Germany – VDW has just launched Umati (universal machine tool interface), a standard interface for machines.
Unveiled recently at AMB Stuttgart by German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) Chairman Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, the purpose of Umati is to provide greater visibility to the industry initiative, Connectivity for Industry 4.0, which was launched a year ago at EMO 2017.
As a brand, Umati is open, future-oriented and internationally connectable, Prokop said.
Demo applications displayed at AMB were developed by a team of eight machine tool suppliers and German control manufacturers. Now, a year later, over a 100 parameters serve the basis for developing the interface. The group has defined 21 use cases for the standard interface for machine tools based on the open OPC UA communication protocol, VDW noted.
The working group integrated an appropriately configured OPC server into their respective machine control system and were able to connect to the respective communication partner and exchange data in a very short time," a pleased Prokop reported.
Launched initially as a German initiative, international co-operation was actually the goal, which, meanwhile, is also attracting global attention. Talks are underway with the U.S. sister association, AMT, especially regarding the open interface MT Connect. The extent to which parts of this can be used in Umati or if both standards can be aligned in the long term is being assessed, VDW explained. Furthermore, Japan, China and South Korea have expressed interest in the new standard.
The progress of the project can now be tracked at www.umati.info as well.