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MANUFACTURERS URGED TO STEP UP CYBER SECURITY PLANS T


he UK’s manufacturers are being urged to step up their planning to counter the increasing number of


W


e’ve seen major


advances in machine safety in recent years due to improvements in sensor and control system design coupled with software developments. Systems are now being created with reduced material cost, they are smarter, safer, and better connected, all of which adds to their complexity. The multiplicity of sensor, logic, and actuator subsystems that typically make up a functional safety system can make the overall development process daunting. However, when looking at machine safety risk reduction and validation, there are a few simple steps to follow which help to make sense of the process. These include identifying the hazard, assessing then reducing the risk, establishing safety requirements, before implementing functional safety. This is obviously a very


simplified version of the process, but in this issue’s Machine Safety supplement you’ll be able to read about many of the latest developments available from the leading suppliers. There’s also advice from the experts on how these can best be incorporated into machine safety systems.


Neil Mead - Managing Editor


cyber security threats as part of their efforts to be ready for the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. The call was made by EEF, the manufacturers’


organisation on the back of a new survey showing a mixed picture of manufacturers’ approach to cyber security, and with Government figures showing a rapid increase in both the number and cost of security breaches. Commenting, Ms Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF,


said: “As technology and data start to play increasingly critical roles in manufacturing, companies will inevitably find themselves more vulnerable to cyber breaches. Our survey highlights that investment in new technology isn’t being matched by investment in managing risks, especially among smaller firms.” EEF’s findings show that just under half of


manufacturers have failed to increase their investment in cyber security in the past two years. Amongst small manufacturers this rises to 56 per cent. Two in ten firms are not actively making employees aware of cyber risks, while less than six in ten say cyber security is given serious attention by their board. Government figures show that, last year, 90 per cent of large businesses and 74 per cent of small businesses reported a cyber security breach – an increase on 2014. The average cost of these breaches was between £1.46 million to £3.14 million for a large firm and £75k to £311k for a small business. In response to the threats and, to back its call, EEF


has developed a free online tool which will enable manufacturers to benchmark their cyber security. They will also find useful information and links to further advice so that they can bring themselves fully up-to- speed with cyber issues and the risks at www.eef.org.uk


SMES BACK REMAIN CAMPAIGN – BUT ONLY JUST B


ritain’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union, new data from Close Brothers reveals, but only by a small


minority and with many firms still undecided. The research suggests that with just weeks remaining until Britons vote on continued membership of the EU, campaigners for and against Brexit still have much to play for. Some 44 per cent of SME owners and managers in the latest Close Brothers Business


Barometer say they do not want the UK to leave the European Union, against 39 per cent who support Brexit. Crucially, however, 17 per cent of respondents said they are unsure about which way to vote in next month’s


referendum, leaving plenty of room for either side to take a decisive lead. The close nature of the debate reflects uncertainty about the impact Brexit would have on many businesses – 34 per cent of firms say leaving the EU would have a positive effect on their business, but exactly the same number say the impact would be negative. And 32 per cent per cent say they are not sure what the effect would be. “It is very clear that the debate over Brexit remains close and extremely finely balanced,” said David Thomson, CEO


of Close Brothers Invoice Finance. “The level of uncertainty about the impact of the UK leaving the EU has left many business owners and managers unsure about how to vote in the referendum. There are both risks and opportunities for SMEs whatever the outcome of the referendum, but business owners and managers must now weigh up these difficult issues in order to decide where the balance lies for them.”


Want to keep up to date? Then follow us on Twitter: @CI_AutomationUK and/or ‘Like’ us on Facebook!


TWO GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AT TWO UNIQUE INDUSTRIAL EVENTS This biennial exhibition, an established show in


H


aving acquired the Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems show just over four


months ago, Datateam Business Media has announced that preparations for the 2016 event are well under way, with stand space selling fast. The exhibition, which takes place at the AECC, Aberdeen from 31 August – 1 September, will bring together the many companies who supply products and services specific to the offshore sector. It also focuses heavily on test, measurement and control equipment for North East Scotland’s other key industries, including processing, power generation, paper, distilling, water and waste, marine engineering and more.


4 MAY 2016 | AUTOMATION


Scotland, is now taking place for the 12th time. Publishing and event director, Kathryn Ambrose, said: “The event will provide both visitors and exhibitors with an excellent way to network within their own region, and the chance to understand each other’s requirements and needs.” A number of exhibitors are already confirmed,


including: Beamex, Berthold Technologies, ESI, Fischer Connectors, Hitex, Industrial Communications, Isothermal, Michell Instruments, Miland, and PR Electronics. To be sure of the best location, companies are advised to book now. The exhibition will also feature a free to attend seminar programme with contributions from notable industry experts. Companies interested in speaking at the event are invited to submit a paper online at instrumentation.co.uk Automation’s managing editor, Neil Mead, is


overseeing the programme. He said: “We are looking for cutting edge content, designed to


keep delegates up to date with the latest advances in research and development.” Sensors & Intrumentation returns to the NEC


in Birmingham just a few weeks later, on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 September 2016. Now in its seventh year and firmly established as the UK’s only dedicated sensors event for the test, measurement and control sectors, visitors to Sensors & Instrumentation will have access to all the latest products, technology and solutions from market-leading suppliers. The event also has a focused technical seminar programme. Registering for Sensors & Instrumentation will


provide access to the largest group of industrial events taking place at the same time at the NEC, including Micro Nano MEMS, TCT and the PPMA Total Show. For more information about the event, visit


www.sensorsandinstrumentation.co.uk and follow on Twitter @sensorsshow


/AUTOMATION


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