The ISA88 Committee has approved a new ISA88 Technical Report on Machine and Unit States. This technical report incorporates the OMAC Packaging Workgroup’s PackML and PackTags documents with the industry standard ISA88 terminology. OMAC–The Open Modular Architecture Controls Users’ Group (www.omac.org) works to collectively derive common solutions for both technical and non-technical issues in the development, implementation, and commercialization of open, modular architecture control (OMAC) technologies,
The OMAC PackML Subgroup led the development of this technical report with support from the ISA88 Committee. This was a major step in moving PackML and PackTags from an OMAC guideline to part of the ANSI/ISA88 set of standards, and illustrates how OMAC and ISA are working together to provide solutions for manufacturing organizations.
Dennis Brandl, Chairman of the ISA88 Committee and President of BR&L Consulting, said, “This is a major step forward in bringing together the best design, implementation, and integration methods from OMAC and ISA. I believe that the technical report will become an important part of the widely respected ISA88 standard—significantly reducing system integration time and costs for dedicated process and packaging equipment. It will enable the packaging flexibility and agility that is now required for 21st century manufacturing.”
PackML stands for Packaging Machine Language and contains a flexible state model for how a machine operates. PackTags is a comprehensive set of naming convention guidelines for communications between production machinery and support systems (e.g. MES, HMI). PackML and PackTags, along with industry communication standards, enable Connect-and-Pack™, plug-and-play packaging machines.
The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) has developed a set of guidelines to facilitate Connect-and-Pack™ including PackML and PackTags. Recently, OPW has been focused on converting these guidelines into standards in order to accelerate adoption by users and machine builders. This technical report is a major part of that effort.
Rob Aleksa, Corporate Engineering Section Head for Procter and Gamble, said, “This is very good news. Hopefully more OEM’s worldwide will adopt this as their machine standard. P&G is in the process of rolling out PackML within the various business units. Some business units (e.g. Beauty Care) are already including PackML requirements in their OEM specifications. As we discuss our needs with OEM’s, this should help motivate OEM’s to execute the PackML standard.”
A number of end users have begun to implement packaging systems using PackML and PackTags. This approach greatly simplifies the integration cost since all systems are implemented using a common language. Users also benefit from lower training costs since the machines are implemented using a common approach. Machine builders that implement PackML and PackTags find that engineering time is reduced since all machines are developed using a common approach. This common approach also accelerates startup time for a new machine. In many cases, the technology providers will provide whitepapers or example code of how to implement PackML and PackTags on their platform.
For more information about ISA88 or other ISA standards, visit www.isa.org/standards.