P&G Develops PackML Implementation Guide

Soon to be available for download from OMAC, the Guide is expected to accelerate adoption of the standard by both users and machine builders.

The OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW, www.omac.org) has announced the development of the P&G PackML Implementation Guide. This implementation guide has been created by The Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G, www.pg.com), the Cincinnati-based consumer products giant, to aid software developers in achieving a clean and efficient implementation of PackML.

PackML, which stands for Packaging Machine Language, defines a common approach, or machine language, for automated machines. The primary goals are to encourage a common “look and feel” across a plant floor and to enable and encourage industry innovation. PackML, developed originally by OPW, was adopted as part of the International Society for Automation’s ISA88 industry standard in August 2008. (OMAC, which stands for Organization for Machine Automation and Control, is a charter member of the ISA’s Automation Federation.

P&G initiative

PackML implementation can lead to cost benefits including higher reliability, better supply chain integration, reduced engineering and training costs, and shorter project cycles, proponents point out. But as with most standards, all implementations are not necessarily identical, which led P&G to act.

“Although the PackML standard exists, a well-defined implementation approach has not yet been developed. P&G found many industry PackML implementations not very robust and often too complex. This frequently led to reworking the software, costing effort and money. So P&G developed efficient, robust software validated on a variety of machine systems,” explains Rob Aleksa, P&G corporate machine control section head. “We decided to provide the software to industry, through OMAC, to drive a standard implementation approach. We want to ensure P&G and others get maximum benefit from the PackML standard.”

P&G provided a P&G PackML Implementation Guide to OMAC in August, along with the software and help files for an implementation on the ControlLogix platform from Rockwell Automation Inc. (www.rockwellautomation.com), Milwaukee. The OPW group, after reviewing the guide, decided to adopt it and to encourage technology providers to develop example software that follows the guide.    

For more on the P&G PackML Implementation Guide and other OMAC-related issues, listen to Wes Iversen’s podcast interview with OMAC Technical Director Dave Bauman at Pack Expo Las Vegas.

“OPW is anticipating that the implementation of this guide and example software code will help accelerate the adoption of PackML by both users and machine builders,” says OMAC Technical Director Dave Bauman. “In fact, a number of other technology providers, including B&R Automation, GE Fanuc, Kepware, Schneider Electric Elau Packaging Solutions, Siemens and Wonderware are planning to develop example software code that will also be available for download on the OMAC Web site.”

The PackML implementation guide and the example Rockwell software code developed by P&G will be made available for download from the OMAC Web site (www.omac.org) in November, Bauman says.
 

OMAC Packaging Workgroup
www.omac.org

The Procter & Gamble Co.
www.pg.com

Rockwell Automation Inc.
www.rockwellautomation.com
 
For more on the P&G PackML Implementation Guide and other OMAC-related issues, listen to Wes Iversen’s podcast interview with OMAC Technical Director Dave Bauman at Pack Expo Las Vegas, at www.automationworld.com/podcast-6109.

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