Members of the OMAC Packaging Working Group's PackML and PackSpec committees met December 4-5 at B&R Industrial Automation's facility in Atlanta with two objectives:
• To make PackML easier to implement and benefit from, and
• To to develop a universal controls specification for packaging machinery based on OMAC Packaging Guidelines.
"Access to the universal specification alone, featuring best practices from world class companies, will be enough to justify the cost of OMAC corporate membership for packagers, integrators and machinery providers regardless of their revenue, industry and geographic footprint," says John Kowal, an OMAC and PMMI board member observing the workshops.
"Simplified PackML adds the benefit of making productivity-enhancing practices such as OEE more accessible to small- and mid-market companies, while it will accelerates adoption and scale-up across Global 2000 enterprises. Of course, current OMAC members will gain the most, both the opportunity for input and first mover advantage," he adds.
Based on initial experiences using the PackML standard, the committees clarified and simplified ISA TR88.00.02 language. identifiying the most-often used PackTags to let developers and users achieve the fastest returns on investment. After comments and review by OMAC members, the proposed tag revisions will be submitted to ISA and the ‘minimum' tag list will be published in an OMAC implementation guide. The group's intent is to present the changes for ratification at the annual OMAC meeting, held in conjunction with the ARC Automation Forum February 11-14, 2013 in Orlando, Florida.
PackSpec harmonized its specification document with the PackML revisions, intending to present its specification template at the annual OMAC meeting in February 2013, to beta test the specification with an end user and OEM, and to develop a test protocol. A future goal is to develop a software compliance tool for PackML.
TR88.00.02 can be purchased directly from ISA, whereas PackML guidance and PackSpec documentation is available exclusively to OMAC corporate members. These initiatives will make it easier for machine builders, packagers and systems integrators to efficiently and consistently implement OMAC initiatives.
The teams also outlined a five year plan to present to OMAC Packaging Workgroup leadership, covering TR88 revisions, education activities, a modular programming template and harmonization with the Weihenstephan protocol.
Participants included new OMAC corporate members SMC and Patti Engineering, along with representatives from Bosch Rexroth, B&R, GE Intelligent Systems, Invensys, Lenze, Nestlé, Nestlé Purina, Omron, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Rockwell Automation, Sidel and Siemens.
The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) help manufacturers and suppliers work together to identify new and innovative ways to increase the effectiveness of their production operations. OMAC brings together leading End-User Manufacturers, OEM Machine Builders, System Integrators, Technology Providers, and Non-Profit / Government Agency organizations to address issues that confront global manufacturing today. OMAC's two working groups, Packaging and Machine Tool, lead the way in producing industry consensus guidelines that help manufacturers reduce their delivery times, be more efficient with available resources, and increase profitability. More information is available at www.omac.org.
PMMI is a trade association of more than 600 member companies that manufacture packaging, processing and related converting machinery in the United States, Canada or Mexico; machinery components and packaging containers and materials