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'Why is PackML important, why is OEE important, and how can they work together in your machine-control scheme?'

That's the question Doug Meyer posed at Pack Expo 2013, just before he revealed the answers to attendees of his presentation on the topic...
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FILED IN:  Controls  > OMAC  > PackML
     
Doug Meyer, motion project manager with Yaskawa America’ drives and motion division, explained how the global PackML standard, with its modular architecture and programming methodology, can enhance the successful rollout of OEE or Overall Equipment Effectiveness. PackML, he explained, provides a consistent look, feel and execution method across all machines with greater ease for maintenance and troubleshooting machines; and software 'hooks,” or a common means, for performing data collection. 
 
How PackML enables OEE
Meyer summed-up the management benefits of PackML’s use as an OEE enabler as providing a standard way to extract data from each of the pieces in your line, and “to be able to identify bottlenecks, and be able to calculate a number that you know will be consistent, not only in your plant, but in your other facilities in the U.S. or around the world.” He was referring to an OEE number, that single-digit calculation that merges quality, production and machine/process availability into a single, continuous improvement-oriented index of operational health.
 
PackML helps standardize OEE efforts by instilling a standard that lets companies know that the data from machine to machine, and plant to plant, can will be collected, verified and viewed in a uniform and efficient manner.  From there, OEE can proceed more effectively to help identify bottlenecks on the line and more specifically, the root causes of inefficiency behind those bottlenecks, Meyer explained.
 
Part of the presentation delved into the modes, functions and states of the software standard. But in general, he said, "the whole point" of the standard is that it's based on modular, reusable code. “So ideally, software modules can be created that match, and appear graphically, to match the actual machine layout in a plant. Using the standard to automate machinery and lines saves significant coding time due to re-use, replacing much of the traditional programming chores with configuration and graphical tools that greatly simplify the time and effort of maintaining an OEE program.
 
For further study...
For those looking to learn more, Meyer noted that PackML includes user guides, toolboxes, templates and other elements to help engineers create software control applications that match their real-world machines. The standard in turn speeds efforts to establish data collection and OEE data connections. 
 
For further OEE education, Meyer suggested attendees visit www.OEE.com for good, basic primer and additional OEE learning tools. OEE is “different” from the “long parade of manufacturing buzzwords and systems over the years,” says , says Vorne Industries, which administers the site, because it “truly reduces complex production problems into simple, intuitive presentation of information” to help “systematically improve your process with easy-to-obtain measurements.”

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