IAmA: Plant IT Support Specialist for a major meat manufacturer AMA!
Guess all questions and trolling has been taken care of.
With the multiple companies I have been with it seems that the on going policy that the Hard drives are destroyed and the metal is sent to a recycling facility due to the large volume.
Companies also tend to not allow stuff to go home with people.. Example if I find something that is required to throw away.. If I were to sign a waiver or just take it home that would be considered "unfair" to whoever did not know about it ect..
I would say it is really dumb but then again I could see where someone could abuse it.
It really bugs me when I have to throw away LCD monitors that I know all they need is a new power cable, but the company wont buy the specialized power cable because it is a special purchase.
Oh... I was talking about the meat
Almost all the meat is used, and the meat that is considered contaminated or unfit for human consumption gets sent to get made into bone meal or other products. In short.. The trash gets turned into profit then hauled away.
You would think that with the popularity of hotdogs, they'd just use this same method to get rid of those extra computer parts they're just throwing away. I don't think anyone would notice the taste difference.
My guess is there is a point where effort meats cost.
Confirmed, you are an IT guy. Who else could so completely misunderstand a request and run head first into the wall while bitching about end users.
Was on the road so speed reading..
I would say it is really dumb but then again I could see where someone could abuse it. It really bugs me when I have to throw away LCD monitors that I know all they need is a new power cable, but the company wont buy the specialized power cable because it is a special purchase.
You should investigate some sort of local donation program. There are lots of places that will accept electronics for "recycling", who will turn around and put together systems for schools/libraries/etc..
Granted HDD's won't be able to be donated (get shredded or destroyed), but just about everything else should be more than suitable.
I am still running into places that are turning in pentium 2s lol. The P4 or higher PCs get a DoD format and donated through.
Can technology assist in the humane slaughter of animals? Can there be something better than inaccurate captive bolts and live grounding of chicks, etc.? What about transparency and accountability? Or does the industry prefer to just keep it all under wraps?
It already has they have conveyer belts that take the animals to a o2 system. Basically it renders them unconscious humanely then kills them.
Technology also helps keep track of animals, if some come in sick or abused the markings and tracking on them can identify the trucker or farmer who bright them in.
A lot companies have what is basically staffing companies. Their harvest may be one company and their production may be another.
It is hard to fully monitor these and farms best attempts are made which can include hiring someone to be a resident within the facility and do audits.
Control System Cyber Security here, whaddup Plant IT.
Hows that System Bus / Terminal Bus style architecture going? Any PLCs on your managed ICS switches? Looks like 3 of your HMIs aren't compliant with ISO 27001 and 27002. kill me plz
They are compliant... Rule taught is do it right the first time.
Blood. There must be a river of blood coming out of that place.
How many gallons of blood does a plant like that produce? What happens to it? Does it just go into the sewage system?
We turn it into blood meal and sell it. Probably about 1.5 million gallons, and I am sure there is no place under 6 feet that had not touched blood.
You can use it to make black pudding (blood sausage) very common in many European countries.
Mmm blood sausage
Pretty much, every peace of meat was once filled to the brim with blood.
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Hey, what's your opinion on being vegetarian/vegan?
Not my choice so I can't really have a stance .
you can't choose if you're a vegan or not?
I was able to choose to not be an addict anymore.
an addict...of meat? I don't understand either of your statements here
I was a substance addict before i started my career. Still think about it today, but it is healthier for me not to do it kinda like how protein is good to have.
Not trying to butt in on your AMA or be an evangelical vegan but I interpreted your above statement to mean that you eat meat because the alternative would involve not getting enough protein, and this is not true. I respect your decision to eat meat and I'm definitely not trying to 'convert' you, but I wanted to leave this here for you / anyone else who was under this misconception.
Will look at when I have the time
Awesome, and congratulations on your recovery!
Still wanna do some but I hate how it feels.
Do you guys have a SCADA system for the machines?
Well when it comes to data collection we have an open source program that is modified. It allows our devices to connect to an IBM Iseries which does most of the legwork. We are able to remote into the devices and in the event of a replacement pretty much hot swap them.
As for real time data in addition to the terminals on the floor that connect to an Iseries. All the desktop pc's have an emulator to connect to it also, so information can be sent into the emulator and relayed to any device that is currently in that system.
Do you guys use computers n stuff?
Do you go poop indoors?
No. In my village we poop outside.
I just upgraded to depends so I can do both.
what is that?
