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omlox: the open locating standard for Industry 4.0

omlox: Motivation

Any manufacturing site has an incredible amount of moving objects. They have orders, material, carriers, tools, people, transport-equipment, and so on. How can we create a digital representation of these at a reasonable cost and based on a standard, which will allow full interoperability and secure any investments? omlox started exactly with this target.

What is needed for any location transparency or any location-based service? These four elements are crucial:

I) The identifier: The moveable object needs to be identified. It could be done for unique objects by image recognition. But, since different orders often look similar, we need an unambiguous identifier.

II) The infrastructure: The information of the moveable object has to be transported, and the location reference needs to be attached. There are different ways to handle it today, such as RFID-Gates, BLE or UWB beacons or land-marks, and a Wi-Fi network for SLAM based AGVs.

III) The XYZ merging (Geo-Referencing): Location-aware objects come with their own coordinate-system. But they have to interact with other location-aware objects. As a result, there can only be one definition of the coordinates in the smart-factory. Talking the same language is essential.

IV) The applications: There are applications for location data: navigating, tracking, routing, analyzing, warning, and so on. This layer will bring the final value of the location service.

omlox: The Industry 4.0 Location-based Service

omlox is defining standards in the cyber-physical location world: It is defining the interfaces between I) and II) as well as between II) and III) and III) and IV). All in all, omlox is the definition of three interfaces:

  1. The air-interface between I) and II) for a physical reference.

  2. The API between II) and III) to include any location data.

  3. The API between III) and IV) to add any application.

With omlox, users can customize their location solution in a vendor-independent manner. Any mobile omlox device (I) from any vendor can be located by any omlox infrastructure (II) from any vendor. Any omlox hub (III) from any vendor can include any omlox core zone or other any complementary location zones (II) from any vendor. And any location application (IV) fulfilling the omlox specification can be connected to any omlox hub.

In the end, the complete factory design will change with smart location-based services. The benefit of omlox will enable a significant portion of Industry 4.0: Omlox – The real-time location-based service. 

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