VDMA – Robotics

VDMA – Mechanical Engineering Industry Association

VDMA and OPC Foundation – OPC UA Information Model for Robots


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 Robotics unites more than 75 members: companies offering robots, components of a robot, control units and motion device system integrations. The objective of this industry-driven platform is to support the robotics 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.

The joint VDMA and OPC Foundation Working Group “VDMA OPC Robotics Initiative” will develop an OPC UA information model for the robotics communication. Robotics stands for a complete motion device system that includes a list of motion devices. Motion devices can be any existing robot type or even a fictive future robot type. This includes for example industry robots (stationary), mobile robots (also with several robot arms), robots with several control units, robotics periphery without an own OPC UA server, service robots and many more.


Technical overview

The OPC UA Robotics Companion Specification is split up into several parts from part 1 to part n. Part 1 includes a basic description of a motion device system and has the main scope to push out condition data of a motion device system vertically into higher level manufacturing systems (e. g. line PLC, MES; Cloud) for information and diagnostic purposes. Subsequent parts will extend the basic robotics description and cover other use cases, e. g. to configure and control a motion device system or the included motion devices.

Currently identified information blocks for the robotics companion specification:


Project group

  • ABB AS Robotics
  • Unified Automation GmbH
  • B+R automatizace
  • Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG
  • Daimler AG
  • EPSON Deutschland GmbH
  • fortiss An-Institut Technische Universität München
  • Fraunhofer IGCV
  • KraussMaffei Automation GmbH
  • KUKA Deutschland GmbH
  • Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
  • Volkswagen AG
  • YASKAWA Europe GmbH

More Information

      • First release of companion specification has been published at AUTOMATICA trade show, June 2018 in Munich, Germany.



Dr. Reinhard Heister

Robotik + Automation
Standards Development, Industrie 4.0
Lyoner Straße 18
60528 Frankfurt

email: reinhard.heister_at_vdma.org