VDW and VDMA debut new OPC UA interoperability standards

The VDMA and VDW have developed OPC UA specifications for machinery and machine Tools. These open communication standards are free on the VDMA’s website.

The VDW and VDMA have published OPC UA for Machinery and OPC UA for Machine Tools specifications, which deputy executive director of the VDMA Hartmut Rauen says is “an important step closer to our goal of creating a ‘global production language.’”

The OPC UA Specification for Machinery – Part 1 describes basic modules for the machine interface crucial for the entire machine and plant engineering sector. These basic modules can be used individually as required, with each representing one or more use cases.

Part 1 contains machine identification as a use case, requiring information on the manufacturer, serial number and type designation.

An overview of collaborative partners

“Customers typically have different types of equipment in their production department, such as robots, injection moulding machines, machine tools and packaging machines. That’s why it’s important for information such as machine identification or status to be represented and issued in the same way by all machines,” explains Andreas Faath, VDMA’s project manager for OPC UA interoperability and II4IP (Interoperable Interfaces for Intelligent Production).

Dr Wilfried Schäfer, executive director of the VDMA, says that simultaneously launching the OPC UA for Machine Tools alongside the OPC UA Specification for Machinery allows members of the VDW and VDMA to launch products based on OPC UA open communication standards.

VDW and VDMA’s user community tested plug and play interoperability of machines using OPC UA standards through the umati universal machine technology interface. The two organisations have also developed a trade show version of umati for demonstration purposes, consisting of the umati data hub as a way to connect machines and an umati app to serve as a dashboard.

The OPC UA Specification for Machinery – Part 1 is available as a free download from https://opcua.vdma.org/catalog-detail/-/catalog/3803, while the first version of the OPC UA for Machine Tools is available from https://opcua.vdma.org/catalog-detail/-/catalog/3914.