The joint working group known as Make2Pack met October 11 in Brussels, Belgium. A key goal behind this first European Make2Pack meeting was to engage the European users and suppliers, says P&G’s Dave Chappell, a leader of the group. “They came in questioning whether this would be of any real value,” says Chappell. “A half hour into it, they were enthusiastic supporters.”
Chappell says there are now 41 companies and about 70 individuals who have signed onto the Make2Pack joint working group. Distributed at the Brussells meeting was the final draft of the group’s project charter, which states: “The Make2Pack project will develop conceptual models and terminology for industrial automation that can be consistently applied to the total manufacturing process. This includes making/converting and packaging. The results will enable end users to reduce overall costs and enhance responsiveness to changing business requirements.”
Chappell emphasizes that Make2Pack’s work will harmonize with that of ISA S-95 and S-88. “The goal,” he says, “is a free flow of information all the way from the ERP system right down to instruments on the factory floor and then back again with no need for customized programming.
“We think people are starting to really understand what this is about,” he continues. “Vendors, too, are seeing the benefits. Initially they might have been afraid that all this talk of harmonization and standards would diminish their ability to differentiate their products. But the things that are being standardized through Make2Pack aren’t really the proprietary things that the vendors have to offer. Their ability to compete on the basis of differentiation will still be possible.”
To learn more about Make2Pack, contact Chappell at firstname.lastname@example.org.