OMAC's PackML and Weihenstephan agree to standards | Automation.com

OMAC's PackML and Weihenstephan agree to standards

Research Triangle Park, NC (March 29, 2007) -- The PackML group and the Weihenstephan standards working committee have agreed to collaborate on harmonizing their standards.

PackML and Weihenstephan were organized to meet industry needs revolving around the cost of packaging line integration and operations. Both groups are working to develop processes that will facilitate easier packaging line integration and improve efficiencies by reducing developmental costs and project schedules. The two groups have begun collaborating in an attempt to bridge the international gap, and plan to meet at Hannover Fair to discuss how to harmonize the standards.

Harmonization of the two efforts is important to multi-national bottlers like SABMiller.

"The harmonization of the OMAC's PackML guidelines, with its wide ranging support from a number of leading global companies and the Weihenstephan standard, which is well established with leading European bottling OEM's, is an important step in the right direction," said Garth Basson, Manufacturing Systems Manager for SAB Ltd.. "This brings together two similar efforts from different parts of the world, leveraging the strengths of both and benefiting both suppliers and customers. The result is a true win-win situation."

Roland Heymann, Manager of End User Accounts and Marketing for Siemens, said, "We believe that by bringing relevant packaging standards from Europe and the Americas together, we best serve the interest of international end users and minimize the efforts of machine builders. The joint efforts of OMAC and Weihenstephan will accelerate the optimization process in the packaging industry and global adoption."

PackML is a working group under the OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) and is charged with defining a packaging machine language. This packaging machine language (PackML) facilitates the OPW Connect and Pack theme of easily connecting a packaging machine into an integrated packaging operation. OMAC is based out of the United States and has strong support in the Americas.

The Weihenstephan standards working committee, coordinated by the TU Munich Weihenstephan, was developed by the Chair of Food Packaging Technology to facilitate easy integration of a production data acquisition system for filling systems used in the bottling industry. With the definition of the necessary data contents and physical interface, the connection of production data acquisition systems to the machines of bottling lines via "plug and play" (and without expensive programming) can be achieved. Weihenstephan standards are based in Germany and have strong support in Europe. Members of the supporting working committee are breweries and filling companies (Kulmbacher, Krombacher, Hasseröder, Spaten-Franziskaner, Warsteiner, Franken-Brunnen, SAB-Miller), technology providers (Proleit, Siemens, Rockwell, Elau), and OEMs (KHS, Krones, Heuft, SIG, Matec, Bull, Stratec).

About 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. OMAC is a founding charter member of The Automation Federation.

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