Software library supports packaging standards

March 1, 2006
A software library has been developed by Beckhoff Automation, Bosch Rexroth, and Siemens to support the PackAL standard. Designed for their respective

A software library has been developed by Beckhoff Automation, Bosch Rexroth, and Siemens to support the PackAL standard. Designed for their respective control platforms, this new packaging-specific library is available for download from the companies' websites.

PackAL was created by PackSoft, the OMAC technical subcommittee working toward standardization of packaging software. It assists in design, programming, debugging, and maintenance of packaging machines.

PackAL has three main segments. Machine code is available for functions such as winding, web handling, flying synchronization between master and slave controllers, and dancer control. Secondly, machine-to-machine communication function blocks communicate in a network-independent way. (As an application link layer, PackAL abstracts from the network layer and provides a connection between machines in addition to the fieldbus.) Finally, a software template standardizes programming of the PackML machine state model, streamlining the programming process and saving time.

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