Woodworking made izy
Seven world leaders in woodworking machinery, BIESSE, BÜRKLE, HOMAG, IMA SCHELLING, SCM, WEBER AND WEINIG, have worked together as a team in defining a standardized interface to connect all their woodworking machines, machine to machine, and machines to the customers’ Manufacturing Execution Systems. This means no individual interfaces need to be programmed and an overall control of the production process is readily put in place. The project has been named izy, inspired by universal languages, and it has solved a communication problem in an easy and streamlined way.
For the 7 companies, such a ground-breaking decision to team up and put aside each individual’s competitive standpoint, was led by providing a joint solution to their customers and by vastly improving manufacturing processes. “Establish data exchange with reduced costs in a flexible way, is very much needed for the industry, particularly for small-medium sized companies.” (L.Föhn, Innovation Manager BORM-INFORMATIK).
So, instead of having to develop several individual interfaces, which demand weeks of technical expertise to create tailored software and interface, customers can now benefit from the collective effort that the 7 companies have put in, working together over the past 3 years.
Woodworking made izy is not about individual success, it is about each company’s ability to work for the greater achievement of an efficient ecosystem, whereby they each provide skills and know how, from technical, engineering to marketing, interacting for the very first time in an interconnected system for the sheer beauty of offering a solution needed by their customers.
Woodworking made izy was launched at the Ligna.Innovation Network, last Monday 27th September during an interactive talk moderated by Stephanie Wagner (LIGNA) and speakers Ernst Esslinger (HOMAG), Raphaël Prati (BIESSE), Alexander Broos (UMATI), Michael Ober (IKEA Industry) and Luca Föhn (BORM-INFORMATIK).
Mr Esslinger, Director of Systems Project Execution Edge Processing at HOMAG, and Chairman of the Woodworking made izy Joint Working Group, has headed the technical definition of the Open Companion Specification for the woodworking industry and believes “Digitalization makes everybody’s job easier, we really had to set in place unique and efficient standards so we all now speak the same language”.
Umati (Universal Machine Technology Interface - umati.org) have cooperated in the process bringing together machine builders and users and therefore creating a community of industries by promoting universal standards across many sectors, including – with this project - that of woodworking.
The European Associations have endorsed and sponsored Woodworking made izy, with Eumabois, VDMA, VDW and Acimall who have facilitated and encouraged the process over the past years. “A solution on a European level was necessary for the sustainable success of the project” (J.Koeppel, President Eumabois). VDMA, as largest network organisation and voice for mechanical engineering in Germany and Europe, has consistently provided support to the working team enforcing the strength of the community and recognising the value of the project from its earliest stages.