Last updateWed, 30 Sep 2020 2pm

Business & Management

Cyber War: Are Your Defenses Sufficient?

trojan horseThe precipitating event in the 1986 Tom Clancy novel Red Storm Rising is a massive fire in a Soviet petroleum installation caused by an infiltrator in the control room. But that attack could be done from thousands of miles away, without a person on site — and in fact there have been persistent reports that a “logic bomb” planted by the CIA in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software subsequently stolen by the KGB caused a massive explosion at a pipeline in Siberia in 1982. And there is increasing evidence that attacks aimed at industrial and civil infrastructure in countries around the world are no longer a remote possibility, but a serious real-world threat.

Emerson Event Reflects Company’s Optimistic Outlook

john berraThings are looking up for Emerson Process Management—and for industry in general—if you judge by attendance at this year’s Emerson Global Users Exchange, held Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 in San Antonio: Nearly 2,300 people attended, up from last year’s 1,800. Emerson’s business is also up, said Steve Sonnenberg, executive vice president, Emerson, and business leader, Emerson Process Management, during his keynote address, and the worst of the recession seems to be in the past. The company increased R&D spending by 4% in 2009 and is increasing by a further 10% in 2010. It has also made several purchases over the past year or so, including the October 2009 acquisition of actuator maker EIM Controls. Emerson is continuing its push for more localization, adding service centers around the world—including the May opening of the $30 million Emerson Innovation Center - Fisher Technology in Marshalltown, IA.


Opportunities Abound for Doing Business in Brazil

Brazil holds a tremendous amount of opportunity for manufacturers and vendors today, as it is one of the easiest of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in which to conduct business, according to Jerry Owen, president of Intrix Americas LLC.


To Market, to Market: Launching a New Product or a New Company

new_product_development_web_articleWhat does it take to bring out a new product in the valve and actuator industry? Like so many questions the answer is: “It depends.” For a large and established company the process is fairly straightforward, but for a young company, or a startup, things can be tougher. We talked to the heads of two small companies for their takes on what it takes to bring out a new product and keep your company afloat at the same time.

What Makes a Company Best in Class?

operating_excellenceJust about everyone is familiar with the term Operational Excellence (OpX), but what exactly is it and how can it be achieved? One straightforward definition comes from an article by Michelle Adkins, in Chemical Engineering for March 2 007, "Operational Excellence Begins Here:" "[O]perational excellence is a holistic approach to integrating operations management methodologies in order to optimize people, assets, and processes." There are OpX approaches to everything from process improvement to supply chain management, but we're going to talk about the use of information from all sources to make improve efficiency in process plants.

The major elements of operational excellence include:

  • Six Sigma and its elements VOC (Voice of the Customer), DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control ) and DOE (Design of Experiments);
  • Lean, with its elements 5 S (the Japanese concept of housekeeping) and value stream mapping;
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
  • Footprint Rationalization;
  • Premier Resource Management.


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