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B&R's John Kowal elected to OMAC board

Joining B&R Industrial Automation in January 2010 as part of the new packaging group, Kowal has long been active in OMAC, PMMI and related standards initiatives.
FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy
John Kowal joined B&R Industrial Automation in January to help form a packaging group and was elected to the OMAC board of direcOMAC is the Organization for Machine Automation & Control.  It has developed key guidelines for packaging machinery automation.

One of B&R Industrial Automation’s new packaging group members, John Kowal, has been elected to the board of directors of OMAC, the Organization for Machine Automation and Control). This is the parent organization of the OMAC Packaging Workgroup, which Kowal helped organize in 1999 and whose executive committee he served on for several years.

Most recently, he has volunteered to work on a key OMAC subgroup, the PackML MES Definitions Subcommittee, which is chartered with defining what and how manufacturing data should be acquired for manufacturing execution systems. The resulting standard will simplify productivity improvements such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) analysis by making data transparent across different makes of machinery and control platforms.

Anyone wishing to serve on the PackML MES Definitions Subcommittee is encouraged to contact John at At the recent Packaging Automation Forum, a number of packagers voiced their support for the PackML standard. Several packaging machine builders and integrators stepped forward on the spot to join the effort.

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The OMAC board is currently planning the group’s strategy to meet future manufacturing needs. Its track record includes development of standards for product design, manufacturing, Microsoft applications in industrial environments -- and of course the OMAC Packaging Guidelines defining requirements for international standards in controls programming, network communications, machinery state models and operating modes.

In January 2010, B&R Industrial Automation formed a new team of packaging specialists to work closely with the packaging community. John Kowal, Tom Jensen, Joe Krogman and Marcel Voigt joined B&R as part of a strategic market development group. This team will expand B&R’s activities in the North American packaging machinery industry.

John Kowal and Tom Jensen are respected members of the packaging automation community. Over the years they have contributed greatly to the establishment of industrywide standards, the expansion of mechatronics education, and the adoption of innovative control technologies in packaging. They lead B&R’s Packaging Group as Market Development Managers.


Tom Jensen brings with him more than 20 years of experience in machine development, motion control, and robotics. He is a longtime member of the OMAC Packaging Workgroup, PMMI Education Committee and Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). Jensen’s expertise lies in engineering management and business development.

Over the past 17 years John Kowal has successfully established technology companies and standards in vertical markets worldwide. He is an active member of the PMMI Trade Show Strategy Committee, IoPP, the International Society of Automation and Business Marketing Association. He also hosts the popular LinkedIn Group ‘Packaging Machinery.’

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