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industry wakes up to the year 2000 menace factories were slow to start fixing software that could cause shutdowns. they face a far more complex job than the rest of business.

by:QY Precision      2019-11-18
(
Fortune magazine)
-Crawling through the pipes and valves of manufacturing plants around the world, technicians wearing radio headphones are passing to companions carrying portable computers the location of a digital time bomb ready to take off at midnight on December. 31, 1999.
Millions of computer devices are searching on a large scale. -
Machine tools, measuring instruments, Computerized valves and various other types of production equipment-
His software was contaminated by the now notorious abbreviation \"00.
\"This shorthand is the intention of most programmers in yore, and when memory space is thousands of times more expensive than the 2000 specified today, they intend to save memory space.
Thus creating the biggest mistakes of the computer era.
The bill to eliminate so-called Millennium loopholes in global economic software is estimated to be paid by Gartner Group between $300 billion and $600 billion
An industry research firm in Stamford, Connecticut.
Even the lower numbers dwarf the federal government\'s massive bailout of the savings and lending sector in early 1990.
There is absolutely no guarantee of complete success, hardware replacement and other expenses, including litigation that has already occurred, and the final cost may exceed $1 trillion.
But if this problem cannot be solved, it may cause the phone and the lights to go out and the factory to stop, which may put the world into a serious recession.
Many computers, when reading the date of the year, are hit by the equivalent of mental tension: the machines and devices they drive stop, print out the wrong information, or otherwise fail
However, what is needed to avoid the chaos of the millennium is not just to amend year 00 to 4-
No matter where you are, you can find the number 2000.
It is also necessary to check the countless interconnections between software programs to ensure that programs starting at 00 do not break the repaired programs like computer viruses that cause damage to your PC.
The biggest concern for manufacturing is that the problems of 2000 were more complex, broader and more difficult to remedy than those of direct problems.
Promote computer applications such as accounting and finance.
To make matters worse, manufacturing companies have been slow to realize the magnitude of the tasks they have been slow to accomplish.
Darkness and doom without foundation?
If you listen to Ralph J.
Szygenda, GM\'s chief information officer, whose employees are now frantically correcting what he calls the \"catastrophic problem\" of every GM plant \".
The automaker disclosed in 2000 that it is expected to spend between $0. 4 billion and $0. 55 billion to solve problems in factories, engineering laboratories and offices.
Or consider the words of Rob Baxter, vice president of Honeywell\'s Industrial Control product line \"2000 meets requirements\" in computer industry terms.
Judging from what he has seen in Honeywell customers, Baxter is concerned that \"some factories are running hard and have to be closed.
Some will run in a reduced range.
I expect a considerable system outage between December 1999 and February 2000.
\"So it\'s no wonder that many factory managers and their bosses plan to stay close to their jobs over the past three years --
One day of the Millennium weekend.
They already have a preliminary understanding of possible problems.
Similar time problems-
1996 leap year, the programmer failed to explain the reason-
Some production lines were stopped in early 1997, causing millions of dollars in losses.
During the transition simulation from 1999 to 2000, some factory robots and computers that control power generation and transmission stopped dying.
There were other warning signals.
A brain-free computer from a food company mistakenly interpreted a 00 data as 1900, instructing workers to throw away very good products.
Many enterprises are looking for new enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Avoid this crazy software.
But a recent report warns that not all companies that install ERP can expect it to enter 2000 safely.
The task of correcting the manufacturing industry is only one aspect of the huge business of all enterprises.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned that efforts in 2000 could hurt the United States by shifting resources to \"unproductive efforts\"S. economy.
According to Gartner, first of all,-
The problem in 2000 is the fastest.
Growing part of the organization\'s business-
180 billion lines of software code must be filtered globally for $1 to $1. 50 a line.
According to Gartner, the top 100 of Fortune companies will spend an average of $50 million to solve the problem in 2000. about $7.
Small company 5 million
Many programs that need to be fixed are written in Cobol, once the mainstream computer language of the enterprise.
Cobol does not have a standard for writing year dates, which makes it difficult to find the wrong entry.
That makes hunting more complicated, says George J.
Kearsley, senior partner of N Somerset MS MillenniumJ.
