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Automation standard will link `making` and `packing`

01 May, 2005

Automation standard will link `making` and `packing`

Three US-based organisations have joined forces to develop a new automation standard that will bring together the "making" and "packing" activities of batch processing, packaging and converting machinery. The concepts could be applied to other areas of automation.

The three groups - ISA (the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society), OMAC (the Open Modular Architecture Controls Users` Group) and the World Batch Forum - have set up a workgroup to harmonise the ISA-88 batch standard with OMAC`s PackML state model for machine behaviour and state modelling.

The Make2Pack workgroup plans to develop conceptual models, terminology and examples that could be applied to complete manufacturing process. "Our goal is to apply ISA`s S88 modular philosophy and define a library of component behaviours and techniques that apply to the automation needs of all manufacturing," explains David Chappell, a section manager for batch technologies at Procter & Gamble, who is chairing the workgroup.

The group says that the new standard will increase the flexibility, efficiency and profitability of manufacturing and packaging processes, as well as improving maintainability, through uniform machine designs.

"If we can merge our process and discrete manufacturing operations, we will generate great efficiencies," says OMAC member Thinus van Schoor, who is SAB Miller`s automation manager.

The Make2Pack group plans to issue a preliminary report or guidelines during 2005/2006, with an ANSI/ISA standard expected to follow in 2006/2007.

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