VDW – German Machine Tool Builders’ Association

VDW and OPC Foundation: OPC-UA Information Model for CNC Systems


In the field of CNC machine tools, there is a multitude of communication interfaces, profiles and mechanisms for the integration of machine tools into a production network. There are standardized as well as manufacturer-specific solutions to be found. This variety just like the lacking consistency of the standardization currently lead to considerable effort in the case of system networking.
OPC UA presents a standard for cross-vendor communication between different participants. There is a possibility to specify domain and application-specific information models. Although OPC UA presently becomes established in the field of CNC machine tools, there are no universal and consistent information models available.

For this reason, an OPC UA information model has been developed within the cooperation of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) and the OPC Foundation, in order to interface and exchange data with CNC systems.

Technical content

Main objective of the OPC UA companion standard for CNC systems  is to have an Information Model that results in a clearly defined and structured CNC data interface. That means that both data items and its composition are specified. However, manufacturer- and use casespecific
extensions shall be possible. Regarding the structure of the CNC data interface, it is intended to
realize flat hierarchies. However, multiple referencing of objects shall be used for exposing the assignment of components within the hardware or software system.


The focus of the “OPC UA Information Model for CNC systems” is on data that is situated within the CNC kernel but not within the PLC of a CNC system. This results from the main objective of this Information. Model to standardize an interface that provides and enables the access
to clearly defined raw data. Hence, this Information Model addresses applications like UIs, PDA/MDA systems, diagnosis and monitoring applications, but not necessarily MES or ERP systems as
the two latter ones mostly need summarized data.



Project group

  • Chiron
  • Heller
  • Index
  • ISW
  • Rexroth
  • Schütte
  • Siemens
  • Trumpf
  • VDW


More Information


Chair project group: Götz Görisch

German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW)
Corneliusstraße 4
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Phone: +49 69 756081-64
E-Mail: g.goerisch(at)vdw.de
Internet: www.vdw.de