Kraft Food: A great example (in more ways than one) : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

The following note was posted to the mailing list (see for information), and was sent in by Harlan Smith.

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This is what Kraft Foods is doing, according to Evan Hand, a Kraft Engineer, who also gave a presentation at the embedded conference in Houston last week. Mr. Hand first described the scope of the problem at Kraft and the goals for the project. Management wanted to continue operations during all phases of the year 2000 fix with minimal impact to each plant and at minimal cost.

These were the numbers:

All of Kraft's PLCs are listed as mission critical because of quality control and safety. The PLCs control a named critical mission. If they fail they will shut down a process, because the process cannot be allowed to go on in an unmonitored condition to insure health and safety.

In other words, for a production line to continue to produce food that is either under or over cooked is unacceptable. If you don't know for sure, the food has to be destroyed.

Of the 4% of PLCs that had problems, in half of them it was in a subtraction routine and with 10% there was a leap year problem. This is yet another example of a known embedded problem.

Kraft has decided to share their compliance database with their vendors and the public.

That last sentence should be in bold letters. I can just imagine the back room legal arguments that went on before this decision was reached. Mr. Hand pointed out that there target date to be finished is December 31, 1999, and while that might seem obvious, it is the only date the lawyers will allow him to say publicly because they keep finding new things that need testing and checking.

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-- Bill (, June 06, 1998


I have an additional question. What is their predicted completion date?

Are the chips easily obtained and replaced?

-- Carl Snider (, July 27, 1998.

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