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20 years of lines

Success in today’s packaging environment requires flexibility and performance.  Manufacturers need predictable throughput and consistent quality with minimal risk to their contracts and staff.  World-class manufacturers also have a good handle on energy and materials usage as well as a keen understanding of their changeover performance metrics.  As the volume and speed of operations increase, positive results are measured in fractional increments instead of conspicuous steps.  Decisions on partners for new equipment are based on all these factors in addition to the capabilities and reputation of the line or equipment vendor, frequently partnering with the manufacturers who offer the best solution in as turnkey a manner as possible.

Many packagers appreciate all the items listed here but simply can’t architect and purchase new lines- instead, relying on older equipment to deliver reliable solutions for packaging that hasn’t changed as quickly over time.  That doesn’t relieve the owners, managers, and operators of their responsibilities to deliver results while always pushing for higher performance and efficiency from their equipment and people.

Whether purchasing a new line or continually tweaking the operation of older equipment, manufacturers frequently deploy a manufacturing execution system (MES) to help them not only understand how their equipment runs but how to tune the systems for streamlined operation.  MES solutions promise to provide not only aggregate output but also the performance of specific equipment or blocks.  Unfortunately, purchasers of new lines frequently learn that the world-class reach of their equipment providers ends with the physical machinery while ancillary items like the MES packages are outside of the normal reach of the OEMs.  Similarly, operators of both new and older lines are lured into purchasing bolt-on software that promises easy access to any equipment’s data and seamless integration into their business systems.  However, having to coordinate with unique machinery vendors, the implementation becomes complex and costly.

How does a packager not become stuck in the middle?  The solution may be easier than some might expect.  Much like the decision to purchase durable machinery frequently leads to established, reputable firms, the decisions about line MES implementation yield the same level of solution.  Certified Control Systems Integrator Association (CSIA) integrator Process and Data Automation (PDA) has been delivering these solutions for twenty years.  Founded in 2002, PDA began life as many integrators do, with a regional focus and a handful of resultant industries where they thrive.  One of the industries serviced by PDA from the outset has been high-speed equipment, lines, and software related to the packaging of a wide variety of products.

Today PDA commissions dozens of automated packaging solutions each year and they deploy a similar number of MES and data acquisition systems on existing and new lines.  They routinely deliver dynamic solutions that are on-premises, cloud-based or hybrid in architecture.  This steady stream of high-speed line integration and optimization projects has generated a set of capabilities and culture within PDA that is difficult to match in the integration community.  Many manufacturers have achieved innumerable dollars of value based on their Process and Data Automation applications.

Manufacturers routinely leverage this deep experience of PDA.  PDA is familiar with modern equipment and software standards as well as those reaching back decades.  This knowledge includes experience working with both domestic and international machinery partners and standards.  This deep experience means that the PDA team frequently and efficiently works inside both new and older equipment to find the valuable information that is required for business decisions.  In addition, they have established relationships with many of the leading equipment suppliers of today, while their positive reputation makes connecting with new vendors straightforward.

As an independent systems integrator, PDA delivers agnostic solutions in MES.  Whether it is leveraging products from the portfolio or tailoring customized solutions, they leverage their vast experience allowing them to succeed with a wider array of packages than many who lack their background.

The result?  Process and Data Automation delivers flexible software solutions that deliver tangible results, all deployed in a turnkey manner.  Whether the affected packaging lines are new, used, or some combination thereof, the PDA team can deliver an effective solution that will become an integral piece of their client’s operation and success in packaging.

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