TRUMPF and partners present omlox, the world’s first positioning standard for industry
30 June 2020
The high-tech company TRUMPF and some 60 partners are introducing a standard for positioning technologies. Called omlox, this new industry standard provides the means to integrate all existing technologies such as UWB, BLE, RFID, 5G or GPS and deliver positioning data via a uniform interface.
“Despite the current situation, companies should keep their sights fixed firmly on the future and expand their digital applications. A common standard for positioning solutions simplifies logistics enormously and ensures efficiency gains in digital manufacturing,” says Thomas Schneider, Managing Director of Development at TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen. Omlox may now be used worldwide. Industry partners from all over Europe, Asia and the USA have committed to supporting it. The initiators’ goal is to make it easier for industrial customers to use hardware and software from different vendors.
A global language for industry
They have since handed the project over to the PROFIBUS user organisation, which is to advance the omlox standard globally. PROFIBUS has been supporting various industry standards for 30 years now. It operates worldwide with 1,500 members and 27 national subsidiaries. “The PROFIBUS user organisation has all the processes and a great deal of experience to bring open and easy-to-use standards to the world. As an independent organisation, we can continue to make sure that all partners will be able to contribute on an equal footing,” says PROFIBUS CEO Karsten Schneider.
Interfaces to connect all products have already been defined for omlox. “Like USB, which has become indispensable in the office, we are now enabling different positioning solutions to communicate for the entire industry worldwide,” adds Schneider. Both hardware and software solutions will be able to access the standard. A logo affixed to products will guarantee that they connect to omlox.
A quick, affordable way of connecting solutions from different vendors
Products may be tracked across the board by incorporating various positioning technologies. Omlox serves to pinpoint the location of forklifts, drones, driverless transport systems or tools from different manufacturers with one and the same infrastructure. It enables position data to be used far more widely across the factory. Users can even locate devices inside buildings with accuracy down to the millimetre range, much like what GPS can serve to do outdoors. “The combined use of ultra-precise, robust positioning via ultra-wideband with other tracking tech is the key to industry positioning technologies. Industrial companies can already start transferring existing standalone solutions into this future-proof, open system," says Matthias Jöst, who is coordinating the project within the PROFIBUS user organisation.
Industry partners from Europe, the USA and Asia
The initiators of omlox include the software and IT service providers GFT, T-Systems and AWS, the sensor manufacturers SICK and Pepperl+Fuchs, the research institute CEA Leti, the software vendor Heidelberg Mobil and the tracking solutions provider BeSpoon. Around 60 companies are already supporting the project.
A selection of participating companies:
• TRUMPF (machine tools, laser technology)
• BeSpoon (UWB tracking)
• GFT (IT services and software)
• AWS (global cloud computing provider)
• T-Systems (vendor-agnostic digital services)
• SICK AG (sensor-based solutions)
• Pepperl+Fuchs AG (explosion protection technology and industrial sensors)
• CEA Leti (research institute)
• Heidelberg Mobil (software for indoor location-based services)
• WZL Aachen GmbH, Automation business division (development and application support)
• bridgingIT (technology and management consulting)
• Squadrone System (industrial drones)
• XETICS (smart factory software)
• Zigpos (location tracking applications)
• Swan (SAP logistics projects)
• NAiSE (indoor navigation for automated guided vehicles)
• Cleanfix (cleaning machines)
• Weptech (systems engineering with a focus on wireless connectivity)
• Siemens AG (Digital Industries)
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