach on one platform. Explaining the VDW and VDMA’s cross-technology technique, Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Government Director of the VDW, states: “Cross-industry and cross-technology advertising will take our prospects a big step ahead.”
“Manufacturing firms haven’t solely machine instruments but additionally their very own particular person mixture of machines, tools, robots and techniques. If all these applied sciences can exist in a standard ecosystem which is right for producing plug-and-play options, this may save finish customers lots of money and time.”
Diagram depicting the umati common interface for machine instruments. Picture by way of VDW.
The umati customary and 3D printing
The VDW, headquartered in Frankfurt am Fundamental, Germany, represents the German machine software industry to the general public, the politicians, enterprise associates and the tutorial neighborhood, each at a nationwide and worldwide stage.
Along with the Sector Affiliation Machine Instruments and Manufacturing Techniques throughout the VDMA, the VDW includes 303 mid-tier firms as of March 2020. The VDMA itself represents round three,300 SMEs within the mechanical and techniques engineering industry in Germany and Europe.
In 2017, the VDW launched an initiative to create an open, standardized interface for machine connectivity. The group opted to base its expertise on the OPC UA protocol, because it supplies a uniform framework for machine and system interoperability. This led to the creation of the Common Machine Instrument Interface (umati) working group and customary.
Main machine software builders, together with the likes of Trumpf and DMG Mori, dedicated themselves to the umati working group when the challenge launched. Two years later at EMO Hannover 2019, an indication of umati interface customary use circumstances befell, exhibiting that it was potential to attach 110 machines to 28 software program companies distributed throughout the exhibition grounds.
German 3D printing software program developer 3YOURMIND joined the umati working group in August 2019, appearing as the principle software program participant within the group’s work to make use of the umati customary particularly for the additive manufacturing course of chain. Looking for to allow automation and serial additive manufacturing within the course of chain, 3YOURMIND opted to work with the umati customary as it’s designed to function with nearly all trendy, automated manufacturing and post-processing machines.
Diagram explaining 3YOURMIND’s strategy in direction of creating knowledge requirements for machine connectivity. Picture by way of 3YOURMIND.
The VDMA and VDW be part of forces
The mechanical and plant engineering sector has been an adopter of OPC UA as the usual for knowledge alternate from an early stage. It was necessary for the sector to develop uniform definitions for fundamental components of a various vary of merchandise in mechanical and plant engineering. As such, varied VDMA departments, equivalent to Electrical Drive Engineering, Plastics and Rubber Equipment, Machine Imaginative and prescient, Metallurgy, Robotics and Machine Instruments, are engaged on establishing the Fundamental Companion Specification ‘OPC UA for Equipment’. “The primary model is scheduled for publication later this 12 months,” introduced Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Government Director of the VDMA.
“Over 30 specialist groupings in additional than 17 associations are engaged on technology-specific interfaces, the “Companion Specs”. This excessive stage of collaboration kinds the idea of true, open interoperability between machines and software program techniques, from the store flooring to the cloud. Solely the VDMA has the means to unite the required integrative forces from the big selection of manufacturing domains,” added Rauen.
In an effort to give the VDMA Companion Specs better visibility and utilization, VDW determined to increase the umati label to cowl all the mechanical and plant engineering industry for the use and promotion of the OPC UA requirements. As such, umati was given a brand new identify: common machine expertise interface. “The VDW and VDMA have determined to maintain this collectively in future. Manufacturing managers all around the world should have the ability to depend on machines from any given producer with the ability to converse the identical language, thus turning the declare of umati – Connecting the World of Equipment, into actuality,” concluded Rauen.
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Featured picture reveals diagram depicting the Umati common interface for machine instruments. Picture by way of VDV.
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