umati live in Thailand

by Hans Diederichs

Frankfurt am Main. – From 20 to 23 November this year, 48 top German companies from the machine tool and metalworking industries were guests at Metalex in Bangkok. It is the largest metalworking trade fair in the Asean region and this year, for the first time, Germany has been named a partner country. The German presentation focused on an industry exhibition and a joint stand.

"The VDW is taking advantage of our industry's strong profile to present the umati universal machine tool interface for the communication of machines and IT for the first time live in Asia", said Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, Executive Director of the VDW (German Machine Tool Builders' Association), at the Metalex opening ceremony on 20 November in Bangkok.

In a similar demonstration to the one given eight weeks earlier at EMO Hannover, German manufacturers will be showing how simple and easy umati is to use. The umati@METALEX special show will feature three machines from DMG Mori, Heller and Trumpf which will be connected for live production at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre Bitec. Further umati partners' machines outside the exhibition grounds will also be connected. They will exchange their data via a T-Systems data hub in Europe, which was also used to support the showcase at EMO Hannover. Data is retrieved from various applications via the data hub. The aim of the demonstration is to highlight the potential added value. The VDW will be showing how the data converges at the umati booth via its own demo dashboard, the The machines, data hub and software applications communicate using the OPC UA client-server model via VPN tunnelling.

"The use of OPC UA guarantees that umati can be used anywhere in the world, including Thailand," explains Dr. Alexander Broos, Head of Research and Technology at VDW and head of the Umati Project. "We want to show the Thai customers the advantages which umati has to offer. All they have to do is ask about the interface," Broos continues.

The Metalex showcase demonstrates once again how umati can link up a variety of machines and software under the very special conditions of a live demonstration at a trade fair. "There is no need at all for direct communication between the connected partners," reports Broos. The showcase therefore provides proof not only of the function and capacity of the interface, but also of the fact that plug-and-play is now possible in the complex world of machine tools and production systems.

SAP uses umati for customer-specific data analysis

There is also a further umati@METALEX world premiere: SAP, the world leader in end-to-end enterprise application software, database management, analytics, intelligent technologies and experience management, shows how to transform umati-accessible production data into value added. "Many SAP customers operate factories and facilities. They demand compatibility and interoperability not only in their manufacturing, but above all in their production control, plant logistics and maintenance," explains SAP IoT expert Rüdiger Fritz. "As a result we regard being part of the umati initiative as a great benefit and we are looking forward to working with this community."   

Thai customers see the great advantages of umati

umati was also very well received by the Thai audience. "Discussions with numerous media in the past two weeks have shown again and again that people are very curious about umati.” Teratarn Theeratharathorn, Marketing Director of Reed Tradex Thailand, organizer of Metalex, also knows why. "Thailand is just discovering its need to work on Industry 4.0, so this exciting presentation came at just the right time. umati shows new possibilities and benefits.” Especially because German machine tools are becoming more and more popular in Thailand, the attention is very high.

Trade visitors at the umati booth clearly saw the advantages for the Thai industry, but were also sure that there is still a lot to be done before the companies could really use the data. "It was very important for us to get a practical impression of how emerging markets see umati's development," says Alexander Broos, summarising his experience. "If we continue on the right path with our international working group, these countries will probably be able to follow - especially if the technology is as easy to use as umati.

Source and photo: VDW

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