The company that was amended in 2000 was a very trivial convention created by some Cobol programmers to mark the year.
Kearsley says programmers rush to \"start and run this thing\" and sometimes use any word that comes to mind, such as \"time\", \"date\", \"in an example\" fliss.
Kearsley said he was a former Cobol programmer himself: \"It\'s a Wild West . \"
Let\'s do it.
The boss screamed to finish it.
Therefore, the software for automatically searching for the wrong 2000 entries can only find 2000 of them, and the names of these entries include HourGlass 2000, Simulate 80%, and TicToc.
The rest must be visually positioned in the labor force
Intensive processes, and the interrelated and possible infectious effects of incorrect 2000 dates on other projects.
One more question.
Since there has been no teaching of Cobol for 10 years, the Millennium of MS and other companies have been forced to recall the Cobol \"gray head\" from retirement to help.
In fact, the whole effort was hampered by a general shortage of computer programmers.
In some cases, big companies have doubled the salaries of programmers working in 2000, and if they promise to continue working at the end of the century, they will offer up to $100,000 in bonuses, until all the transition problems are solved.
A company divides programmers and their families in 2000 into three groupsday, all-expenses-
Every eight weeks there are paid holidays to foreign countries such as Marco Island.
As the day approaches, there is a lot of disturbing work to be done.
A few weeks ago, Mass Research released a report in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 2000, he said, big companies accounted for only 34% of jobs on average.
On average, the companies surveyed have completed 66% of the tasks to assess problems and risks, but only 40% of the necessary fixes have been completed and 18% have been tested.
Bill Thompson, a senior analyst at Automation Research, said the manufacturing situation was worse, \"overall behind business \".
The quality of the prison in Dai Shu.
The diversity of computer programs makes manufacturing tasks more complex.
More or less the standard software layer below is a large number of devices run directly by the built-in
In terms of chips and programs, this is ten times more than the number of other business units.
Only about half of the standard software in manufacturing is written in Cobol.
The rest is a Babel, written in hundreds of languages and added to other software like onion layers. Says William L.
Swanton, director of operations research, advanced manufacturing research plant, Boston Consulting and data company-
Gathering Company: \"What I am most worried about is customization
Software created in the past 20 years.
\"There were very few before --the-
Store software-
Swanton explained that floor use refers to project types such as manufacturing
Execution, material-
Processing and inventory-
Management System.
So, he said, \"many system integrators and company programmers write their own applications.
Only God knows what is buried in these VAX minicomputer and other machines.
\"Although the software can look for 00 dates in programs written in Cobol and other languages, for a large number of so-
Embedded systems are known in manufacturing.
These chips and programs are an integral part of the control and production equipment and are not readily available or even visible.
Many must be decoded and fixed by hand.
Tava technology in Englewood, Colorado.
It is one of the few software tools to automatically discover errors in manufacturing embedded systems in 2000.
Among other things, Tava\'s program can read the \"ladder logic\" that guides the programmable logic controller \"(PLCs).
These simple computer-like devices issue commands to factory equipment in the form of instructors.
There are thousands of PLCs on the factory floor, all of which must be checked.
However, many embedded programs cannot be fixed at all because they are engraved on silicon chips.
In this case, the entire factory equipment from the clock to the expensive computer numerical control equipment (CNC)
Machine tools, must be discarded and replaced.
The severity of the 2000 problem depends on the age and size of the manufacturing company.
Large and old metal cutters and benders like General Motors and Boeing face a particularly difficult task because they use a lot of old production equipment and a lot of software programs.
Szygenda says GM is leading the world in the number of computer systems.
This does not mean that the smaller metal cutter can be relaxed.
Technical staff of industrial company Baldor Electric
The car manufacturer of Ark Fort Smith.
Been busy checking its equipment.
On the latest day, despite assurances from Japanese manufacturers that 2000 was ready, they checked a large uma CNC lathe.
Survey results: the lathe is OK, luckily it is connected to a computer system that does not use the date of the year.
Newer Silicon Valley high-end Computers such as Sun Microsystems, Varian Associates and Tandem Computers are now part of Compaq and don\'t worry. The high-
In most cases, instead of bending the metal, technology companies assemble components provided by external personnel.
