Crown Equipment
A Crown Equipment store opened in Georgia in early 2024.

So That Happened: Another Industrial Cyberattack

July 3, 2024
IndustryWeek editors look into that story, how to express your love of manufacturing through art and how you could win a truck for industrial trivia knowledge.

Editor’s note: Welcome to So That Happened, our editors’ takes on things going on in the manufacturing world that deserve some extra attention. This will appear regularly in the Member’s Only section of the site.

Say “Sustainability!”

To creatively capture U.S. industrial transformation efforts, the Department of Energy’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) recently announced the Framing the Future: Industrial Technologies Photo Contest. Photographers of all proficiency levels are invited to submit photos that document the journey to industrial decarbonization and net-zero emissions by 2050.

 With a total prize pool of $27,000, winners have the opportunity to be awarded up to $2,000. The contest features six categories:

  • Decarbonizing emissions-intensive industries (five subcategories)
    • Iron and steel
    • Food and beverage
    • Cement and concrete
    • Paper and forest products
    • Chemicals sector
  • Cross-sector decarbonization technologies
  • Onsite energy
  • Improving water and wastewater treatment
  • The people and communities of the industrial sector
  • Creative interpretation

Submissions are due Nov. 21, and winners will be announced in January 2025. Submit photos and learn more on the photo contest website.

—Anna Smith

Have Bus, Will Travel: AEM Launches Public Engagement Tour

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is doing its part to raise awareness of manufacturing’s importance to the nation’s economy. On July 1 the organization launched what it describes as its largest public engagement initiative in 130 years with the “Manufacturing Challenge.”

The Manufacturing Challenge is an online video game developed for AEM, and it invites participants to answer industry-themed questions for a chance to win prizes, the association says. The grand prize is significant: a Ford F-150.

That’s just a piece of the full public engagement effort, however. AEM introduced the Manufacturing Challenge as part of its Manufacturing Express bus tour, which is expected to visit equipment manufacturing sites in 80 communities from July 1 and lasting into October.  The tour’s first stop was Weiler Inc., located in Knoxville, Iowa, and the grand finale will be at Komatsu in Milwaukee.

The tour will showcase the “contributions of our industry’s workers to local economies and our nation’s prosperity,” according to AEM President Megan Tanel. Moreover, the tour stops include meetings with local and regional policymakers to highlight policies of interest to equipment manufacturers.

Don’t be fooled that it’s all business. AEM describes Manufacturing Express as a “celebration,” complete with food, games and, of course, prizes.

Curious about whether the tour bus is stopping in your neck of the woods? I was. It has five stops in Ohio (where I’m located), one of which is in my old stomping grounds of Bucyrus. You can find the full tour schedule, access the online video game and find additional information at

—Jill Jusko

Major Forklift Manufacturer Recovers from Cyberattack

It took just short of a month for one of the world’s largest forklift manufacturers to resume operations after an international cybercriminal organization hacked its systems, forcing the shutdown of two plants in Germany.

Crown Equipment, headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, employs over 19,000 people at 24 plants in 14 locations worldwide. On June 8, employees began reporting a major system breach that necessitated shutting down all IT systems. Crown management issuing warnings to employees against multi-factor authentication (MFA) requests and phishing emails.

The manufacturer on June 19 confirmed to its employees via email that Crown had been targeted by an “international cybersecurity organization” and that the company was working with the FBI and cybersecurity experts to analyze the affected data.

Blame for the hack was laid on “an employee [who] failed to adhere to our data security policies by allowing unauthorized access to their device.” Tech blogger Günter Born, who first reported the hack on June 13, specifically laid the blame on an employee that fell for a threat actor posing as another Crown employee and granted access to their computer.

The threat actor then installed hostile software on the employee’s computer that granted access to the entirety of Crown Equipment’s IT systems.

Does this sound like a familiar refrain yet?

In a press release issued Monday, Crown Equipment announced resumption of operations at all 24 plants.

“Due to the security measures we had in place, the quick action of our IT staff, and the support provided by some of the world’s leading cybersecurity experts, we were able to quickly contain and address the issue,” said John Tate, senior vice president. “Our team has accelerated the recovery process and is now focused on minimizing the attack’s effects on our employees, customers and suppliers.”

Crown also stated it continues to work with federal law enforcement to investigate the breach and will evolve its cybersecurity program.

— Dennis Scimeca

About the Author

Anna Smith | News Editor

News Editor


Bio: Anna Smith joined IndustryWeek in 2021. She handles IW’s daily newsletters and breaking news of interest to the manufacturing industry. Anna was previously an editorial assistant at New Equipment DigestMaterial Handling & Logistics and other publications.

About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

About the Author

Dennis Scimeca

Dennis Scimeca is a veteran technology journalist with particular experience in vision system technology, machine learning/artificial intelligence, and augmented/mixed/virtual reality (XR), with bylines in consumer, developer, and B2B outlets.

At IndustryWeek, he covers the competitive advantages gained by manufacturers that deploy proven technologies. If you would like to share your story with IndustryWeek, please contact Dennis at [email protected].


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