Kowal traces his participation in OMAC to early 1995 with his work as director of a trade association promoting the IEC 61491 motion network standard that was specified in the OMAC paper. “OMAC has succeeded through the sheer determination of its volunteers to deliver relevant solutions”, said Kowal. “I am honored to be given this opportunity to contribute.”
Kowal's previous standards activities include:
• Promotion of the 1988 Enterprise Network Event, a plugfest for the MAP/TOP initiative
• Demonstration of computer integrated telephony over Asynchronous Transfer Mode network at Networld+Interop in 1996
• Promotion of proven ANSI fire safety standards threatened by a special interest group in 1991
• Support for PLCopen and the IEC61131-3 programming language standard, including participation in development of a text on soft logic
• Establishment of the OMAC Packaging Workgroup in 1999-2000, where he served on the Executive Committee and as Promotional Director for several years
• Participation since the inception of Make2Pack, the initiative that developed PackML into the ISA TR88.02 standard
“I'm also grateful to my company for recognizing the vital need to develop and implement these standards, and for encouraging participation globally. In turn, I would strongly recommend that the manufacturing community actively contribute funding and specify the OMAC guidelines alongside visionaries from the likes of Boeing, General Motors, John Deere, Nestlé, Pepsico, P&G and SABMiller.”
He has authored numerous articles and participated in conferences at National Manufacturing Week, ARC Automation Forum, Hannover Fair, Packaging Automation Forum, the Conference at PACK EXPO and various field bus events, OMAC press conferences and corporate technology symposia.
Kowal also currently serves on two Packaging Machinery Manufacturers' Institute committees, Trade Show Strategies and Global Marketing. PMMI has consistently supported OMAC's packaging initiatives through its trade show, education and editorial outlets.
B&R's Uwe Keiter, End User Business Development Manager based in Germany, was recently named to the Executive Committee of the OMAC Packaging Workgroup in recognition of the company's and Keiter's contributions. B&R's Marcus Sanhoeffner formerly held this position. Keiter is organizing an OMAC Packaging Workgroup press event in Frankfurt/Main in April.
Kowal and Tom Jensen, Market Development Manager, recently joined B&R Industrial Automation to form the company's new packaging group. Jensen authored the first freeware implementation CD for PackML, contributed hundreds of man-hours to PackML and Make2Pack, and serves on the PMMI Education & Workforce Development Committee.
Marc Ostertag, President of B&R Industrial Automation, concluded that “Uwe's, John's and Tom's OMAC activities support our customers and end users who seek the business solutions enabled by state-of-the-art, standards-based automation platforms. OMAC activities are an investment in manufacturing's future.”