May 2008

OMAC NEWS

Demo unit for connecting, packing

By David Bauman

The OMAC packaging workgroup is developing a specification for a connect-and-pack demonstration unit as educational tools to teach the industry about the benefits of the workgroup's connect-and-pack guidelines. Technology providers will use the specifications to build demonstration units implementing connect-and-pack guidelines on their technology.

These guidelines make packaging operations more effective by simplifying customization and integration. When implemented, packaging companies and their partners gain competitive advantage as they leverage an integrated supply chain to optimize operations.

This specification includes hardware and software. The hardware specification is intended to provide enough detail to insure each demonstration unit has a similar look and feel. It specifies the size and maximum weight of the units to ensure units are portable. Units should require nominal control voltage and no other utility hookups. The software specification will ensure each demonstration unit uses key features in the guidelines, such as state monitoring, reliability tracking, and alarming.

These demonstration units will be designed to enable them to operate either as a standalone educational station or to connect together with up to four demonstration units to simulate the different parts of a packaging line integrated together into a single packaging system. In standalone operation, technology providers will be able to demonstrate how the connect-and-pack guidelines can be implemented on their technology. When multiple units are connected together the plug and play packaging line benefits of the connect-and-pack guidelines can be demonstrated.

This specification will also serve as the basis for the demonstration units for PackExpo. The OMAC packaging workgroup will once again have a booth at PackExpo scheduled for 9-13 November in Chicago.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Bauman is technical director at OMAC in Ft. Wright, Ky.