In addition, companies like Sun and Tandem run assembly lines with their own computers.
On the other hand, some newer companies are facing a difficult task.
A modern pharmaceutical factory in luctica in Greenville, N. C.
Chief Information Officer Roger L. employs 1,400 people
Dick lists 83 computer systems that contain about 3 million lines of software code.
Dick says there are 120,000 date references in this code and there may be a problem with 2000.
The plant also has 138 automated production systems, 400 date references, plus 200 machines with embedded software, some of which need to be replaced to eliminate failures in 2000.
Both modern and ancient, factories have some common problems.
Most manufacturing is driven by timelines and reality.
The time demand for information processing is as serious as telecom and finance.
For example, the accuracy and mutual dependence of process control in chemical plants make the Rube Goldberg fantasy device look simple.
Because of the problem in 2000, to make a temperature sensor in the complex measuring instrument chain a cuckoo, you will get a product whose composition is different from what you need ---
If it does come out
The organization chart explains to some extent why manufacturing is late to deal with the chaos of 2000.
Factory managers are often isolated from information technology bosses at the company\'s headquarters.
For a while, many higher
Ups believes that the current predicament is mainly focused on the host computer running the financial and telecom systems.
They expect the factory to have almost no problems, if any.
At first, the type of factory that warned about the impending troubles was thought to be a bit like alarmist, said Terry Landano, manager of BASF\'s 2000 challenge
At Mount N. OliveJ.
Her company is a subsidiary of BASF, Germany, producing paint and plastics for the automotive industry as well as fiber, vitamins and chemicals.
Landano recalled: \"executives will ask, are you kidding?
How can these two small numbers be such a problem?
As a result, manufacturing companies, including GM, have long been snoozing.
Ralph sigenda recalled that when he came to the auto giant a year and a half ago to take over the work of the CIO, most people thought that the floor of the factory had no problem in 2000, he was surprised.
\"Szygenda with manufacturing experience at Texas Instruments is not satisfied with assumptions.
He turned to outside companies such as Deqin and Touche, as well as Raytheon\'s engineers and builders, problem solving experts, to get GM out of sleep and sent 91 experts to assess the situation of the automaker.
The experts, supplemented by a team of GM technicians and programmers, were promoted through GM\'s 117 facilities in 35 countries.
Their discovery even shocked the factory. wise Szygenda.
\"There are catastrophic problems in every of our factories,\" he said bluntly --
Talking executives
\"Surprisingly, the machines in the factory workshop are much more sensitive to incorrect dates than we expected.
For example, when we test robotic devices that transition to 2000, they just freeze and stop running.
Szygenda soon placed manufacturing facilities at the top of GM\'s three \"most dangerous\" areas in 2000, followed by the company\'s supply base and the business-wide software system component that supports production control and logistics processes.
Now, Szygenda says, \"We are working actively and quickly\" to control the problem.
GM has 2 billion lines of software to check.
The company will also eliminate 1,700 outdated computer systems.
The 2000 issue exposed another major weakness of GM: 100,000 suppliers worldwide.
Will everything be compliant?
Grasp of justice in modern manufacturingin-
Parts delivery and business timeto-
Business e-commerce has created a beast that can bite it.
Szygenda is very clear, and sometimes, how Labor conflicts or problems with key suppliers shut down GM factories. \"Just-in-
\"Time delivery simplifies our supply chain and makes it very sensitive to any disruption,\" he said . \".
\"If the supplier\'s computer system does not meet the requirements of 2000, production in our factory may stop.
He portrayed the grim possibility: \"Suppose a key sole --
The supplier of the brake valve was closed due to the 2000 issue.
Therefore, on the next day, two factories that produce the main brake cylinder and the main brake cylinder of the clutch had to stop production because they did not have these valves.
On the third day, production dropped to about 1-as parts from the auto assembly plant began to run out-
Usually the third volume.
By the fourth day, all the assembly plants were closed.
As the shutdown did not have orders, hundreds of factories supplying parts to the assembly line were also closed, from the main engine factory to the momand-
Subcontractor Pop
This is the worst. case scenario--
However, this is a very real threat.
\"Last year, GM conducted a survey of its suppliers and found a lot of concerns.
