OMAC now accepting corporate members

Feb. 12, 2008

Research Triangle Park, N.C. February 11 -- OMAC (the Open, Modular, Architecture Control User Group) has announced its new Corporate Membership Program, and invites companies to join.

The OMAC Corporate Membership Program is designed to provide a value-added proposition for its members by providing a communication and collaboration mechanism that enables, promotes, and facilitates

*   Collective derivation of common solutions for both technical and non-technical issues in the development, implementation and commercialization of open, modular architecture control (OMAC) technologies;
*   OMAC development among control technology providers and OMAC adoption among end users, OEMs and system integrators;
*   Collective derivation and capture of OMAC requirements and operating experience from users, software developers, hardware builders and OEMs in manufacturing applications;
*   Accelerated development and convergence of industry- and government-developed technology guidelines to one set that satisfies common use requirements;
*   Collaboration with users groups around the world in pursuit of common international technology guidelines.

There are four major corporate member categories. The first category
includes large and small end users and original equipment manufacturers -- companies and organizations that purchase OMAC-based automation equipment to produce commercial and/or military products and that supply automation, manufacturing, assembly and process equipment with integrated OMAC-compliant technologies. The second category includes large and small technology providers -- companies and organizations that (1) seek to develop, integrate and/or supply OMAC-compliant systems and components, and/or (2) gather, analyze, and disseminate business and technology information on OMAC technologies. The third category includes non-profit and government organizations. The final category includes groups from academia.

The Benefits of OMAC Corporate membership vary slightly based on which category the company belongs to. The general benefits include
*   Use of the OMAC and OMAC working group logos,
*   Access to OMAC working groups via direct introduction to working
group chairpersons,
*   Company member discount to all OMAC conferences and symposiums,
*   Listing as an OMAC Corporate Member on OMAC mailings and promotions, where applicable:
      -OMAC Technical Conference (call for papers, preliminary program and final program),
      -OMAC organizational brochure,
      -OMAC Update, quarterly newsletter (featured in OMAC Corporate Sponsor spotlight section with logo, company description and web address),

*   Company logo and link to company website listed on OMAC website,
*   Access to OMAC best practices and technical guidelines (e.g. OPW Packaging Guidelines, MUGSecure Best Practices),
*   One seat on the OMAC technical advisory board (TAB),
*   Opportunity to post an organizational article in the OMAC Update quarterly newsletter,
*   Priority as a demo sponsor/participant for OMAC demonstrations (i.e. Pack Expo Packaging Line Integration demonstration).

One of the most important benefits OMAC corporate members receive is a seat on the OMAC Technical Advisory Board (TAB). The primary purpose of the TAB is to advise the OMAC Board of Directors on the organization's technical direction, strategy, objectives, and goals. Each member of the TAB will be an appointed representative for each of the OMAC corporate member companies. This opportunity is a corporate member benefit only, and will last the term of one year or the length of time the company remains a paid corporate member of OMAC.

For its first two years of operation (2008-2010), the three co-chairpersonss of the TAB will be appointed by the Board of Directors. Two of those three co-chairpersons have already been named: Doug Gray of Coors and Bob Tain of Okuma. During subsequent years, the TAB co-chairpersons will be one-year term elected positions, with nominations coming from TAB members.

Some of the tasks to be performed by the TAB include conducting quarterly meetings to address OMAC initiatives, providing formal reports to the Board of Directors on the status of and progress made in all OMAC initiatives, promoting and supporting all OMAC programs and initiatives, and serving as the technical voice and conduit between OMAC membership and OMAC leadership.

The underlying goal of the OMAC TAB is to provide corporate members with a voice. This voice will allow them to exchange ideas, concerns and issues concerning their companies and the industry, and to guide the direction and initiatives of OMAC.

Bruno Kisala, managing director of the Automation Federation, elaborated on the intent of the TAB. "The TAB will serve as the voice of our corporate members, a mechanism that never existed in the past. It will give our corporate members the ability to identify common industry issues and challenges, allow them to articulate their thoughts to the OMAC leadership for evaluation and action, and serve as a conduit for greater industry collaboration in developing solutions. The members of
the TAB are in an excellent position to influence change and shape the technical direction and future of OMAC," he said.