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Security Solutions for the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries

May. 10, 2011
Foto: af photo /
Foto: af photo / more
Foto: af photo / Heiner Jerofsky 

The chemical and pharmaceutical industries have survived the commercial and financial crisis well. These companies are enjoying a strong tailwind behind their business and, through the strength of their innovations, have proven to be one of the workhorses of economic growth. The current prognosis for this year reckons with an increase of German chemical production of around 11 percent.

The total turnover of the industry grew during 2010 by some 18 percent. The pharmaceutical industry in general, and above all the group of researching pharmaceutical companies, also show a stable economic development in the current business cycle. However, danger can lurk in many corners for these companies. Such sensitive systems and processes can be well protected and secured with the help of modern security solutions or emergency ‚parachutes‘. demonstrates suitable concepts and technology.

Intention and Situation
Handling chemicals and medicines demands a fundamentally higher safety standard than in other branches of industry. In spite of this, there are frequent events that cause loss, outages and operational stoppages and also cause damage to corporate image. It is increasingly important to protect the whole operation against theft, sabotage and attacks by using suitable safety and security concepts. The product palette of large organizations stretches from oil and gas through chemicals, plastics and finishing products up to pesticides, fine chemicals and important pharmaceutical products.

Experts know that the ‚immobilization‘ of an important technical system, such as the energy supply, a high rack warehouse, a laboratory, the IT or a steam cracker, can lead to delivery difficulties for numerous products and thereby cause significant financial damage.

Such core industries are the motor of our economy and simultaneously - according to the current criminal statistics - also a potential target for saboteurs, terrorists and other criminals. The EMEA region has long been a member of the ‚worldwide danger zone‘. This is no longer just an ‚abstract‘ threat, as the terrorist danger had long been rated. At the end of last year several terror warnings have been issued because attacks were considered to be possible in Europe.

The security measures at airports and railway stations were increased drastically. This can happen anywhere as the Islamic extremist fighters know just how vulnerable our community is and change their strategies at will. Therefore only coherent and flexible security concepts help to protect our important industries.

Analysis and Risks
A security analysis must be regularly carried out to evaluate the weak points and potential dangers for the company and its people that takes into account current risks and security hazards. This appraisal of the status quo should try to cover all security risks (realistic dangers and recognized weak points) according to the type of production, infrastructure, location of the company and the sensitivity of the production processes.

It is all about estimating the criminal damage caused by property crime, fraud, misappropriation of company funds, corruption, industrial espionage, competitive infringements, product piracy, sabotage, product blackmail, bomb threats and felonies with a terrorist motivation. The threat arises from many very different sources and the risks for each company are constantly changing. To make such an evaluation it is necessary to draw on the statistics and experience of insurers, the police and also security service providers, and to be advised by (external) security specialists.

Criteria are the likelihood of an event and the extent of the potential damage. Therefore, the higher the risk and its probability, the more urgent the need for action. It must also be decided whether the risks threaten the company‘s existence or rather would have no significant effect on the functioning of the operation. This type of report forms the basis for adapting the security concept.

Aims and Principles
The point of the exercise is quite simple: the highest security with the lowest (cost) effort! The vulnerabilities, threats and risks are minimized by technical, staff or organizational measures according to a list of priorities resulting from the security analysis. This, together with the security goals given by the company management, should contain primarily:

  • the preservation of health of the employees and visitors,
  • the protection of company equipment and know-how and thereby
  • the commercial capability, the production capacity and supply capability of the company.

It is self-evident that the security concept must conform to all legal requirements. It takes into account the complete interaction of all security measures to date and should structure them as follows:

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Keywords : access control communication technology condition monitoring documentation technology environmental building systems Fire Alarm Systems ID card administration intrusion mechatronic locking components perimeter detection systems Perimeter Protection video surveillance systems

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