The survey shows that Americans are less aware of the threat of 2000. S.
European suppliers are even lower.
A key global supplier is not even aware of the problem.
The worries of GM are not alone.
\"The challenge in 2000 is that the dependency chain is long, and you only control a small number of dependency chains,\" said Jeff Popeo, information systems manager at GE Fanuc . \", A manufacturer of industrial control equipment located in Va charlottsville.
Libbey, a glass tableware manufacturer in Toledo, takes the Millennium transition very seriously, CEO John F.
Mel, his company is working on a list of alternative suppliers-\"mom-and-
A shop with pickup trucks.
\"GM and two other American companies have more influence than small companies. S.
Automakers and truck makers have joined forces through the automotive industry action team to put pressure on suppliers.
The organization told them that they will no longer be suppliers unless they meet the requirements in 2000.
It\'s not always a simple thing to make them succeed.
The supplier\'s computer system may be certified in 2000.
Its manufacturers are compliant, but connecting it to the systems of other vendors can cause trouble.
\"When you use one of our products that meets the requirements, say, Alan-Bradley CPU [
Central processing unit
Pompeo of gephanako said: \"Obviously, we can\'t guarantee that it will be ready in 2000.
\"Most people in AmericaS.
The manufacturer has not even completed the first phase of 2000: the evaluation of the entire plant.
Only after they have counted the software and embedded systems and estimated the impact of potential failures can they start the repair, renovation and final testing and certification work.
Daniel Miklovic, senior manufacturing analyst at Gartner, said: \"We recommend that customers find potential problems, correct their possible problems, and require certification from suppliers without being able to verify themselves ---
This often happens in embedded systems ---
If they can\'t convince themselves that the problem is small, replace something they can\'t verify.
And documents, documents, documents.
Fox Borough, Fox Borough, Mass.
The manufacturer of industrial control and automation equipment, part of the UK Siebe PLC, started manufacturing a time bomb in 2000 a year and a half ago.
It checks its manufacturing systems, including hardware and software, as well as telephone systems, elevators and safety systems.
\"It seems like every time we have a meeting,\" said R of Foxboro . \"
Michael Skelley, director of information services, said, \"We have added new devices to the list.
\"Foxboro also directed the work in 2000 at all Siebe companies.
The task includes checking more than 8,000 computers around the world, occupying 1,000 programmers and technicians on the group\'s 230 global websites.
At the same time, Foxboro\'s customers have been checking whether the software it makes can handle the Millennium transformation. The S. D.
I\'m Warren paper mill in Westbrook.
, Using the old Foxboro control system to run paper machinery.
It needs an update from 2000 and Foxboro is scheduled to be ready in enough time.
When it can be used to make applications, the software can speed up the search and repair of 2000 failures. \"New year-
2000 software companies enter the market at the rate of about 25 companies per month, faster than almost any industry in history, \"said Capers Jones, chairman of a software company in Boston. area software-research firm.
There are only a handful of software that can handle factory problems.
Including engineers and construction personnel from Raytheon.
Daniel, a theological consultant, software services, quality.
And the service operations of companies selling industrial control products such as Foxboro and Honeywell well.
Tava technology is one of the most imaginative and useful methods.
Its factory Y2kOne software includes a database about 10,000 microprocessor, related control equipment, and software from more than 1,000 factories.
Among other things, Plant Y2kOne can view the software in robots, pc and plc;
Operating systems such as Unix, DOS and Windows NT;
And embedded software such as programs used to guide automatic vehicles.
After compiling the microprocessor and software inventory, the customer company has access to Tava\'s database to determine if the manufacturer of each product can provide an update for 2000-
Or should the equipment be replaced.
Tava will train the customer\'s technicians to find items that do not meet the requirements or send them in their own team.
Vice President Martin Fallon described how a typical task was carried out: \"The team is in the factory.
The team member wearing headphones said, \"I saw an Allen --Bradley PLC.
His colleague walked together with his laptop and looked through the Tava list and found Alan-
Bradley and a list of plc, pull it up, scroll down to a specific model and check it, and it\'s added to the machine inventory at this plant.
\"Back in the office, technicians click on the factory Y2kOne icon to submit the inventory items to Tava over the Internet.
