History of Control Engineering

Control Engineering 50th anniversary, September 2004Oak Brook, IL— To mark the close of its 50th anniversary year in 2004, Control Engineering is offering links to anniversary-related coverage and the year’s milestones. Through the year, coverage included a monthly look back at issues 10, 25, and 50 years ago; a 50th anniversary poster; interviews with industry leaders; and various columns and commentaries. Milestones included the launch of the Control Engineering Resource Center, and the first full year for Control Engineering China and Control Engineering Poland editions. And, just for fun, more than 100 people attended an anniversary party held at ISA Expo Thanks for being with us during the year to expand and commemorate the world of Control Engineering. Feel free to link to this article to friends, who also appreciate the history and value of automation, controls, and instrumentation.

[See additional historical links, older and newer, at the bottom of this file.]

September 2004: 50th Anniversary Supplement

Past, Present, and Future of Control Engineering

50th Anniversary: We never could have dreamed
Control Engineering begins its 51st year of publication with this issue. Ed Kompass, Control Engineering ’s former editorial director, who retired in 1987, and who worked on the first issue, says it’s hard to believe how much has changed in the first 50 years. “Since most industrial controllers, whether for machine control, process control, or whole plant or enterprise control, are really dedicated computers, consider then a few of the changes in computer-based control over the past 50 years.”

Advances Beyond Imagination
Sporting more than 50 years in the automation and control industry, Dr. Irving Lefkowitz has seen it all when it comes to the modern advancement of industrial technologies. His perspective offers valuable insight for those pondering the future of the engineering professions.

Broaden Expertise; Apply Proven Technologies More Quickly
Jerry Yen, of General Motors Powertrain and OMAC Users Group, addresses PLC, PC-based, and wireless controls; the Web; legacy integration; business of manufacturing; and interoperability via standards.

Down-to-Earth Engineering in Space
Chet Vaughan, Boeing's acting chief engineer for the International Space Station, says basic control and automation principles help the U.S. space program cope with challenges from galloping technical evolution to integration and standardization issues.

Recognizing excellence in product innovation
Control Engineering editors have been overseeing awards for product excellence for nearly two decades. Reviewing the historical leader-board for the Editors’ Choice Awards illustrates the ma-jor advances made in automation, control, and instrumentation over the years.

Technology and People Connections: Keys to the Future
Intelligent devices, integrated systems, distributed architectures…Dow engineers cite past advances and call on the controls field to be ready for further change. 

The Path Forward: Link Technology and Business
An interview with Andrew McDonald, Unilever HPC-NA's global automation and control technology manager, reveals insights about bringing the communities of engineering and management closer together at your facility.

Monthly histories: 50, 25, and 10 years ago (from the 50th anniversary in 2004 - links provided as available)

January 2004: 50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering
Lucre and love at Illinois Tech; largest commercial solar operation at Honeywell; a collection of items from 1994

February 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering
Supermarket computer calculates correct change; report pessimistic about fiber-optics market; need for engineering services

March 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Prospects are bright for smell that's right; DEC's PDP-11/34 Mini has been squeezed into a single-board micro; PLC users get new options

April 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Automatic flight ahead; multiple output supplies; digital micrometer; ICEE/I

May 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Robot salesman; thank Ma Bell for RS-232; pressure transmitter works with two protocols; control system bridges PC-PLC gap

June 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Chicago to install new traffic control; distributed process modules; worldwide industrial automation investment

July 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
GE and IBM weld first link of computer network; using color in industrial control graphics; CAN-based I/O system taps PC for machine control

August 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Tape-controlled machine out-embroiders Grandma; the Proway Project; signal conditioning is becoming I/O processing

September 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Stop coining words; single-chip analog and digital signal processor; giants, machine control, and perspective

October 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Dr. Bush calls for automatic encyclopedia; fiber-optic nuclear plant fail-safe system; wanted: skilled people for the plant floor

November 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
If the shoe fits; Remington Rand; cost breakthrough in ac drives; Fieldbus Foundation and ergonomics

December 2004:  50, 25, and 10 years ago in Control Engineering 
Transistors vs. tubes debate; speech synthesizer has control vocabulary; Rockwell wins Reliance Electric from General Signal

Editorials and commentaries about 50th anniversary


Think Again: Online: More in ’04

Building a ‘Soapbox’

Pin-up controls

Think again: Birth and rebirth

Why we’re here

Milestones for 2004

Control Engineering launches new online Resource Center (Now

Control Engineering China (first full year)

Control Engineering Poland (first full year)

[See Control Engineering International now.]

CE announces first Engineers' Choice award winners (previously, Editor's Choice Awards)

Reprise and update of Control Engineering’s PID series in four-book eBook format, in the Control Engineering Resource Center Library (... updated as individual PID articles.)

September 2004: 50th Anniversary Issue

ISA Expo 2004: CE hoops it up at 50th birthday party

Control Engineering Russia is planned for April 2005. See Control Engineering 2005 media kit, page 4 at /mediainfo.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief

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NEWER HISTORY and other resources

40th anniversary of PLC article

CFE Media forms in 2010 - Welcome Back To CFE Media, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering 

Online Training Center launches in 2011

CFE Media Launches ContentStream in 2012

Control Engineering launches System Integrator Giants in 2012

Control Engineering Automation Integrator Guide

System Integrator Hall of Fame

Control Loop is Automation Essence

Industry Trends / Where is Control Engineering going? See our annual editorial calendar and other resources