OMAC Shows Signs of Life

March 4, 2011
The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) held its annual meeting in conjunction with the annual ARC Manufacturing Forum in Orlando Feb. 7–10. The organization has seen some major accomplishments during its 14-year life, but recently, it has struggled with ownership and mission.

Gary Mintchell, Editor in Chief of Automation World, and Keith Campbell, retired from The Hershey Co. and himself a former OMAC executive director, were there to report on the proceedings. Campbell covered the packaging workgroup, while Mintchell covered both it and the other active workgroup—machine tool.

Writing in his “On the Edge” blog (, Campbell filed the report below.

PMMI and Nestle step up to the plate with OMAC Packaging Workgroup

The OMAC organization is being revitalized for 2011. After completing its divorce from the International Society of Automation (ISA), the parent OMAC group has developed a new strategic plan. The Packaging Workgroup (OPW) has a new cochair, Bryan Griffen from Nestle, to aid existing co-chair Rick Van Dyke from Pepsico-Frito Lay. And very significantly, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) has agreed to provide administrative assistance to OPW.

Obtaining Nestle leadership and PMMI support are not insignificant events. Nestle is taking this step not just because Griffen has interest in the group, but because management in Switzerland sees OPW as supportive of their business objectives. Watch for more comments coming soon from an interview with Griffen during the ARC conference.

Discussions between OMAC and PMMI have been going on for some time, and their support comes after full consideration by PMMI leadership. In addition, PMMI has partnered with OPW on the PackML World Tour, a program aimed at bringing additional awareness and support of OPW’s PackML (for packaging machine markup language) standard to end users and machine builders around the world. More information and video on the tour will also be available soon right here at

Bryan will be speaking about Nestle’s support of OMAC at the Packaging Automation Forum coming up on April 26th in Chicago. OMAC Packaging Workgroup will be holding an open meeting for press and others on the opening day of Interpack in Dusseldorf to make it clear that OMAC’s work has been the result of global collaboration and is useful to end users and machine builders around the world. If you are planning on attending Interpack, watch for announcement of the time and place. -Keith Campbell

Machine tool working group shows progress

Meanwhile, the machine tool workgroup, has been working on ways to integrate computer numeric controllers (CNCs) into the overall plant information system. The success of this work will mean increased efficiencies in the machining areas of manufacturing. In this vein, the group reported progress incorporating MT Connect standards ( into their standards. -Gary Mintchell

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