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Make2Pack helps ISA-88 branch out

Make2Pack is handing off its work to the ISA-88 (SP88) committee, creating the new Part 5 portion of the standard with consistent models for manufacturing and packaging software. Potential savings are 50 percent or more in design, construction and startup costs, say those involved. Standards efforts pay off, with the potential to revolutionize all of automation, adds David A. Chappell, chairperson of Make2Pack. Chappell, of Procter & Gamble, is working on Make2Pack and related software and hardware demonstrations, along with major end users (such as Arla Foods, Coors, Dow, DuPont, Pfizer, SAB) and automation vendors (Elau, Mettler Toledo, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, Wonderware and others).

Beyond the scope of ISA-88 Part 5 (modular concepts for automated control systems), Make2Pack members also plan to recommend revisions to clarify assumptions and vagueness in the definitions portion (Part 1) and make the tone less batch-oriented, offering those using the standard more adaptability, including for packaging machines. Not all favor revisiting Part 1 for fear that the standard will be less appropriate for its intended batch origins. But the goal, says Dennis Brandl, SP88 chairperson, is to make the standard more beneficial to all areas of automation, without decreasing usefulness for the batch. Make2Pack also will feed the new Part 6, addressing the recipe phase to equipment interface.

Reasons expressed for the changes and additions underway are that automation requirements are similar across manufacturing; end users have a strong desire for improvements; and some OEMs continue to resist change. OEMs are on notice, however; a March 5 letter from major end users says, in part: "We will evaluate our suppliers' abilities to deliver such systems based on the draft standard and may give preferences to suppliers who do so." Modular design saves time and effort because modules can be copied, reused, easily modified or replaced. That includes defining and separating elements of procedure control and basic control (see diagram).

"All control-related sections of the Part 1 standard assume that the process cell in question (physical equipment and related control activities) has been subdivided into well-defined equipment entities such as units, equipment modules and control modules," Chappell says. Such subdivisions are complex, "highly dependent on the individual requirements of the specific environment in which the batch process exists. Inconsistent or inappropriate equipment subdivisions can compromise the effectiveness of the modular approach to recipes suggested by this standard," he adds. Process cell subdivision requires a clear understanding of the purpose of the process cell's equipment, allowing identification of equipment entities that must work together to serve an identifiable processing purpose. Part 5 is expected to reduce complexities that exist in creating modular designs and will reduce the need for certain highly specialized skills to design and maintain a modular system.

Consistency in software structure and software designs expedites troubleshooting, operations, changeovers and upgrades, Chappell says. Will it lead to interoperable objects of code that could transfer among manufacturers? Discussions have extended to creating a "WBFDigitalDevice" to preserve information through the product lifecycle stages: define, design and develop.

The trend extends beyond Make2Pack and ISA-88. Similar, "bigger-picture" efforts also are under way with OMAC for machine tools and ISA-95 for higher-level data models and structures across manufacturing. Why? "Current methods of delivering new manufacturing capability limits the flexibility and agility required by the modern business supply chain," Chappell answers. With these upgrades, "Manufacturing becomes a strategic asset with the agility and flexibility to support business needs."

The Make2Pack group met and reported progress at WBF's March meeting in Atlanta.

Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, [email protected]

For more information, see the following URLs:

www.omac.org

www.isa.org/standards

www.wbf.org

For related articles, see:

"Pack Expo 2005: Unifying Packaging Automation Standards"

www.manufacturing.net/ctl/article/CA6255529

"WBF, OMAC, ISA Harmonizing with S88 to Develop New Automation Standard"

www.manufacturing.net/ctl/article/CA528595

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