umati – Launch of a global brand
For over a year now, the VDW has been working with eight member companies and five control manufacturers to create an open interface for connecting machine tools to higher-level IT systems. The project originally operated under the somewhat unwieldy title “Connectivity for Industry 4.0”. VDW eventually launched the umati brand for the project at AMB 2018 in mid-September in Stuttgart.
Everyone in Stuttgart was familiar with the name umati from the second day of the fair at the latest, after it had been presented by VDW Chairman Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop at a very well attended press conference. umati stands for universal machine tool interface. The VDW believes that the name is open, future-proof, internationally understandable and flexible in its use. The aim is to create an international standard that is used by as many machine tool and control manufacturers as possible worldwide.
Especially suitable for mobile applications, the brand consists of a logo and an icon. It is autonomous and is completely independent of the VDW. Only the tagline “A VDW Initiative” refers to the creator, but will be dropped once the development work is complete and the standard is available on the market. Until then, the high profile of the VDW will support the new brand.
Real and virtual networking at the fair
Part of the so-called Digital Way, the VDW had its own stand in Stuttgart with the aim of drawing attention to the umati look and feel. One of the highlights on the stand was the visualisation of various demonstration links which had been set up specially for the fair by the participating partners. This was clearly represented on a screen by IGH Infotec from Langenfeld which used a site plan to show where the connected machines could be found across the trade fair. On the stands themselves the machines were identified by a sticker. The project partners also signalled their participation in the development of the interface with displays at suitable locations on their stands. Networking – both real and virtual – was the watchword.
All those interested could pick up a small flyer on the umati stand which summarized the key points. This was printed in German and English. The launch was accompanied by a bilingual website www.umati.info which will gradually be expanded and provide a constant flow of updated information on the project status in the future.
Finally, the launch of the brand was accompanied by a social media campaign. Project partners can use the #umati hashtag to report on their umati activities on Twitter. Interested parties can comment and also ask questions.
umati is an acronym, but its meaning is easy to deduce for professionals. The great challenge now lies in raising awareness about umati. Take USB or IOS, for example: these are not self-explanatory, but are now so well known that the acronyms themselves no longer need to be explained to the general public. If this can be achieved for umati in the production technology world – which the many different partners can help bring about – much of the work will be done.
Author: Sylke Becker