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PackML implementations at Pack Expo

Following is a brief round-up of PackML implementations Packaging World editors learned about at Pack Expo:
FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy

1. Hershey Foods Hershey PA rebuilt a Doboy (New Richmond WI) flow wrapper with the PackML state model incorporated via Rockwell Automation's (Milwaukee WI) ControlLogix integrated motion and logic control. Benefits according to Hershey's Kevin Feldenzer and Edmund Amanor include easier troubleshooting due to inherent reporting of drive conditions. They said PackML also provided an "exceptional" template for performance metrics measurement which permits downtime causes to be pinpointed and facilitates packaging process optimization.

2. Procter & Gamble Cincinnati OH is implementing the PackML state model in a special interoperability "test stand" that simulates four machines from four different manufacturers. "It actually has proven to be fairly easy to take our existing control programs and overlay the machine state model" said P&G's Dave Bauman. "We are doing that rather than rewrite the control code." The test stand uses controllers from Bosch Rexroth (Hoffman Estates IL) Elau (Chicago IL) and Rockwell Automation.

3. Food Machinery Sales (Bogart GA) demonstrated its Mach 3 flow wrapper with the PackML state model implemented via Rockwell's ControlLogix integrated controller and Kinetix 6000 SERCOS servo drives. FMS controls engineer Jeff Wilkens said the machine builder was already using a state model similar to PackML and found it easy to make the switch.

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4. Campbell Wrapper (De Pere WI) was showing three of its horizontal wrapping machines incorporating the PackML state model: one via Bosch Rexroth's PPC integrated motion/logic controller another via Baldor (Fort Smith AR) controls and a third using Rockwell controls.

5. Markem's (Keene NH) SmartDate[r] 3 Plus thermal-transfer coder and an Elau PacDrive motion/logic controller both incorporating the PackML state model were shown networked together via PackML at the Elau booth.

6. Siemens Energy & Automation (Alpharetta GA) and Rockwell Automation are working on incorporating PackML into some of their automation products.

"The prospect for wide industry adoption of PackML has never been better" said Markem's Fred Putnam who chairs OMAC's PackML team in a follow-up interview. "We're way ahead of even the most aggressive implementation timetable we've discussed."


PackTags next

Next up for the PackML team is the development of standardized "tags" or names for packaging-specific data that's exchanged on networked packaging lines. Examples include:





The data contained in these tags become the building blocks or raw data for machine condition monitoring fault analysis and so forth. The idea is to leave the computation of efficiency equipment effectiveness and other finished metrics to supervisory systems.

More progress on PackML PackTags is expected to be reported at the next OMAC meeting in Orlando FL to be held February 13-14 2003.

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