OMAC to show Plug-and-Pack demo machine

Comprehensive, multi-vendor technology demonstrator scheduled for PACK EXPO 2004 completion

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The group behind the Plug-and-Pack™ “best practices” guidelines for applying packaging machine automation announced that it will demonstrate a flow wrapper that incorporates all of the group’s current guidelines. The machine will be shown at the 2004 PACK EXPO International show, November 7-11, 2004, in Chicago. This complete implementation will demonstrate the commercial and technical viability of the guidelines. The group, OMAC (Open Modular Architecture Controls) Plug-and-Pack Workgroup, hopes the demonstration will accelerate the introductions of conforming products and end user specifications.

The PackConnect team will demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability at the drive/controller interface based upon accepted IEC standards, and the ability to communicate with various devices through multiple device-level buses.

The PackSoft team will demonstrate a common look and feel, leading to general ease of translation of software across platforms based on IEC 61131-3 and PLCopen motion function blocks.

The PackML state model will be implemented at the control, human/machine interface, and machine levels. Peripheral equipment will demonstrate the ability to interface based on Plug-and-Pack architectures and the defined PackML modes and states. The ability to extract PackML PackTags over control or enterprise buses will be demonstrated as well.

PackLearn will develop the education and training requirements for machine builders to commercially implement the demonstrated technology, and for end users to support the installed equipment.

PackAdvantage will explain the business benefit for end users and OEMs who choose to deploy the technologies demonstrated.

Technology providers will be asked to submit products and application software that conform to OMAC Guidelines. The OMAC Plug-and-Pack Workgroup will use these products to implement the flow wrapper functionality using products from different suppliers, thus proving the commercial viability of Plug-and-Pack. The Plug-and-Pack concept is one that has been requested by packaging machinery builders and end users, and it is expected that orders for commercially available machines should follow closely behind this demonstration.

Details on the project’s scope, cost, objectives, and schedule will be announced at this year’s PACK EXPO in Las Vegas. The demonstration will encompass all officially adopted Plug-and-Pack Guidelines as of June 2003.

OMAC partner Louisiana Center for Manufacturing Sciences (LCMS) will complete the testing and OMAC partner ARC Advisory Group will report the outcome and lessons learned.

For information, please visit www.omac.org or contact Keith Campbell at ks.campbell@verizon.net.

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