OMAC approves PackAL guidelines

Source: ControlDesign.com

Apr 10, 2006

While celebrating OMAC’s first anniversary of being assimilated into ISA, the OMAC Packaging Workgroup (OPW) approved the PackAL guidelines at its late February meeting in Orlando, Fla. PackAL will be added to OPW’s Guidelines for Packaging Machinery Automation. An updated version of these guidelines was scheduled for released in April.

PackAL is an application library of common software elements developed by OPW’s PackSoft subgroup for packaging applications. The 23-function application library is made up of 13 machine functions, including wind/unwind, dancer control, registration, and indexing, as well as nine communication functions for horizontal line communications, and one function for the PackML machine state model.

PackAL application library creates a common look and feel in software elements for functionality, communication and machine organization in packaging machinery. There are many benefits to machine builders and end users. 

"The benefits are considerable for both machine builders and end users,” stated Gerd Hoppe, who leads the technical subcommittee for PackSoft. “The organization of machine communication and commonly used functions facilitates seamless machine programming across control platforms and between machines from different vendors.”

The group says flexibility for PackAL users is guaranteed by the ability to scale between basic and enhanced functions. In addition, a compliance statement describes parts of the PackAL Library that are supported by each vendor's product.

"Horizontal machine integration becomes easier, and a common coding platform is maintained for machine builders," said Hoppe. "End users are freed from unnecessary programming efforts, gain the ability to quickly understand and maintain machine code, and, as a result, can spend more of their valuable time working on process-specific solutions."

At the recent Orlando meeting, vendors Bosch Rexroth, Siemens, and Beckhoff announced PackAL libraries as an add-on to their respective control platforms.

The Open Modular Architecture Controls Users' Group is an affiliate organization of ISA aimed at the development, implementation, and commercialization of open, modular architecture control (OMAC) technologies, and to develop and deploy a set of industry and government-developed technology guidelines that satisfies common use requirements. OMAC has about 500 members from end user companies, OEMs, and technology providers and integrator companies. Additional information on PackAL is available on the PackSoft portion of the OMAC website.

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