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New Data Definitions Added to Industry Terminology Standard

Additive manufacturing, robotics, and machine tools are among the updates to MTConnect Institute’s 1.6.0 version released last fall.  One unexpected but highly relevant term – humidity – is significant to AM processes and therefore included in the new version.

Manufacturing industry standard MTConnect standardizes factory device data, and industry adoption continues to advance the standard.

MTConnect Institute has released a new version with important updates to its September 2020 Version 1.6.0 standard, a free, open industry terminology or “semantic vocabulary” for discrete manufacturing. Several new data items and information models were added for additive manufacturing (AM), including a high-frequency data display and new data types and subtypes.

As AM continues to be embraced and grow in popularity in the manufacturing industry, more definitions continue to be added to the Institute’s standard. While some of the definitions might be a bit obscure for the average reader, one new definition, or data type, is a bit easier to understand: humidity.

The Institute’s Russell Waddell explains in layman’s terms why this was added.

“If a manufacturer is building an AM part in an enclosed, sealed space to provide environmental control over the process, the level of humidity is a critical environmental control, as it will potentially affect the porosity of the part, the propensity to clog a nozzle, and other items,” Waddell, said. “By providing a standard definition of humidity and defining standard measurement units, there will be no uncertainty or ambiguity about the definition and measurement of humidity going forward in the industry.”

New data types and subtypes were added for machine tools, including execution states, work offsets, program header subtypes, machine specifications, voltage, and amperage. In the area of robotics, several expanded data items were added, including path orientation, coordinate systems, and joints and axes.

“Despite the pandemic, there has been strong and consistent momentum in advancing and expanding the standard over the past year,” Waddell added. “The committee is coming out with a new release every six months pretty consistently, and we expect Version 1.7.0 to be out in the spring of 2021.”

The release notes for Version 1.6 can be found at:


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