Terrorist attack affects internet, MRO deliveries

Internet recovers quickly after attackAccording to a statement released by Matrix.Net Inc., a U.S.-based internet performance measurement company, the internet infrastructure in the U.S. appeared to be functioning close to normal, just hours after the series of devastating terrorist attacks struck New York City and Washington, D.


Internet recovers quickly after attack
Business as usual
Expect delays
Consortium formed to promote uptime
A case for thin clients

Internet recovers quickly after attack

According to a statement released by Matrix.Net Inc., a U.S.-based internet performance measurement company, the internet infrastructure in the U.S. appeared to be functioning close to normal, just hours after the series of devastating terrorist attacks struck New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11. The statement said that immediately following the attacks, the internet experienced a significant drop in performance marked by increased packet loss and difficulty in reaching some web sites. While the drop in performance was significant, it was short-lived and the U.S. internet infrastructure returned to near-normal performance "within about an hour," it said. The stresses that the U.S. internet infrastructure was subjected to in the aftermath of the attack was the greatest encountered over its 32-year history, according to the statement.

(Source: Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service/Taipei Bureau)

Business as usual

HyperDynamics Corp., an integrated technology service provider, has implemented its plan to help businesses stay working under the most severe circumstances. Under the plan, the company immediately allocated a significant portion of its data center resources at cost to provide companies with a secure solution for protecting the integrity of their business systems. Its integrated technology center (ITC) provides a professional platform for data backup and failsafe redundancy.

Any company in the U.S. is invited to contact HyperDynamics regarding its offer and will be asked to go through a qualification process. Interested companies may contact Bob Hill, senior vice president, at 800/471-1834, or e-mail him at bhill@hypd.com . Each qualifying company will be required to execute a nondisclosure with HyperDynamics and will be provided with a custom-fit solution. Companies from Manhattan are being given priority.

HyperDynamics is challenging its alliance partners Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco Systems, and Intel to do the same. The company is asking for software and equipment donations, if at all possible, so that it can ensure minimum cost. HyperDynamics has also been discussing the possibility of a low-cost bundle of T-1 lines to help reduce connectivity costs.

Expect delays

Immediately after the terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, the U.S. Customs Service switched from normal operations to Alert Level One, which calls for "sustained, intensive antiterrorism operation at land borders and at all points of entry." Heightened concerns about the vulnerability of trucks, ships, and the railroad system "have prompted tighter security measures that won't go away anytime soon," said John Holmes, supervisory special agent for Customs.

The most obvious repercussion of the increased scrutiny of vehicles has been the border delays for trucks at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. It has been especially pronounced at the U.S.-Canada border, where there are about 200 million border crossings annually, with an estimated $360 billion of traded goods. Commercial vehicle border crossings that typically used to take truckers about 20 min stretched to 15 to 20 hr in the first week after the terrorist attack. The waiting time has been reduced since then — although 8-to-9-hr waits still were occurring at some key points of entry as of this writing — as Customs agents search each truck and its manifest plus the driver's licenses, passports, or birth certificates.

Increased security in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington continued to disrupt businesses that rely on the cost-saving strategy of just-in-time (JIT) delivery of materials and parts. Also, clearances have been slowed for cargoes at ports and international airports. Upshot: "Approximately 75% of our production, office products, and maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) goods have been arriving on time," said Alan Tullo, purchasing manager for Serta Mattress Co. in Linden, N.J., a week after the attacks. "Normally about 90-95% of these items arrive on time."

A week after the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 45% of the buyers polled online by Purchasing Magazine had seen a dramatic impact on supply chain activities, while another 30% reported slight impact and 25% saw no effect on deliveries.

(Source: Tom Stundza with additional reporting by Anne Millen Porter, Dave Hannon, and Christopher Reilly of Purchasing Magazine and Peter Bradley of Logistics Management)

Consortium formed to promote uptime

Stratus Technologies, Intel, Microsoft, Hitachi, NEC, and Toshiba have combined resources to establish the Fault Tolerant Server Consortium (FTSC) to provide continuously available systems. Launched in Japan, the consortium expects to grow into a worldwide organization as more IT product manufacturers bring fault tolerant products to market.

As demand for uninterrupted computing operations intensifies, many businesses are forced to reconcile this demand with increasingly tight budget restrictions. The FTSC will strive to educate businesses on how they can make 99.999% uptime and system availability a reality at extremely low prices.

ICONICS, a provider of web-enabled industrial automation software, announced at the Instrument Society of America (ISA) Conference that it has entered into a global partnership agreement with Stratus Technologies, a maker of server technologies, to provide a complementary, fault tolerant hardware/software solution for manufacturing operations.

Under terms of this agreement, the Stratus ftServer system will serve as the fault tolerant computing platform for the OPC-Based GENESIS32 Enterprise Edition, Version 6.1, SCADA software from ICONICS. The software running on this hardware platform is intended to deliver performance, efficiency, and simplicity to plant floor operations, decreasing human machine interface (HMI) time while enabling an uninterrupted flow of real-time production data from the plant floor to management information systems.

A case for thin clients

According to a recent survey conducted by thin client technology company ACP, the top five reasons for choosing a thin client are:

  • Saving money—30%.

  • Reducing downtime—20%.

  • Data and system security—18%.

  • Support current applications—12%.

  • Single installation and maintenance of application software—8%.

    Top Plant
    The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
    Product of the Year
    The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
    System Integrator of the Year
    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.
    October 2018
    Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
    September 2018
    2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
    GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
    October 2018
    2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
    August 2018
    SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
    June 2018
    Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
    Spring 2018
    Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
    October 2018
    Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
    September 2018
    Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

    Annual Salary Survey

    After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

    It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

    The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

    Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

    The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
    Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
    One Voice for Manufacturing
    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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
    The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
    Machine Safety
    Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
    Research Analyst Blog
    IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
    Marshall on Maintenance
    Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
    Lachance on CMMS
    The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
    Material Handling
    This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
    Electrical Safety Update
    This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
    IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
    Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
    Randy Steele
    Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
    Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
    Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
    Randy Oliver
    Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
    Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
    This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
    Safety First: Arc Flash 101
    This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
    Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
    This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
    Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
    This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
    click me