Photo: VDW/VDMA

umati: A shared language unites machines

The more easily machines from different manufacturers »communicate with each other«, exchange information and use it together, the faster and better the potential for increased productivity can be tapped. This is precisely why the VDW industry initiative is laying the foundation with umati. umati is a universal interface, which is establishing itself worldwide as an open standard for the machine tool industry.

For Pascal Schröder, Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group, umati – short for universal machine technology interface – is »a crucial step towards networked production and Industry 4.0. umati makes it easier to connect machining centers and peripheral devices from different manufacturers to customer-specific IT ecosystems and therefore has the potential to establish itself as a global standard for the machine tool industry in the medium to long term.«

How umati works

 Image Source: VDW/VDMA
Image Source: VDW/VDMA

Shared effort, shared standard
In addition to having a lot of potential, umati also has strong advocates, who are jointly promoting the project of a standardized interface: Alongside the CHIRON Group, other leading machine tool manufacturers such as DMG Mori and Trumpf are also part of the core team behind the initiative. All reputable providers of control systems are also represented, as well as other supporters, such as SAP and the Institute for Control Engineering of Machine Tools and Manufacturing Units at the University of Stuttgart.

»As a manufacturer of high-quality machining centers, we, as a strong interest group, are facing the challenge of digitalization by pulling together with the umati interface.«
Pascal Schröder
Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group

For the first time, umati offers the possibility of simple and defined integration of machining centers in superordinate MES or ERP systems. umati is based on the OPC UA interface standard, which is becoming increasingly established in machine and plant engineering. The advantages are platform-independent, cross-manufacturer communication and integrated mechanisms for high data security.

The CHIRON Group has already demonstrated how networked production works in practice at the EMO 2019 using a DZ 16 W five axis machining center with umati interface. The machine was integrated in both the VDW-Cloud and the CHIRON DataLine. In addition, umati was used to integrate other external machines from different manufacturers in DataLine. Using DataLine, it was possible to determine, analyze and visualize machine information from the CHIRON machining center as well as from the external machines live.

For more information about umati and the EMO Showcase, see here

umati: Strong network with strong partners

Machines: CHIRON, DMG Mori, Emag, Grob Werke, Heller, Liebherr Verzahntechnik, Trumpf, United Grinding
Application partners:
GF Machining Solutions, Pfiffner
Control systems:
Beckhoff, Bosch Rexroth, Fanuc, Heidenhain, Siemens
OPC UA Support:
Institute for Control Technology of the University of Stuttgart

 At the EMO Hanover 2019, 70 companies with 110 machines presented a live implementation of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Specification. They connected via a data hub with 28 software solutions. Image source: VDW/VDMA
At the EMO Hanover 2019, 70 companies with 110 machines presented a live implementation of the OPC UA for Machine Tools Specification. They connected via a data hub with 28 software solutions. Image source: VDW/VDMA
 The umati network has grown significantly.  Bildquelle: VDW/VDMA
The umati network has grown significantly. Bildquelle: VDW/VDMA