12 November 2008

Connect-and-Pack standard strives for recognition, users, followers

"If you tell the customer that the packaging machine they're buying is ISA88 compliant, they like that, they understand that, they respect that," said Mike Lumping to a gathering of OMAC users at 2008 Pack Expo International Tuesday.

The problem is the users would have to be from the process side of the business.

ISA88 and its newly incorporated technology the Connect-and-Pack standard (including Pack and PackTags) does not resonate as well with the packaging crowd gathered for this event in Chicago.

The ISA88 standard provides a software model for effective operations and control at the process cell and master recipe level.

Lumping is technology leader at Proctor & Gamble. He has led the PackML group for several years.

PackML is an implementation that enables Connect-and-Pack.

Connect-and-Pack standards make packaging operations more effective by simplifying customization and integration, which enables world-class packaging operations.

When implemented, packaging companies and their partners gain a competitive advantage as they leverage an integrated supply chain to optimize operations.

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) is here at Pack Expo to spread the word and gather a following.

They have demonstrations from six different companies that highlight the ease of integrating the various packaging line functions (control, HMI, MES) when utilizing the Connect-and-Pack standards.

The companies participating with the deomonstration units include B&R Automation, Elau, GE Fanuc, Rockwell Automation, Wago, and Wonderware. Each HMI (human machine interface) and MES (manufacturing execution systems) function in the demonstrations can communicate with every controller in the demonstrations using the PackTags specification.

All of the PackTags communication takes place over Ethernet using OPC (OLE for process control). Some of the functions implemented in this integrated demonstration include controlling the machine states and modes, tracking production and reliability (including OEE), and alarm monitoring.

The just approved ISA88 Technical Report on Machine and Unit States documenting how PackML and PackTags follow the ISA88 standard is available on the ISA standards website (www.isa.org/standards).

OMAC is Organization for Machine Automation and Control and it supports the machine automation and operational needs of manufacturing.

-- Nicholas Sheble