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1997-11-14 09:15:53


Leap Year Malfunction: One Small Company's $1 Million Loss



This story, multipled by hundreds of thousands on the same day -- Feb. 29, 2000 -- reveals what we're facing: a worldwide shutdown. Ann Couffou related this story in her testimony before the House Subcommittee on Technology.

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A small manufacturer of industrial liquid solutions found their production line completely stopped on January 1, 1997. It was discovered that their process control systems were not designed to account for a leap year (1996) and subsequently shut down when the changed from 1996 to 1997. Before company personnel could remedy the situation, the liquid solutions that were in the process pipelines hardened and could not be removed. The company was forced to replace the process pipelines at a cost of $1 million. They were unable to manufacture products for several days, thereby, causing late deliveries to customers. In addition to the cost to repair the pipelines, the company believes they lost three new clients because their shipments were delayed.


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