MCAA Pits Users Against Vendors Amid Security Worries

May 20, 2004

CEOs and other senior management of process automation companies got several earfuls at the recently held Measurement, Control and Automation Association (MCAA) meeting in Oak Brook, Ill.

Keynote speaker, Dr. William Rees, of the Department of Homeland Security provided a serious wake up call on the issue of process infrastructure security in the electric and water utility industry and in the process industries as well. It is likely, according to Rees, that control systems will need to be designed differently in the future to reduce the ability of hackers and terrorists to penetrate critical systems in process plants.

Later, a panel of important note to CONTROL's readers pitted four senior process automation professionals against the audience. Aren't you people training your folks? complained Brian Krameric of Chicago's Sargent and Lundy. The end users on the panel agreed that the general process knowledge of sales engineers and reps in the vendor community is considerably lower than it used to be, and such knowledge is needed now more than ever.