Subscribe and listen to AW’s podcast!
Subscribe and listen to the Automation World Gets Your Questions Answered podcast!
Listen Here

ISA88 Incorporates PackML/PackTags Documents

The newly approved ISA88 Technical Report on Machine and Unit States is expected to help reduce system integration time and costs for dedicated process and packaging equipment.

The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society’s ISA88 Committee has approved a new ISA88 Technical Report on Machine and Unit States. This technical report incorporates the OMAC Packaging Workgroup’s PackML and PackTags documents with the industry standard ISA88 terminology. The PackML Subgroup of the Organization for Manufacturing Automation and Control (OMAC) led the development of this technical report with support from the ISA88 Committee.

PackML stands for Packaging Machine Language and contains a flexible state model for how a machine operates. PackTags is a comprehensive set of naming convention guidelines for communications between production machinery and support systems such as human-machine interface or manufacturing execution systems. PackML and PackTags, along with industry communication standards, enable Connect-and-Pack plug-and-play packaging machines.

Here’s how

The technical report addresses the implementation of ISA88.00.01 in discrete machines and demonstrates how to apply the standard to discrete machine states and modes.

The “standard” method of programming discrete machines is generally considered to be solely dependent on the machine and the software engineer, or control systems programmer. This constant change offers little additional value and generally increases the total costs, from the designing and building of the process to operating and maintaining the system by the end-user.

The technical report is intended to break this paradigm and create a standard programming methodology as a consistent way to install, communicate, operate, and maintain a unit or machine. The report cites real control examples as implementations, and provides specific tag naming conventions; it also cites a number of common terms that are consistent with batch processing and ANSI/ISA 88.00.01.

“I believe that the technical report will become an important complement to the widely used and respected ISA88 standards—significantly reducing system integration time and costs for dedicated process and packaging equipment. It will enable the packaging flexibility and agility that is now required for 21st century manufacturing,” said Dennis Brandl, Chairman of the ISA88 Committee and President of BR&L Consulting Inc., Cary, N.C.

OEM motivation?

“This is very good news,” added Rob Aleksa, corporate engineering section head for The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati. “Hopefully, more OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) worldwide will adopt this as their machine standard. P&G is in the process of rolling out PackML within the various business units. Some business units (such as Beauty Care) are already including PackML requirements in their OEM specifications. As we discuss our needs with OEM’s, this should help motivate OEM’s to execute the PackML standard.”

A number of end-users have begun to implement packaging systems using PackML and PackTags. This approach greatly simplifies integration because all systems are implemented using a common language. Users also benefit from lower training costs because the machines are implemented using a common approach. Machine builders that implement PackML and PackTags find that engineering time is reduced because all machines are developed using a common approach. This common approach also accelerates start-up time for a new machine.

Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society

Discover New Content
Access Automation World's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover New Content
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Take Automation World's machine learning quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts