OMAC Celebrates First Anniversary with ISA |

OMAC Celebrates First Anniversary with ISA

March 022006
Research Triangle Park, NC (2 March 2006) -- One year after affiliating with ISA, OMAC's outlook is brighter than ever. OMAC is reporting renewed strength in the development and use of open, interoperable control and automation systems technologies for end users, technology providers, and OEMs. OMAC reported on progress made in a number of packaging, manufacturing infrastructure and machine tool initiatives at its annual meeting. The meeting was held in concert with the ARC Next Generation Manufacturing Forum in Orlando, FL.

"The hard work of numerous volunteers from the end user community, working in concert with technology suppliers and OEM's, was very apparent this week. Our affiliation with ISA in 2005 has been a major contributor to our progress. In this past year, we have applied more resources, increased the extent of our collaborations, heightened our visibility, and secured our future," said Andy McDonald (Unilever), OMAC Chairman of the Board. "With ISA's assistance, we have brought a technical director on board to help facilitate our work, developed strategic business plans for each of our working groups, started the rejuvenation of our manufacturing infrastructure group, implemented a new web site and a series of email lists, and launched a web seminar program to fulfill our educational mission."

"It has been very satisfying to work as an OMAC Board member on behalf of ISA. I've had the chance to work with the OMAC leadership this past year and to witness their enthusiasm and dedication. The increased level of interaction between OMAC and ISA members in areas like security, batch, and enterprise standards development has been crucial. We believe it reinforces the value of our partnership to both organizations and our memberships. We are rationalizing our work plans and getting results.

We're meeting our goals of greater efficiency, faster progress, and better work products for the profession," said Ken Baker, ISA President.

Several presentations at the annual meeting focused on the development of industry guidelines and successful application of previously developed guidelines. Some highlights from those presentations are:

  • Make2Pack, now entering ISA-SP88 review, integrates packaging and converting operations into the ISA-88 standard (tentatively as Part 5).

    With an upsurge of support from food, beverage, CPG and pharmaceutical manufacturers, Make2Pack enables modular design, vertical integration with the enterprise and horizontal integration between packaging and processing lines.

  • The benefits of the implementation of PackML in two installations, one completed in 2005 in South Africa, and the other being commissioned in March of 2006 in Ohio, was reported by a major end user along with the design/build integrator and one of the equipment OEMs.

  • Integration of factory floor Computer Numerical Control (CNC) information into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) subsystems has been difficult, if not impossible. Traditionally, the factory floor machines have been "islands of automation." Boeing/NIST/Okuma jointly collaborated on a project for using a CNC open architecture controller to collect real-time Boeing-specific part accounting data during the production of Boeing 737 Leading Edge (LE) Panels.

    The 2006 OMAC Board of Directors was elected at the meeting and includes Rob Aleksa (Procter & Gamble), Ken Baker (ISA), Garth Basson (SABMiller), Dennis Daniels (ARC), Les Franke (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.), Andrew McDonald (Unilever), Tracy Miller (Deere & Company), and Sid Venkatesh (The Boeing Company). The Board affirmed the key priorities of the organization in 2006. One priority is to develop "connect-and-pack" guidelines that provide easier integration horizontally (process to packaging) and vertically (packaging to ERP systems). The board also looks to provide input to Microsoft on the operating system needs in the manufacturing environment. A final key objective is to generate support from CNC controller vendors, CAD/CAM suppliers and CNC OEMs of the OMAC endorsed open-architecture specifications, including STEP-NC, OPC, and other best practices technologies, through products and practices.

    About OMAC
    OMAC-The Open Modular Architecture Controls Users' Group ( is an affiliate organization of ISA- The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society- and 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, and to facilitate the accelerated development and convergence of industry and government developed OMAC technology guidelines to one set that satisfies common use requirements.

    OMAC has about 500 member representatives from end-user companies, OEM's, and technology providers and integrator companies. OMAC currently operates three Work Groups: Packaging Machinery, Manufacturing Infrastructure, and Machine Tool.

    About ISA
    Founded in 1945, ISA ( is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities.
    Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere.
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