The omlox tracking standard – An enabler of sustainable production
Sustainability is a topic many companies are engaging with in a major way right now. One key pillar being considered is the efficient use of equipment and resources. Tracking technology for the localization of production parts, tools and mobile machines can greatly contribute to their being used more efficiently and comprehensively, getting more out of production machines and having therefore to acquire less new equipment overall.
While it used to be very laborious and expensive to implement holistic and seamless tracking for all equipment and resources, the new omlox tracking standard from PI (PROFIBUS & PROFINET International) now enables very cost-effective use of tracking technology. Open interfaces guarantee technology & manufacturer independence and enable the embedding of existing tracking systems.
The omlox standard describes two elements here: lightweight and modern tracking middleware (“omlox hub”) and an open ultra-wide band system (“core zone”). An “omlox hub” harmonizes the position data from various tracking technologies and provides frequently used tracking services such as geofencing and distance detection. UWB devices from different manufacturers can be tracked in a “core zone,” which enables device variety and multiple utilization of the tracking infrastructure. All other tracking technologies can be connected to an omlox hub via “complementary zones.”
Over the past few months, the specification documentation for an omlox hub and core zone were completed by the technical working groups based on a collection of requirements of the Use Cases Working Group. As is common practice for the PI family of technologies, the documentation was checked by all members in a review and approval process and a final version is now available for download by all members. Over the next few months, a testing and certification service for omlox product quality control will be established according to established PI processes. Meanwhile, the initial versions of the test specifications have already been created. Work on corresponding testing software and the establishment of PI Test Laboratories for omlox has already begun as well.
Professional introduction to the market is crucial for the success of new technology. The responsible working group has already been active in this regard since the inclusion of omlox into the PI technology portfolio. A number of workshops and virtual trade fairs have already been held, and omlox is also being promoted on the respective social media channels.