The production in the woodworking industry nowadays implies more and more digital manufacturing processes to gain efficiency and competitiveness through integrated data management and analysis. This means that woodworking machines need to be connected to each other and form a production network linked to an ERP/MES system or a cloud. Without a standard communication protocol connecting machinery from different suppliers, software programming is always required, thus affecting efficiency and costs.
For this reason, eight leading European woodworking machinery manufacturers (Altendorf, Biesse Group, Bürkle, Homag, IMA Schelling, SCM, Weber, Weinig) have formed a working group to define a common language, that enables a seamless communication between machines of different brands. The framework for a new standard, called “P&W, Plug & Work”, is launched at LIGNA 2019. This project is specific for the woodworking industry and is based upon the OPC UA standard (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture), promoted by the OPC Foundation, an international non-profit organization.
Under the roof of EUMABOIS and VDMA, the P&W working group is currently defining a standardized semantic architecture specially for the woodworking industry. The plan is to finalize this ambitious and challenging project in early 2020. In order to maximize the benefits for the clients within the woodworking industry worldwide, the P&W working group is also cooperating with its machine tool manufacturers’ counterpart, which is developing a specific language named UMATI (Universal Machine Tool Interface), dedicated to machine tools.
This will assure woodworkers who are choosing solutions from any company taking part in the P&W working group a perfect and straightforward machine integration independent from their machine/tool brand, and IoT solution.
This guarantees the wood processing companies that choose solutions from the companies involved in the P & W working group a perfect and uncomplicated machine integration regardless of their machine / tool brand and the IoT solution used.