Basically when you are doing something.. Like lets say you put 50 stakes on a scale.. The scale would read the stakes weight..
You wouldn't want to use a pen and paper for 8 hours writing the weight of your steaks.
So basically that info gets put into a PC by the scale / or you.. Then it goes to an even larger PC. That PC holds the info for anyone and any calculation process that needs to know that info.
You can get any weight scale needed. So if you don't like the thought of weighing steaks someone could be weighing butts or loins.
How did you get into this job? I always wonder how people find these really specific jobs when most of the IT job listings I can find are just fullstack webdev and SAP stuff.
Started part time as relief. Kept applying and eventually got one. More or less it is luck.
What kind of network system are you guys running?
Standard enterprise topology, but running iwan also
Do you use PLC's on the plan floor? What uses do they perform? How do they interface with the network, or something similar.
We have over 100 we just hired a person to work with the PLC. We have them doing anything from running packaging on a timer to putting boxes away and taking them out. The main network people messed our most expensive plc up.
Basically Cisco changed something in their configuration and the PLC saw the ping the Cisco did as a malicious attempt and caused issues for about a month until the network perplexed found out what their mistake was.
Omg yes Cisco has some weird ways of doing things, I've configured some Network switches and some of the commands are double negatives like No shutdown -> is shutdown Lol Is hacking of PLC's ever a worry, like the stuxnet virus?
I don't not sure if a few others do. We pay a TON for security firewalls and software. Second in security command called me at home because of too much data was going to my laptop at home due to security footage streaming. I had a lot to look through.
Is pentesting your own systems a thing? Is it common/uncommon in your industry? Is there no incentive on the company's part?
Not too much that I know of, but our systems get hit with like 1 million pings a day. I don't think it would be a bad idea to get a consultation.
Would the meat processing sector pay good for a service like that? And how hard would it be to sell it to companies not unlike yours?
I would go PLC programming for large companies easily $30+/hour with a good size town.
Yeah. Too bad Im not in that business of pentesting i could make some money.
Not really compared to the business. I way that because if you don't have the other company sign all the papers and you break in you screwed.
The mini computers that help with putting stuff in boxes and things like that got screwed up because the router sent out a message trying to figure out if there was a duplicate.. The router team couldn't figure it out for a month.
Funny thing, Wireshark with a read-only tap into the network can find issues like that in a few minutes if you understand the communications protocols. As an IT guy, you're often in a better position to interpret the network traffic than the PLC/SCADA programmers.
Have you gotten your vendors to standardize on one brand, or are you running whatever came with the standard equipment package?
The issue was 3 years ago when Cisco added the software to look for duplicate IP addresses. All it was really easy a change from default disable to enable.
What is the one thing you don't have that would make your job easier, in regards to technology and IT specifically?
Are there any programs you wish did X, Y, or Z that don't currently exist? Are there any tasks you feel could be made easier, that currently take too much time or work, in your opinion?
We have industrial printers and actual software that told what is wrong would be nice. What it tells us now is very vague.
A help request system that wouldn't allow people to leave one sentence that made no sense would be nice also.
We have a way to put an image on a hard drive, but that does not make it ready to use. You have to fill out information ect to use it. So a farther along version of that would help. Takes like 20 or more minutes from start to finish.
So I spoke with my devs; they had some questions for you regarding your disk image mention and might be able to help if you're interested:
- What are types of images are being mounted?
- What mechanism is used for deployment?
- What customization is done to make images useable?
Win 7 embedded with an in house open source modded app. We use SD cards mini ide and mini sata basically. We image with a external connection or plug the drives into out pc after removing them from the case.
I worked for a processing plant some years back myself as a RCO (Remote-Control Operator) shuttling railcars that were being loaded around. Once, we had a refrigeration unit go bad on a fully loaded car, causing all the meat to spoil and the company had to unload and dispose of it.
From this, I have two questions I've always wondered.
First: How often does spoilage on that magnitude happen,
Second: If a spoilage like that happens, what is the fallout from it? (Fines, job loss, or cost.)
Technically we don't use cars we use fork trucks. You may relate though to a semi with a refrigeration unit. That would get disputed, but more on other parts of spoiled food and refrigeration.
We have a fail safe. Multiple refrigeration units. Though there has been a time when the sewer backed up and there have been multiple times where boxes of probably 800 pounds of product dropped on the floor.
The product goes to another facility and gets made into bone meal. Which can be found in some dog foods.
