Packaging machines are a vital part of the production process in the consumer goods industry. They often work in multi shift operation, and any malfunctions have to be repaired quickly. Proven automation technology provides clear diagnostic and service strategies, and a partner with a global presence can offer prompt on-site support. My recent blog covered aspects of OMAC Pack ML that enables OEM customers to achieve these goals, using technology that saves time and costs such as motion controllers with enough memory and processing capability to be able to control the entire machine with a single PLC. A multi-language programming environment for both the controller and the HMI are also necessary to guarantee flexibility and reduced development time.
In addition, with PackML — a programming standard required by end-users for their packaging systems - becoming widely accepted by a lot of packaging OEMs, it is important that the machine programming environment is compliant with the standard which also helps reduce programming time. This posts reviews the importance and the benefits of the PackMl standard for the End Users.
in and interview "Do you speak PackML", Brian Griffen, OMAC's Chairman, commented on the importance of the PackMl for the end user:
“As an end user, the problem you have when you build a line is that you buy a filler from one company, a coupon inserter from somebody else, a labeler, a caser, a palletizer and they're each made with a different engineering methodology. So when everything arrives at your factory, you face the task of making the machines work together.
You spend a lot of money with a system integrator who has to go talk to each machine builder and get into the inner workings of each machine. It gets very expensive and very difficult. And where do most of the problems pop up during commissioning? Not in any individual machine, but in making the machines work together.
With a standard methodology in place, the task of integrating the machines becomes much easier. Rather than spending all this time down in the guts of the PLC code aligning bits and bytes, the system integrator is focused on higher-level applications – making the line more efficient and providing tools that make the operator and supervisor more effective.
The end user benefits from having the system integrator and OEM each focusing on what they do best. If you dictate to the machine builder what technology to use, you're guaranteed a suboptimal machine. That's like going to Ford or Volkswagen and telling them how to build an engine. You don't do that. You specify the functionality and performance, you specify PackML and say, "OK, give me your best machine that complies." Then you get exactly what you really want, which is a best-in-class machine with the best possible performance.” 1
“Benefits to the End Users When packaging machines on a line conform to the PackML standard, the end users can achieve the following benefits:
1. Fast start up of a packaging line because of the ease of integration of different machine types and between the plant floor machines with the higherlevel information systems. The key factors are:
a. Inter operable among different machine types.
b. Identically configured common network tags.
2. Maximized system up time because standard PackML Mode and State Machines provide a consistent operations and look-and-feel to reduce the learning curve for users when troubleshooting machine problems.
3. Easy to add features to machines to a line because of reusable code and software objects that conform to the PackML standard.
4. Reduced overall investment and operating costs since learning is provided for subsequent machine implementations”. 2
Visit Schneider Electric booth during the Pack Expo 2015 (September 28-30, 2015) to see how
PackML Standard Helps Improve Packaging Line Performance of South African Breweries’ Soft Drink Division and Highlight Industries was able to build a machine with lower cost and optimized performance with Schneider Electric components. As a result, Highlight Industries saves 25 percent per panel due to lower-cost components and reduced labor to build and design.
 Brian Griffen, OMAC Chairman ” Do you speak PackML? “omac.com Retrieved September 14, 2015
 Masoud Fathizadeh, Jerry Yen, Mark Werthman: “Integration of PackML in Engineering Education” 2013