May 16, 2020

Rockman Industries appoints Fortinet to protect its manufacturing plants from digital threats

Connected Manufacturing
Digital Transformation
Technology
Technology
Catherine Sturman
3 min
security (Getty Images)
Cybersecurity leader Fortinet has announced that Rockman Industries, a manufacturer of Aluminium die casting components, machined and painted assemblies...

Cybersecurity leader Fortinet has announced that Rockman Industries, a manufacturer of Aluminium die casting components, machined and painted assemblies for motorcycle and automobile OEMs, has chosen Fortinet’s solutions to protect their data and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Its capabilities will protect the business from advanced threats and will allow for real-time visibility and automated responses to security incidents.

Part of the Hero Group, Rockman Industries was established in the 1960s as a bicycle component manufacturer. Today the company has the capacity to process more than 65,000 tonnes of aluminium annually at five plants at Haridwar, Ludhiana, Chennai and Bawal.

The company is an industry leader in motorcycle alloy wheels with an installed capacity of 5.8mn wheels annually. Rockman has also recently diversified into Carbon Composites Technology through the acquisition of a British-Indian enterprise, Moldex Composites.

Rockman Industries previously housed a legacy firewall at the perimeter of its datacentre which was not fit for purpose in protecting data from sophisticated threats. Its eight manufacturing plants now connect with the datacentre using a secure MPLS connection. With the manufacturing plants securely connected to the network, The IT team had to also ensure 24x7 availability to support growing business needs and provide secure access to its 800+ users now connected to the network from the plants. Additionally, Fortinet had to provide a more secure authentication capability to critical servers as they hosted the companies most sensitive data and IPRs.

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The company chose FortiGate next generation firewalls, FortiSandbox proactive threat detection, FortiAuthenticator access management and FortiTokenone time password (OTP)  software token. With the deployed Fortinet solutions, Rockman Industries has optimised the use of its IT resources, with a streamlined view provided by security analytics and sandboxing enhancing its overall security posture. Access management with two-factor authentication also ensures that only authorised people have access to business-critical systems and sensitive data. 

“Given the nature of today's global threat landscape, we needed an advance threat protection solution to react to threats at machine speed. We chose Fortinet for their scalability and leading technologies that are backed by strong R&D and threat research. We configured all the devices offline and with minimum downtime managed to switch over to the new solution. With these high-performance solutions, we will be able to add our upcoming manufacturing plants into the security fabric,” explained Chief General Manager of IT at Rockman Industries, L. K. Tripathi, in a recent press release.

FortiGate now delivers superior next-generation firewall capabilities, while leveraging its significantly higher performance.  This has enabled Rockman Industries to turn on multiple security technologies, such as intrusion prevention and URL filtering without compromising user and customer experience.

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

IMF
Manufacturing
COVID19
Musk
Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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