The interface standard for machine tools based on OPC UA, with all its functionalities, will finally be presented at EMO Hannover 2019. This provides neutral and open connection of machines to higher-level IT systems. It is a prerequisite for the success of Industry 4.0. Only then can data from different machine manufacturers with different control systems be transferred to ERP and MES systems or into the cloud. There they are further processed or evaluated and thus form the basis of new services and functions.
This connectivity is the key to all the added value and business models that the economy hopes Industry 4.0 will yield. Small and medium-sized companies in particular are counting on being able to connect their machines effectively in order to participate in the new IoT developments. This will help them concentrate on their core competences in their daily business.
This is why the VDW together with eight well-known German machine tool manufacturers and all major control suppliers launched the umati interface in 2017. umati stands for universal machine tool interface. A joint working group was set up for OPC UA at the end of 2018. The international machine tool community is now working in revising and disseminating the standard.
At EMO Hannover 2019 a complete implementation of the specification will be presented – together with a larger number of partners. "The VDW is assuming that the first products will also be offered in which preconfigured OPC UA servers are integrated directly into the respective control units based on the specification, explains Schäfer.