A Landmark in Localization: The First omlox Test Lab Opens


A New Chapter in Industrial Localization Begins

In November 2023, the Fraunhofer Institute in Lemgo achieved a significant milestone in industrial technology by becoming the world’s first authorized omlox test laboratory. This pivotal moment not only marks a milestone for the institute but also represents an important advancement for customers of locating technologies. The facility in northwestern Germany is perfectly equipped to evaluate the conformity of omlox components to the established standard, a crucial step in ensuring interoperability and quality in localization technologies. 

omlox Products Now Certifiable

A key advancement in the omlox ecosystem is the ability to certify omlox products. This certification allows customers to verify the interoperability and standard conformity of localization products before purchase. Certified products demonstrate compliance with the omlox standard, offering investment security backed by industrial associations, technology openness, manufacturer neutrality, and alignment with other industrial standards.  

Within the omlox certification process, various product categories are covered, ranging from hardware to software. This includes certification of the omlox Core Zone, focusing on ultra-wideband (UWB) and the omlox air interface, which involves communication between tags and infrastructure. Hardware components like tags, which can be certified, and anchors mounted on the ceiling, are integral to this process. Additionally, the omlox Hub and omlox applications also fall under the scope of certification.

Delving into the omlox Standard

At the heart of this revolution is the omlox standard. It represents an unprecedented approach in the industry, facilitating a unified platform where diverse localization technologies such as UWB, RFID, BLE, and GPS can be integrated seamlessly. Overseen by the PROFIBUS User Organization e.V., omlox is pivotal in harmonizing these technologies for broad industrial application.  

omlox reshapes the digital landscape of industries and logistics with its broad application spectrum. It focuses on key areas critical for boosting efficiency and optimizing industrial processes, including enhanced tracking capabilities for various assets, automated documentation and booking of process advancements, real-time location-based information and control for operational efficiency, enabling technologies for autonomous transport solutions, and implementing safety protocols in process industries. 

Fraunhofer’s Integral Role in Advancing the omlox Standard

The Fraunhofer Institute IOSB-INA, as an independent entity in industrial automation, ensures the conformity of omlox components. Working within the omlox test workgroup, the institute translates test requirements into practical lab implementations using an automated test suite that verifies omlox compatibility and API and specification conformity.  In addition, Fraunhofer experts significantly contribute to the development of the omlox standard through:  

  • Developing and refining test specifications for a wide range of applications.  
  • Conducting interoperability tests to ensure seamless integration of components from various manufacturers.  
  • Analyzing positioning accuracy to enhance the precision and reliability of localization systems.  
  • Implementing and evaluating practical use cases for continuous improvement of the standard. 
Photo of first omlox test lab.

Understanding the Hub: A Central Piece of the omlox Standard

Central to the omlox standard is the omlox hub, designed as a key middleware component to bridge a variety of locating technologies. Its primary function is to enable seamless interoperability among these diverse technologies, independent of their individual vendors. This interoperability is crucial for the effective and uniform utilization of location data across diverse industrial applications.  

The omlox hub achieves this by converting local coordinates from various systems into a standardized global geographical format, in line with omlox specifications. This standardization ensures consistent interpretation of location data, irrespective of the technology or vendor. Furthermore, the hub offers robust connectivity through interfaces like HTTPS/REST and WebSocket APIs. These APIs are essential for real-time data processing and dynamic applications in industrial environments, facilitating crucial functions such as tracking, automation, and safety protocol implementation.

DeepHub®: Pioneering the omlox Hub Implementation

Flowcate, a co-founder of the omlox standard and a driving force behind its software architecture, has made a significant contribution with the DeepHub® – the first official reference implementation of an omlox hub. It exemplifies the practical application of the omlox standard, integrating different locating technologies and playing a vital role in the certification process at the Fraunhofer test laboratory. The DeepHub®’s deployment in testing environments allows for effective evaluation of omlox-compliant components, showcasing its importance in the omlox ecosystem and advancing industrial localization.  

Outlook: Advancing Industrial Localization

The inauguration of the world’s first omlox test laboratory at the Fraunhofer Institute in Lemgo marks a significant advancement in the field of industrial localization. This milestone is more than just a testament to technological innovation; it symbolizes a collaborative effort towards reshaping the future of logistics and manufacturing.  

The establishment of this test laboratory is a critical step forward, not only for Fraunhofer but for all stakeholders in the omlox community. Flowcate is proud to be part of a dynamic ecosystem that is driving the industry towards more efficient and sustainable practices.