OMAC group sees gains in open architecture struggle

Orlando, Fla. - OMAC (open modular architecture control) Users' Group met in general session and in specific working group sessions after the annual ARC Advisory Group Forum February 13.

03/12/2002


Orlando, Fla. - OMAC (open modular architecture control) Users' Group met in general session and in specific working group sessions after the annual ARC Advisory Group Forum February 13.

Jerry Yen, manager, common controls technologies, GM Powertrain, and co-chair of OMAC Users Group, presented a draft of OMAC Baseline Architecture Functional Requirements . Architecture objectives are to provide a foundation for subscribing companies to reduce life cycle costs, decrease integration time and effort, enable modular plug and play components, enhance business system integration, and develop close user/vendor partnerships.

The architecture is a functional spec rather than a detailed equipment specification. A company wishing to build automation projects around the OMAC concept must flesh out the baseline architecture with specific technical specs in order to go out for quote. However, Mr. Yen suggests that a common baseline infrastructure must be selected to enable plug and play components, the selected infrastructure must leverage mainstream technologies from the computing and information technology industries, and that technology vendors will provide products / components conforming to the infrastructure.

Check out the draft at www.arcweb.com/omac/wgs/Architecture/OMAC%20Architecture%20V1.0%20Draft.pdf

Meanwhile, the OMAC Packaging Workgroup developed a state machine model for open packaging machinery and began lobbying for support. Companies working with the group and lending initial support of the PackML model include Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Hershey, Markem, Bosch Rexroth, ELAU, Rockwell, and Siemens.

The state model draws upon ISA S88, Unilever internal engineering work, and related information technology standards to provide an open architecture foundation for packaging machine networking. PackML's work on the model stemmed from the observation that open architecture must start from the ground up. The state model accomplishes this objective by defining common state descriptions and naming conventions independent of underlying network hardware or protocols.

Proponents believe that, if embraced by the industry, users will reduce their training, machinery commissioning and operational costs, regardless of the make of machine or controller. They will also see operational efficiencies through information exchange from increasingly intelligent controls to plant and enterprise management systems, including maintenance scheduling, troubleshooting, technical support, and asset management applications.

PackML team leader Fred Putnam, of OEM member Markem Corporation, has contributed a Web-based simulation of the new state model. It demonstrates the model in a multimachine packaging line environment.

The state model simulation allows interested parties to visualize how the state model actually works, which should stimulate productive commentary on the draft. To participate in the review, contact Fred Putnam by email at fputnam@markem.com .

Version 1.1 of the OMAC Packaging Workgroup Guidelines for Packaging Machinery Automation can be downloaded from the OMAC website, www.arcweb.com/omac .

The Machine State Definition can be found at www.arcweb.com/omac/wgs/GMC/SubTeams/PackML/AutoModeMachineStatesV2.1.pdf .

While the other groups are progressing, the STEP-NC committee is just getting underway. STEP-NC defines a method to automatically go from CAD to CNC programming. Sid Venkatesh, engineer at Boeing MR&D, was the meeting moderator. The primary objective of this first meeting was to bring together not only current members of the working group to discuss the current state of STEP-NC, but to open the meeting to those supplier sectors critical to the overall STEP-NC process. These sectors included CAD/CAM, CNC, and machine tool suppliers. The discussion was lively as representatives of all sectors expressed desires and misgivings of what the direction might be. It was decided to proceed with a pilot program and to continue dialog.

For more information see www.arcweb.com/omac/wgs/STEP-NC/step-nc_default.htm .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor
gmintchell@cahners.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.