This document specifies an OPC UA Information Model for the representation of a machine tool. OPC UA for Machine Tools, Part 1 aims at straightforward integration of a machine tool into higher level IT systems. The scope is to create a common interface among machine tools of different technologies, manufacturers and model series. This first part of the OPC UA Companion Specification for Machine Tools aims to provide the basics for such an interface. These allow for monitoring the machine tool and giving an overview of the jobs on it. This information is mostly technology neutral. The OPC UA for Machine Tools interface allows an exchange of information between a machine tool and software systems like MES, SCADA, ERP or data analytics systems.

OPC Foundation

OPC is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data and information in the industrial automation space and in other industries. It is platform independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. The OPC Foundation is responsible for the development and maintenance of this standard.

OPC UA is a platform independent service-oriented architecture that integrates all the functionality of the individual OPC Classic specifications into one extensible framework. This multi-layered approach accomplishes the original design specification goals of:

  • Platform independence: from an embedded microcontroller to cloud-based infrastructure
  • Secure: encryption, authentication, authorization and auditing
  • Extensible: ability to add new features including transports without affecting existing applications
  • Comprehensive information modelling capabilities: for defining any model from simple to complex

German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW)

The VDW, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, represents the German machine tool industry. Together with the Sector Association Machine Tools and Manufacturing Systems within the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) the VDW comprises about 290 predominantly mid-tier companies. They account for approximately 90 per cent of the sector’s total turnover, which most recently exceeded 17 billion euros.

The VDW represents its members to the public, the politicians, business associates and the academic community, both nationally and internationally. It is also a can-do service provider for its members when it comes to opening up sales markets, keeping the business cycle under observation and acquiring market data, handling technical, commercial and legal issues, cooperation with the international machine tool industry, standardisation and recruitment of new talent. On the basis of in-depth sectoral knowledge, it provides information, consultancy and support in response to individual questions and problems. Permanent committees and working groups guarantee the exchange of sector-specific views and empirical feedback. We provide regular information for our members on topical technical, commercial and legal issues.

In this context VDW is interested in increasing the innovation and competitive capacity of machine tool builders and manufacturers of machine tool controllers by introducing a unified machine tool interface. This universal interface is understood as essential prerequisite towards digital manufacturing