Customers can now see what\'s on the suspicious list, the vendor\'s statement, and Tava\'s own suggestions for the project.
Tava\'s response on one device indicates that it can be retained: \"Each receiving node needs to be upgraded;
The system upgrade for each node takes about two hours.
\"The factory production monitor that Fallon shows on the screen faces a different fate.
The screen tells him that the use of the 00 date is a product that does not meet the requirements.
Advice from Tava: contact the supplier for a new model.
Software evaluation can be called in the same way.
In one demo, Fallon ran nearly 2,000 lines of code from the suspect through the Tava \"filter\" and found examples of 22 years.
He looked at each row and, after finding the date-related keywords, asked the program to determine if there was a fault of 2000 and then changed the year number from 2 digits to 4 digits.
Tava also produced a print output for the customer showing red non-compliant devices, yellow suspicious devices and green \"clean\" devices.
What the factory Y2kOne program cannot do is to calculate the relative risk inherent in all the interconnect between the software in the machine.
This still requires the visual completion of skilled programmers.
Three of them usually take two weeks to filter millions of lines of code that contain up to 50,000 year dates.
There are other restrictions on Tava\'s search tools.
Dan Miklovic of Gartner Group warned that users should be \"prepared for accidents\" because such tools cannot always read programs added on the PLC ladder logic.
Once a company has identified all the problems in 2000, it will face significant decisions.
Many devices can be fixed, but would it be better to discard them?
BASF\'s North American business is replacing six different models of PCs in factories and offices with 12,000 Compaq machines at a cost of $60 million, including service contracts.
The company says many old computers can be fixed by replacing the BIOS (
Basic Input and Output Systemchip.
But since this is not possible in all cases, it seems better to standardize on a new computer.
\"Old\" is a relative term in the PC industry.
Some analysts believe that
Just a year ago, the famous PC manufacturer was selling computers whose chips did not meet the requirements.
In some cases, it is totally unwise to fix devices and software programs.
In the software industry, new errors will be introduced in 7% of daily maintenance.
Capers Jones of the SPR believes that when fixing the particularly \"tricky\" bug that occurred in 2000, the proportion of new bugs rose to 10%-
For example, programs written in ancient languages.
While significant investments in new hardware and software have increased the cost of correcting problems in 2000, they can take companies to new levels of efficiency.
That\'s why the impact of a great cause is not all negative.
GM\'s Szygenda said: \"It\'s called the most brutal technical joke ever, but at our company we think it\'s a rewarding challenge.
\"Another benefit: Many companies are finding out how inefficient they are in the management of software and are planning major changes.
Enterprise resource planning is one of the most ambitious improvements (ERP)
Many companies see software as a way to surpass their competitors in the 21 st century.
ERP drives all components of the company\'s business, such as defining materials that must be purchased, arranging shipments to customers, and handling financial and accounting systems.
New ERP software costs more than fixing old programs.
Picker International, a Cleveland medical imaging equipment maker, could have patched the software for $20 million, but is investing $31 million in ERP.
The establishment of an ERP system also requires extensive retraining of personnel.
But the chief information officer of the Varian Society, meanwhile computer Technica, Honeywell, to give just a few examples, is looking to streamline operations and reduce remedial work by about 60% in 2000.
All of this helps explain the sudden prominence of ERP software companies such as SAP, Baan, QAD, googlesoft and J. D. Edwards.
The Advanced Manufacturing Research report said that ERP company\'s revenue increased by 45% last year, and the growth rate in 1998 was also rapid.
However, some ERP users may have unpleasant surprises.
In a recent report, Gartner Group criticized ERP providers for their slowness in recognizing 2000.
Gartner said: \"The current ERP market is not in good condition.
\"The report warns its customers that of the 63 subsequent suppliers, 34 may not be able to prepare in time for the roll-over in 2000.
Some ERP providers criticized the report and insisted that they could do the job.
Many companies have to wait until later this year to determine how much progress they have made in the mud in 2000.
In this booming economy, many manufacturers fall three shifts seven days a week and cannot be shut down because of the testing of the entire plant.
When GM and others take advantage of the holiday factory shutdown for dry running, the moment of truth will come.
The company\'s Tempe electronics center in Arizona will conduct a one-day test by running token production with key employees.
