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Defining Common Machine Integration Interface Specification For AM machines

3D printing company, BigRep, has become a member of the standardization association umati (Universal Machine Technology Interface) to define a common machine integration interface specification for AM machines. umati, started in 2017, is an open community of machine-building industries focused on adopting a standardized interface based on OPC Unified Architecture.

The future UA4AM (UA Interface for Additive Manufacturing) is designed to facilitate communication between 3D printers and software such as MES, PLM, and ERP. VDMA started the process; now over 200 companies are part of this initiative.

“umati perfectly matches BigRep’s mission towards increased productivity and ease-of-use for our Additive Manufacturing systems and our users in industrial environments. We are open to third-party materials to enable limitless applications; we are open for maximum connectivity to enable fully digital workflows.” states Dr. Sven Thate, Managing Director of BigRep.

Establishing Common Framework For Standardization In AM

There is currently no agreed-upon framework for standardization within additive manufacturing. The lack of standardization across the additive manufacturing industry acts as a barrier to the broader adoption of additive manufacturing. Adopting this standard will enable better interoperability across various digital platforms, better data transmission from one production step to the next, and better-quality assurance. This translates to higher productivity for our users and reduced time-to-market. A robust standard for communication is in itself a driver for innovation as it is a solid base for software companies to build smart solutions.

Digital integration capabilities based on standardization will become a key feature for AM machines on the factory floor. Adopting this standard will allow users to prototype faster, innovate with new APIs, and ensure further interoperability across various digital platforms. This enables smoother workflows and improved to-market times.

BigRep is an early adopter of the standard as we believe in the power of data integration to enable mass AM production and reduce complications across the supply chain. At the recent Formnext 2022, UA4AM was presented for the first time in a public space, showing umati adopting additive manufacturing as an additional industry segment.

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