In an initiative led by TRUMPF, some 60 industrial companies will present omlox, the new standard for positioning technology, at Hannover Messe. This standard will serve to jointly connect tracking technologies such as ultra-wideband, RFID, 5G and GPS. With this move, these companies are responding to the rising tide of positioning solutions in industrial manufacturing.
“The goal of the initiative is to make it easier for industrial customers to use hardware and software from different vendors. This saves the end customer time and money,” says Thomas Schneider, Managing Director Research & Development at TRUMPF. Many of today’s radio technologies only work on their own. Now all positioning data are to be displayed in a uniform coordinate system. This will facilitate industry customers’ efforts to integrate solutions from multiple vendors.
A quick, affordable way to connect solutions from different providers
omlox is very much about connecting the heart of the supply chain, the factory. To determine distances with accuracy on a centimeter scale, positioning solutions have to cope with disruptive factors such as metal that deflects radio waves. Ultra-wideband (UWB) has proven its merits as a highly robust radio technology. Take, for example, automated guided vehicles and drones. They find it easier to calculate their positions and are better able to navigate with the help of these radio waves. To date, it has not been possible to connect solutions from different suppliers. The new standard will change that. Much like plug-and-play USB and Bluetooth consumer technology, it provides the means to directly connect and combine devices from different vendors.
Industry partners from Europe, the USA and Asia
Industry partners from all over Europe, Asia and the USA have committed to the new UWB standard. These companies include the software vendors and IT service providers GFT and T-Systems, the sensor manufacturers SICK AG and Pepperl+Fuchs AG, the research institute CEA Leti, the software vendor Heidelberg Mobil and the tracking solutions provider BeSpoon. Some 15 of these enterprises will be at Hannover Messe to present the omlox initiative at its public unveiling. At booth D34 in hall 17, they will demonstrate how multiple vendors’ positioning solutions can work together. Companies are welcome to join the omlox initiative. Once the fair is over, an independent organisation will be tasked with continuing to develop the standard while treating all the project partners equally and fairly.
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