Y2K help on the web
The last quarter of 1999 is officially underway and most U.S. Y2K efforts are completed or nearly completed. Don't relax just yet, though. Representatives for the National Association of Manufacturers (Rosslyn, Va.) estimate that 0.5-1% of Y2K error points will go unfound in the U.S. While this may seem like a small number, there's no way of knowing if these errors will appear in a chip ...
The last quarter of 1999 is officially underway and most U.S. Y2K efforts are completed or nearly completed. Don't relax just yet, though. Representatives for the National Association of Manufacturers (Rosslyn, Va.) estimate that 0.5-1% of Y2K error points will go unfound in the U.S. While this may seem like a small number, there's no way of knowing if these errors will appear in a chip embedded in a household appliance or in a critical batch process.
Companies of all types need to make certain all components are checked for Y2K compliance, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
Who's compliant, who's not
Firms that do business with several different vendors need to be especially aware of the Y2K preparedness of the products from those vendors. One component may be Y2K compliant, but another one may not. If those components need to work together, the integrity of an entire system may be at stake. Also, the older a component or system is, the greater its chances of experiencing problems when the clock turns over on January 1, 2000. It is also important to note where the components were manufactured. Some countries are better prepared for the Y2K bug than others.
Many companies make it easy to determine product compliance on the worldwide web. The best place to start is at the vendor's website. If there doesn't seem to be any indication that the company made an effort to let its customers know of its Y2K preparedness, take that as a sign that there may be compliance problems with that vendor's products and contact the company directly to find out more information.
Several all-inclusive Y2K compliance help sites also exist online. These include links to companies' Y2K disclosure statements or a searchable database of companies and products. See sidebar for some of these sites. For more information on disclosure statements as outlined in the Year 2000 Information and Readiness Disclosure Act from the U.S. federal government, visit www.y2k.gov/java/y2kinfo.html .
What about you?
For those companies that have not completely assessed their Y2K readiness, don't despair. Many online resources provide help determining Y2K compliance. Many sites also provide free downloads of Y2K testing software. Use your favorite search engine to find these commercial sites, some of which offer programs for sale, others as shareware.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Being fully prepared for the arrival of Y2K, using the web as a tool in many aspects, will help alleviate a lot of the fear held by those in the control and automation industries. Having a fully compliant factory will help to free up more time for planning New Years' celebrations.
Laura Zurawski, web editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful web resources for Year 2000 information
President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion (
The Year 2000 Information Center (
The International Y2K Cooperation Center (
Automation 2000 (
The U.S. Federal Government Gateway for Year 2000 Information Directories (
Manufacturing Marketplace's Year 2000 Page (