[LEAPSECS] Cost: getting rid of GMT & discontinuing leap seconds

Jonathan E. Hardis jhardis at tcs.wap.org
Sun Oct 24 17:43:43 EDT 2010

On Oct 24, 2010, at 4:35 PM, Daniel R. Tobias wrote:

> On 24 Oct 2010 at 18:12, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:


>> Medicine production is another case: In continuous production

>> setups, all materials have to be traceable to with second

>> granualirity


> Why is the precise second something was manufactured or shipped so

> urgent? As a consumer, the only manufaturer-originated date-stamps I

> ever notice on medicines are expiration dates with a granularity of

> one month.

Nothing is manufactured at one moment in time. In the case of
pharmaceuticals, manufacturing consists of processes controlled by
highly automated equipment with many feedback loops to assure
consistent product. If a sensor or on-line analysis indicates that a
process is drifting from the norm, the feedback control might require,
for example, that a valve be opened until time X. And in order to
prove that the documented quality system was adhered to, extensive
logging is kept of the internal measurements and control events of
production operations.

I'm not going to tell you that leap seconds cause pharmaceutical
manufacturing processes to fail. I am going to tell you that, in
general, production engineers haven't thought the problem through and
tested their analysis -- they don't know whether they do or not.

I agree with Poul-Henning.

- Jonathan

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