At the same time, William Benner, manager of plant information technology, and four of his employees are busy checking and re-checking all production equipment.
The people who troubleshoot cannot relax because they know what is at stake.
Many developments offer chilling previews of what the backward companies can expect when 2000 arrives :--Leap-
When the programmer failed to explain the extra day in February 1996, the annual snafus damaged the production line. At a small U. S.
The manufacturer of industrial solutions, who declined to be named, stopped production on January. 1, 1997.
Before the worker corrected the situation, the liquid in the pipe had hardened and had to be replaced for $1 million.
This resulted in late delivery and loss of three customers. A similar leap-
Annual oversight caused $1 million in damage to the aluminum refinery in conmarko, tazhou, when all smelting controls
The pot line was closed and damaged five pot cells that could not be repaired. --
The computer incorrectly explained that the date of year 00 had sent out crazy instructions.
The company will not issue a press release on this confusion, nor will it be named.
But a consultant told usS. freeze-
Take note of the mysterious reduction in warehouse inventory of dry grain manufacturers.
Reason: the computer system mistakenly reads the 00 due date on the product at 1900, causing the ordered inventory to be destroyed. --
Dry running reveals the threat of disruption to important services.
Last year, when Honolulu\'s Hawaiian Electric Power Company tested its computer systems to determine whether the errors of 2000 would have any impact, the systems withdrew.
This means that some customers may lose power or receive power at a higher frequency, making the clock run faster, damaging or destroying valuable production equipment in the factory.
Communication systems may also crash. The U. S.
The army supplies command tested the PBX telephone system for the 2000 transition period and found that they were running for three days after the year until the accumulated date error shut down the entire network.
The first year of action in 2000 has lasted for several hours.
In a widely publicized case, Produce Palace, an upscale grocery store in Warren, Michigan.
Last year, it sued TaecAmerica, a unit of the Toshiba group that produced its computerized point-of-
Sales and inventory system.
Production Palace claims that the store computer installed two years ago crashed more than 2000 times due to a credit card with a maturity date of 100, usually for several hours, causing business losses when dealing with transactions manually.
Toshiba said its policy was not to comment on unresolved legal issues.
GM\'s Szygenda argues that \"2000 is easy to trigger the biggest litigation frenzy we \'ve ever seen.
\"$300 billion in damages from lawsuits worldwide.
These early lawsuits can serve a useful purpose by reminding directors, CEOs and executives of the company.
They will certainly be named in the 2000 lawsuit, and even if their company has already compensated them for their liability, they will stay for a few hours at the happy lawyers company.
The company also notes that it is better for them not to mislead shareholders on the risks of 2000.
Starting this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has called on publicly held companies to disclose \"expected costs, problems and uncertainties \".
In its latest annual report, United Technologies said that preparing for 2000 would not have a \"significant adverse impact\" on its financial situation \".
However, it may be \"adversely affected\" if suppliers, customers and other businesses do not successfully address this issue \".
\"We run with the feeling of fear because we hear horror stories,\" said Keith Wettlaufer, chief financial officer of . \". G.
Simpson motor is a large auto parts manufacturer in Scarborough, Ontario.
He told another horror story of his own.
He declined to disclose that the 2000 testers of one of the suppliers were unable to return to their factory because they forgot to check whether their safety systems met the requirements.
Wettlaufer said: \"The tentacles of this problem extend everywhere.
\"That\'s why New Year\'s Day 2000 on Saturday will find a large number of CIOs and other executives responsible for handling the foul --
Ups missed the chance to relax on a remote beach or ski resort.
Those who plan to enter the trenches include Leslie Shepp, who is in charge of the 2000 project at Tandem computer, and Donald R, chief information officer of the Varian Association. McMorrow.
Miklovic volunteers from the Gartner Group, who will not be there: \"on high-rise buildings or planes.
Szygenda of GM recently told his company\'s suppliers: \"No matter where you are on your journey, one thing will not change ---the deadline. Dec.
Whether we are ready or not, 1999 will come.
I bet there are quite a few CEOs sweating as the big ball falls in Times Square.
\"Of course, he does not think that the computer error in 2000 will lead to a big ball stagnation.
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