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PackML is ready for prime time

FROM PACK EXPO 2008: P&G’s Rob Aleksa updated attendees on PackML and his company’s experience.

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A sparse but attentive audience heard Enabling & Deploying Operational Performance—PackML Ready for Prime Time from Rob Aleksa, Procter & Gamble’s machine control section head of corporate engineering technology.

In a nutshell, PackML is a standard for software centering on machine states and definitions—execute, abort, etc—to eliminate confusion and inconsistencies from vendor to vendor.  It evolved from ISA TR088.05, according to Aleksa.

“PackML is one of our technical strategies,” says Aleksa, “across all our machines for operational consistency. There had not been consistency between vendors and sometimes between machines from the same vendor.”

Aleksa says PackML benefits include faster development times, shorter debugging times, and less training.

In one example, P&G realized an 8% gain in productivity from having PackML. Aleksa shared that P&G had six ongoing projects involving PackML.

He says pharmaceutical companies are interested in the technology from a validation standpoint.

Next, Aleksa hopes the technology moves upstream from the machinery OEMs to the controls vendors.

“I’d like to see controls suppliers embed PackML into their products,” he says.

For more on OMAC and PackML, visit www.omac.org

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