VDMA – Machine Vision

VDMA – Mechanical Engineering Industry Association

VDMA and OPC Foundation – OPC UA Information Model for Machine Vision


The VDMA represents over 3,200 mainly small and medium size member companies in the engineering industry, making it one of the largest and most important industrial associations in Europe. As part of the VDMA Robotics + Automation association, VDMA Machine Vision unites more than 115 members: companies offering machine vision systems and components (cameras, optics, illumination, software, etc.). The objective of this industry-driven platform is to support the machine vision industry through a wide spectrum of activities and services such as standardization, statistics, marketing, public relations, trade fair policy, networking events and representation of interests. As member of the G3 agreement, VDMA Machine Vision cooperates in the field of standardization with other international machine vision associations, such as AIA (USA), CMVU (China), EMVA (Europe), and JIIA (Japan).

The VDMA OPC Vision Initiative working group is a joint initiative of VDMA Machine Vision and the OPC Foundation. The purpose is to develop an OPC UA companion specification for machine vision. A machine vision system is any vision system, smart camera, vision sensor or even any other component that has the capability to extract information by digital images or videos for the shop floor or other industrial markets. Digital images or videos represent data in a general sense, comprising multiple spatial dimensions (e.g. 1D scanner lines, 2D camera images, 3D point clouds, image sequences, etc.) acquired by any kind of imaging technique (e.g. visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, radar, ultrasonic, virtual imaging etc.). With respect to a specific machine vision task, the output of a machine vision system can be pre-processed images or any image-based measurements, inspection results, process control data, robot guidance data, etc.



Technical content

The OPC UA companion specification for machine vision aims at straightforward integration of machine vision systems into production control and IT systems. The scope is not only to complement or substitute existing interfaces between a machine vision system and its process environment by OPC UA, but also to create non-existent horizontal and vertical integration abilities to communicate relevant date to each other authorized process participants, e.g. right up to the IT enterprise level. Therefore, the OPC UA Vision interface exchanges information between a machine vision system and another machine vision system, a machine PLC, a line PLC, or any software system at the control device level accessing the machine vision system.

The information model for the machine vision companion specification:



Project group

  • Unified Automation GmbH
  • Asentics GmbH & Co. KG
  • Kolektor Orodjarna d.o.o.
  • KUKA Deutschland GmbH
  • PEER Group GmbH
  • Robert Bosch GmbH
  • SAC GmbH
  • Silicon Software GmbH
  • VDMA Fachverband Robotik + Automation
  • VITRONIC Dr.-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH


More Information



Dr. Reinhard Heister

Robotics + Automation
Standards Development, Industrie 4.0
Lyoner Street 18
60528 Frankfurt am Main

Email: reinhard.heister_at_vdma.org