In the event of a threat

Back in the 1970s, our offices received several telephoned bomb threats. The first was especially unnerving and resulted in the offices being closed for the rest of the day. Police conducted a thorough search of our building. The second threat was taken seriously, too, and the building was closed again.


Back in the 1970s, our offices received several telephoned bomb threats. The first was especially unnerving and resulted in the offices being closed for the rest of the day. Police conducted a thorough search of our building. The second threat was taken seriously, too, and the building was closed again. But by the third threat, police were confident that a prankster was at work. We began making jokes about them.

The subject is no joke these days.

Nearly all of the talk about terrorism in the general media is about public events and public facilities. As a result, we tend to discount the very real continuing threat to private facilities, such as industrial plants.

I was reminded of this last month by an e-mail from a friend regarding a very real security threat to one of his plants. The plant had confirmed the serious nature of the threat with the FBI. His memo outlined some of the things the security team was doing to deal with the threat. Actions included: coordination with the FBI and local law enforcement, extra security patrols in the vicinity of the plant by police, extra onsite vehicle inspections and ID checks, exclusion of nonessential personnel, and heightened traffic control.

Although this is the only such case I've been told about, I presume that other plants have dealt with similar threats over the past several months. Almost certainly, more will have to deal with them in the future.

Most plants have emergency action and disaster recovery plans. To these now should be added attack prevention plans; that is, a plan for the specific actions to be taken to prevent or minimize the potential of a terrorist attack.

Such a plan wouldn't have to be particularly complex. For starters, it could identify a series of threat levels, along the lines of the Homeland Security Advisory System, and actions to be taken at each level.

At the very least, you should have discussions with local law-enforcement officials to explore various "what if" scenarios. Discussions should include basic actions to be taken in the event of a threat and how plant security and police can work together to prevent an attack. Communication guidelines need to be established to eliminate delays and confusion should the need to react to a threat arise.

No one wants to deal with these kinds of issues. But as the memo from my friend demonstrates, today's real world necessitates it.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
2017 Top Plant winner, Best practices, Plant Engineering at 70, Top 10 stories of 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Setting internal automation standards
Knowing how and when to use parallel generators
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me