German Machine Tool Manufacturers (VDW) rely on OPC UA


VDW selects OPC UA as the vehicle for implementing coherent, harmonised networking in production operations

Scottsdale, AZ – April 24th, 2018 – The OPC Foundation is pleased to announce VDW, Germany’s foremost Machine Tool Builders Association, adopted the OPC UA standard as the interoperability foundation the VDW will build its long term Industrie4.0 strategy on.  Representing over a hundred twenty mid-size machine builder enterprises, the VDW is collaborating with the OPC Foundation and leading vendors including VDW members Chiron, DMG Mori, Emag, Grob, Heller, Liebherr Verzahntechnik, United Grinding, Trumpf and their controller suppliers including Beckhoff, Bosch Rexroth, Fanuc, Heidenhain and Siemens in the first ever common pursuit of establishing an open, consistent, OPC UA based method for multi-vendor and multi-generation machines to share context rich data between each other and with broader enterprise and cloud based IT infrastructures.

As Dr Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chairman of the VDW explains “Our goal is coherently harmonized networking of the production operation; the vehicle for this purpose is OPC UA, and the energy that drives us forward is the jointly specified constant component of the data that we have to exchange for this purpose”.

VDW’s decision to standardize on OPC UA as an interoperability platform for machine tools positions VDW to address two key challenges machine builders need to overcome to allow them and their customers to realize the value Industry4.0 ready machines can offer.

First, an open method for exchanging raw, context rich machine data is needed in multi-vendor shop-floor environments. To date, this has not been possible due to the number of proprietary and incompatible data models and protocols used by both machine builders and higher-level automation vendors. Defining common OPC UA information models for machine tools and by utilizing the OPC UA data connectivity capabilities addresses this issue.

Second, machines need a secure way to interface with the “rest of the world”.  However, access to this data must be regulated. It requires authentication and access protection. The data must also be pre-compressed and buffered where applicable, because raw data in particular cannot be sent through the network in high resolution and in real time without having an adverse effect on the machine performance. All these functions are taken over by a gateway that will be specified and implemented as a second project phase.

Picture: Martin Gutberlet, Head of Corporate Digital Projects, DMG Mori at OPC press conference

Martin Gutberlet, Head of Corporate Digital Projects, DMG Mori says: “DMG Mori is convinced OPC UA will be the leading industry standard for machine tools and is therefore actively committed to the VDW initiative for defining an open, comprehensive connector based on OPC UA.”

Thomas J. Burke, OPC Foundation President, explains “The OPC UA information model architecture is designed to enable organizations to easily incorporate their data models into the OPC UA architecture and take advantage of the rich set of services that OPC UA provides for seamless information integration and interoperability from the lowest level devices to the cloud.  The OPC Foundation is pleased to work with and partner with VDW to take VDW’s rich, well-defined data model and develop an OPC UA companion specification that will enable members of both the OPC Foundation and VDW to easily develop certified products that dramatically extend seamless interoperability between machine builders and automation suppliers.”

Stefan Hoppe, Vice President OPC Foundation says: “It is great to agree on interfaces and especially the meaning of data to be able to exchange them securely. But it is really exciting to see the real adaptation of such standards. This is exactly what the VDW, the most important organization of the German machine tool industry, is doing with the support of a “who’s who” list of world class machine tool companies and their suppliers!”

About the VDW:
The German machine tool industry ranks among the five largest specialist groupings in the mechanical engineering sector. It provides production technology for metalworking applications in all branches of industry and makes a crucial contribution towards innovation and enhanced productivity in the industrial sector as a whole. Due to its absolutely key role for industrial production, its development is an important indicator for the economic dynamism of the industrial sector as such. In 2017, with around 72,500 employees (annual average for 2017, firms with more than 50 staff), the sector produced machines and services worth around 16 billion euros.
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About the OPC Foundation:
Since 1996, the OPC Foundation has facilitated the development and adoption of the OPC information exchange standards. As both advocate and custodian of these specifications, the Foundation’s mission is to help industry vendors, end-users, and software developers maintain interoperability in their manufacturing and automation assets. The OPC Foundation is dedicated to providing the best specifications, technology, process and certification to achieve multivendor, multiplatform, secure, reliable interoperability for moving data and information from the embedded world to the enterprise cloud. The Foundation serves over 580 members worldwide in the Industrial Automation, IT, IoT, IIoT, M2M, Industrie 4.0, Building Automation, machine tools, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and Smart Energy sectors.
For more information about the OPC Foundation, please visit



Sylke Becker, VDW

Stefan Hoppe, Global Vice President, OPC Foundation


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