German-Indonesian Exchange on Global Production Language


Digitalisation is changing the way people work. Indonesia has enormous potential in the digital sector, which can greatly impact the manufacturing sector of the country. A digitalised industry enables the exchange of data between different machinery. This requires uniform standards. A Global Production Language (GPL) is key to the successful introduction of Industrie 4.0 and the interoperability of machines and plants.

Individual machines should be able to communicate with each other. © Suwin / Shutterstock

The event “The Global Production Language – Next Level of Intelligent Production” on 16 March 2022 was organised by the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) in cooperation with the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA – Verband Deutscher Maschinen und Anlagenbau). The participants exchanged knowledge on the implementation of the Global Production Language and explored compatible interfaces for machine-to-machine communication.


Standardised machine languages are essential in the digital ecosystem

At the beginning of the workshop, Dietmar Goericke (VDMA) introduced VDMA's activities in Germany such as the Plattform Industrie 4.0. Various aspects of Industrie 4.0 were discussed, including the importance of digitalisation. It will change the way people work even more dramatically in the future. Goericke presented the Open Platform Communications – Unified Architecture (OPC UA). OPC UA allows machines to communicate and exchange information with each other securely. He highlighted the necessity for global cooperation, in this case the German-Indonesian cooperation, to further strengthen OPC UA applications.


In his opening remarks, Heru Kustanto, Head of the Center for Industrial Technology Usage Optimization and Industrial Services Policy of the Indonesian Ministry of Industry (MoI), explained that Indonesia's digital sector has high potential. Therefore, MoI launched the “Making Indonesia 4.0" programme to promote the country's economic growth.


Nina Stock as representative of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) underlined that Industrie 4.0 is key to realise new business models in this digital era. She stressed that standardised machine languages are essential in the digital ecosystem. Thus, BMWK brings together different actors in the market to create solutions for its implementation. She appreciates that Indonesia, through GPQI, is one of the partner countries to discuss these important aspects with.


OPC UA: One language across the entire production infrastructure

As part of the event, Indonesian and German experts shared their experiences and discussed their perspectives on the need for a Global Production Language.


Johannes Olbort (VDMA) explained the complexity of the network between machines and systems. He pleaded for the standardisation of machine communication. VDMA tries to achieve this with a common language through OPC UA. Olbort highlighted that OPC UA enables interfaces to be standardised and meets the requirements of mechanical engineering. It also offers transport mechanisms and data modelling. Furthermore, VDMA has developed industry-specific OPC UA companion specifications.


William Tanuwijaya (OPC Foundation Hub ASEAN) added that data-driven decision making is critical and can revolutionise the top floor, but needs a lot of data. Accoding to him, OPC UA is a suitable platform for the data. The OPC UA companion specifications enable the standardisation of information models because everything is described the same way.


Indonesian developments regarding the Global Production Language

Toto Suharto, President Director from SKF Indonesia, gave insights into Indonesian developments regarding the Global Production Language. Since Indonesia is still in the early stage of implementing Industrie 4.0, many companies are not yet aware of the advantages that come along with it. It is a safe, reliable, and independent platform for information exchange. However, Indonesia still faces challenges when it comes to Industrie 4.0. These include the necessity to improve the IT infrastructure and machines, which are ready for automation but not communicating with each other yet. He suggested that they can start with OPC UA as a way of integrating the machines. Suharto highlighted that it is necessary to educate companies on how they can use the Global Production Language. Awareness about OPC UA needs to be increased.


All participants agreed that the Global Production Language is an important, future-oriented topic and GPQI conveyed that more activities in that regard are planned.


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