Tobacco Machine Communication (TMC)


In most tobacco factories the secondary machine communication landscape is highly fragmented, both for machine-to-machine and machine-to-higher systems data streams. The fragmentation is evident on many levels: physical media, protocols, data formats, sometimes proprietary, have added up over time with the machines. Unnecessarily high integration efforts result. Moreover, extracting manufacturing insights from the machine data is a valuable opportunity that is severely limited by the fragmentation.

OPC UA is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data 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.

A joint working group of the OPC Foundation and the TMC (Tobacco Machine Communication) working group created this companion specification. It aims at harmonizing data exchange and interoperability requirements for the common benefit of both cigarette manufacturers and OEMs.


Technical content

Main objective of the companion specification is to provide information-modelling concepts and object libraries that can be applied to model a complete production workcentre. It covers machine configurations, product flows, production, set-up, service, live status as well as historical information.


The OPC UA server of the work center can expose information in a harmonized way to upper level systems or to compliant other work centers.


Project group

At the time of writing the TMC Working Group consists of the following members:

  • Japan Tobacco International
  • British American Tobacco
  • Imperial Tobacco Group
  • Philip Morris International


More Information

Download here: Companion Specification “OPC UA for Tobacco Machines”


Project Group Chairman: Elmar Schlöder,

Consultant OPC UA modelling: Diego Paccagnan (Aleph Digital Industry)