Benefits of PackML and when to use it on your line

What is PackML?

PackML stands for the Packaging Machinery Language. It provides a standardized way to collect uniform data across machines, lines, shifts, plants, and business units. This uniformity is essential to productivity-enhancing initiatives such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) analysis and to simplify MES functions. It is being incorporated into ISA 88, the standard that for nearly two decades has proven its viability in the process control world.

• Standardizes commonly used machine modes, states, and tag names, plus a modular approach to machine control code. PackML does not impinge on a machine builder’s intellectual property, it simply standardizes aspects of communication the way that Ethernet TCP/IP did for non-real-time networking.
• Benefits packagers who include it in their electrical specifications and requests for quotation. The greatest benefits come from integrating entire packaging lines so that individual machines, machine-to-machine communications, and line control and data acquisition are standardized.
• Makes it easier for end users to get consistent data out of machines on a packaging line from different OEMs with different control systems.
• Reduces the learning curve for plant personnel by providing a common look and feel. PackML is independent of the control system vendor or programming language in use. It integrates readily to business systems with OPC, and promotes standardized, flexible data sets.
• Makes the machine builder’s initial investment reusable across machines, which reduces subsequent software development costs and time to market, while reducing the amount of customized code to test and thereby increasing reliability. It predefines machine interface, integration, and start-up. It also simplifies after-sale support.

When does it make the most sense to include PackML in your specification?
• When ordering a new packaging line
• When retrofitting an existing line
• When gathering production data for OEE or MES in a multivendor environment
• When implementing Six Sigma or lean manufacturing projects

Currently, the OMAC PackML committee has an initiative to document potential cost savings for implementing PackML simultaneously with best practices for software modularity.

TR 88.00.02 is the official ISA Technical Report that provides the PackML state models, modes, and tag names. But don’t expect it to be called PackML. It’s an international standard that can actually be applied to any discrete control process. The other half of the standard is in progress, called ISA 88.05, and it promotes modular control architectures.

PackML state model demo
Download an interactive Excel demo that shows how the state model works.
PackML defined
In this Wikipedia entry, see some of the development history, objectives, and PackML functions.
PackML at Procter & Gamble
How P&G reprogrammed an unscrambler to be PackML-compliant.
Order the standard
TR 88.00.02 is the official ISA Technical Report that provides the PackML state models, modes, and tag names.

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