Collaboration Update – OPCF & VDMA

Mechanical Engineering Secures Future of Smart Production

– New foundation of the VDMA department Machine Information Interoperability (MII)
– Latest addition to the OPC UA for Machinery specification standardizes the status of all machines in the production environment

OPC UA is the key to standardized networking of machines from the shop floor to the cloud in mechanical and plant engineering. The VDMA has recognized this from the beginning and has set up the topic of OPC UA in numerous industry-specific projects. This decentralized approach is now being replaced by a new strategic orientation and positioning: “We have founded the new Machine Information Interoperability department at VDMA in order to constantly optimize the interoperability of the production worlds and the Industrie 4.0 ecosystem. OPC UA interface development is the focus of this work and thus forms the basis for our umati initiative towards a uniform, implementation-strong implementation. With this we are gaining worldwide support,” says Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Managing Director of the VDMA. The leading function of the newly founded department will be assumed by Andreas Faath. “With Andreas Faath, we have a strong leader of the Machine Information Interoperability department. He has already played a key role in driving forward the activities on OPC UA as project manager for several years,” says Rauen. In the newly founded department, the central development of industry-specific OPC UA Companion Specifications will be driven forward in particular, as well as ensuring consistency and coherence with other interoperability approaches in the Industrie 4.0 ecosystem in the long term.

Major step towards intelligently networked production

The second version of “OPC UA for Machinery” contains the machine status, which is required for use-cases such as machine monitoring or KPI calculations. This module makes it possible to see the current status of the machine. “The new publication of the OPC UA for Machinery specification, which applies to the entire mechanical engineering sector, is another major step towards the goal of a uniform global production language,” says Andreas Faath. Stefan Hoppe, President of the OPC Foundation adds: “The harmonization activities of the VDMA succeed in simplifying the huge, complex and heterogeneous world of production, so that the manufacturing industry can use coordinated cross-industry solutions” The topic-related building blocks of OPC UA for Machinery enable a modular way of use. The use of the building blocks essentially leads to cost savings during commissioning and makes it much easier to monitor production. The document can be obtained online free of charge as a VDMA specification and OPC Foundation specification. The public has the opportunity to comment until March 1st in 2022.

BMWi promotes the idea of the world language of production

OPC UA for Machinery is the decisive step towards an overarching harmonization of the numerous activities that have been established around the machinery and plant engineering sector. In the VDMA alone, 40 working groups and over 600 companies are currently involved with OPC UA interface standardization with growing momentum and international awareness. The relevance of this harmonization endeavor has been recognized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and is supported in the course of the project “Interoperable Interfaces for Intelligent Production”. The project results form a central building block of Industry 4.0 in both the national and international environment.

“Together with our members and other stakeholders, the harmonization of the global production language, supported by the BMWi, makes it possible to raise smart production to a new level globally,” says Andreas Faath.