On a side note what is the serious concern of a lot of facilities is contamination with allergens. Someone touching meat or is going to touch meat decides to put some thing like a peanut butter bar in their mouth then goes to touch the meat. That meat now has the potential to give someone an allergic reaction so that may cause you to lose your job or come close. That meat is now pretty much going to the refinery for bone meal.
Yeah, I remember that the only way I noticed it was when I saw this weird dripping coming from under the boxcar's doors. Checking the Refrig unit, I found that it had gone into a defrost cycle, and the interior of the car was pushing easily 110 degrees. I'd always wondered what happened after they had to clear it out.
Basically from what I got told it is just a pissing match between the shipper/receiver. In the end it turns into a was I would guess because you would win and lose probably about the same.
My guess is that not all facilities have the ability to unload product for free so that company may have had to eat the losses on some of the stuff.
I know that once it was cleaned out, we had to push the car to the end of a siding and steam clean it out before it could be certified to ship again.
Trailers for livestock have to have that done also. It is a huge money maker if the semi's all have to wash their trailer like 4 times a day and get charged for every wash.
Remembering the times I've driven by livestock semis with shit dripping all down the sides, washing them often seems like a very good thing.
I don't have to clean them so I am content with it too.
What telephony solution are you currently using. Any unified communications across the plant?
No its a chop job. Some want voip, some say it is too expensive, others just want stuff to work. Basically dragging along and hope for only issues that can be fixed.
Don't you just sometimes want to go full BOFH?
Only for a few people because they are consistently causing problems. The majority of people there are just trying to do their job.. Some just shouldn't have their position or don't care about a $4,000 piece of electronic equipment because it is not theirs.
100 duck sized horse or 1 horse sized duck?
Uhmm how about a 400 pound king penguin?
I work at a fair sized company with only 1 IT guy. The company itself is very concerned about spending money on anything. On top of that the IT department (of one guy) is directly under the VP of finacne. Is there anyway to convince them it would be worth it to get more it people? It's hard for us manufacturing engineers to try new high tech solutions for things if we can't even get a minute of ITs time.
See if they will pay for a security audit. Might be shooting yourself may not be. Just make sure if they say it is shit that you can prove it is too much for just one person.
What's the passwords?
The hint is.. A dollar a day keeps the green monster away.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Probably how relieved some people get, and decent pay.
I'm an IT support specialist for humans. What are some special IT challenges you face working for your plant overlords?
Communication it is really loud where all the machinery and magic happens.
What do you think about the movie Predator?
I think the one coming out in 1018 should be good.. I normally make my opinions based on the most recent ones..
You'll make your opinion on Predator judging by the sequel 30 years later?
I dont like really old graphics...
Do you have an onsite wastewater treatment system?
...do you want one?
We do, I had no clue how much they cost before we saw the price.
How does one "manufacture" meat? Is there a secret recipe? If you mistyped and meant "process" rather than "manufacture", then my questions become: 1) Do you have one of those giant animal grinders that will grind an entire horse or cow?; and, 2) Do you ever hear the animals scream? :-(
Make (something) on a large scale using machinery. Take raw products and make it into a final.
No you have to have people cut and take parts out.
And the animals don't feel a thing, they get put unconscious before anything is done.
My question to you is: Why do you need an AMA? You are an operations IT support guy at a slaughter house. Who cares?
(I wasn't gonna say anything but since you did, I'm commenting)
Not only that but his knowledge seems pretty limited. I'm pretty sure he's like a temp or something.
More like I was traveling for 8 hours since I found out I had to after this got posted. So instead of abandoning the thread I tried to keep my word by answering stuff.
Depends on what game you want to play.
I don't play stupid games, you can keep the stupid prizes.
I am sitting here with a giant erection right now.
Idk how to Guage it without seeing
You don't know how to capitalize words in the English Language either. Shame.
Second language Russian can do that to u.
I, honestly, thought this was a joke when I read it. IT operations at anywhere is not exactly a specialized, interesting career. You may as well ask the L1 help desk at a hospital for an AMA if you want blood, guts and computers.
You may as well ask the L1 help desk at a hospital for an AMA if you want blood, guts and computers
Holy crap, we need this! Can some get on this?
My first job was a temp lvl1 before I landed the next that led me to the one I am at. The blood lab had a computer with an inch thick of dust in it. No one wanted to touch it.
What happens to all the scraps/ leftover parts? Can an average person like me purchase the less ideal cuts at a cheap price?
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