OMAC birthed about the same time that I left manufacturing to become an editor at Control Engineering. Originally Open Modular Architecture Computer it held center stage at the annual ARC Industry Forum for many years. The open computer as a PLC replacement designed to drive down the high costs of controllers never really made it. The organization did drive a number of initiatives benefiting users, especially PackML, a uniform way of describing processes of a machine to an operator.

Now called The Organization for Machine Automation and Control, it has found a home within the Packaging Machine Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) which also was the temporary home of my old magazine Automation World.

I haven’t seen or heard much from OMAC for quite some time. I’m glad to see some news with the release of some useful information. 

OMAC, the leading industry association for machine automation and control, in collaboration with ei3, releases a new guide on industrial data sharing titled “Practical Considerations for Data Governance”. The guide provides expert insights and actionable recommendations to help organizations establish effective data governance and sharing practices. 

The document covers several critical topics, including the importance of data governance, the need for a common language to facilitate data exchange across systems, and the various applications that use plant floor data. It examines the key components for plant floor data, the significance of data governance standards and organizations in manufacturing, and establishes a structure for data access and integration from multiple sources.

Spencer Cramer, OMAC’s Chairman, and the Founder and CEO of ei3, emphasized the critical need for organizations to collect data and transform it into actionable insights to optimize production and efficiency in the constantly evolving manufacturing landscape. “We are excited to launch this guide and provide the industry with a resource that outlines practical considerations for facilitating data sharing within and across organizations to improve processes, save costs, and mitigate errors,” he said.

Glad to see Mark Fondl still active and looking at how to use new technologies. Once again as a new technology editor, Fondl and I had long discussions about the future of Ethernet as an industrial network. That was not a foregone conclusion in the late 90s. Now, it’s standard.

Mark Fondl, OMAC’s Digital Transformation Workgroup Leader and Vice President of Product Management at ei3, explained that plant floor data can be valuable for different user groups, and data scientists can help maximize its potential. He added, “To efficiently use plant floor data, an assessment should be made, and a team should be created to ensure all stakeholders are coordinated. The data governance policy should include both IT and OT, and guidelines should be provided for internal and external companies. The plan should be adaptable to changing capabilities to ensure its long-term success.”

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