Since the ongoing work of the Make2Pack initiative is bound to have a powerful impact on packaging machinery building and specifying in the future, we reprint the document here:
Today’s Problem Statement:
Barriers exist between information systems used to manage a business and the automation systems required to run manufacturing. In today’s environment overcoming these barriers is very costly and very difficult to maintain, to the point that much of the data and information is still moved manually. Those who chose to integrate their dissimilar automation systems find that it requires costly internal standardization, which reduces choice and limits options. These barriers also exist at the horizontal level between manufacturing components that again require significant effort to overcome.
International efforts are underway to define standards that will allow the vertical integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) without requiring custom programming allowing the free flow of data between these systems that is not possible today. Other international efforts to define standards that will allow the horizontal integration of manufacturing equipment are also moving forward with great speed.
The timelines for tomorrow’s solutions are measured in years and not decades. Actionable parts already exist and are being used by some forwarding thinking suppliers today. Acquiring systems and equipment based upon today’s thinking and not tomorrow’s will saddle the purchaser with a piece of short lived depreciating tactical equipment and not the long lived strategic business asset that will enable future business growth with minimal future investment.
Benefits of Tomorrow’s Solutions:
The companies that adopt these evolving standard approaches will significantly reduce their cost and greatly improve their manufacturing and logistical capabilities. They will be able to automatically move business data to and from the factory floor without costly custom effort. They will have responsive systems that cost less and provide more functionality. These systems will also reduce the time to get new products to market. Business managers will have choices in both functionality and sourcing not available with today’s approaches, allowing the intermixing of automation suppliers with no penalty to integrate them. The Total Cost of Ownership will be much less and the assets will have a much longer life and be more maintainable.