50, 25, 10 Years Ago

This page offers a look back on a variety of interesting items from Control Engineering's past issues, highlighting content from 50, 25, and 10 years ago. January 1955 Automatic flight ahead Started: a $1 million project to design comprehensive digital-computer control for high-speed military aircraft and guided missiles.

04/01/2004


This page offers a look back on a variety of interesting items from Control Engineering 's past issues, highlighting content from 50, 25, and 10 years ago.

January 1955

Automatic flight ahead

Started: a $1 million project to design comprehensive digital-computer control for high-speed military aircraft and guided missiles. Westinghouse Electric and Ramo-Woolridge [R-W] are devising a miniature digital airborne computer that will automate all flight and tactical operations.

F.W. Godsey, manager of Westinghouse's Baltimore divisions, and Dr. Dean Woolridge, president of R-W stated: "Recent advances in digital computing have been so rapid that it now appears practicable to design into lightweight airborne equipment most of the same high-speed, highly accurate computing and data-handling capability that characterizes the electronic equipment now being applied to scientific, business, and industrial tasks.

"This means taking today's bulky computers off the ground, where they have been confined until now, and converting them into compact and light-weight packages for aircraft, where they will automatically control simultaneous functions such as flight, navigation, engine, and fire control in the higher-speed aircraft and guided missiles of the future."

April 1979

Multiple output supplies

A series of switching power supplies has three models utilizing 25 kHz pulse-width modulation. Model PSN1801 has a single output of 5 V dc and 80 A maximum. PSD1802 offers dual outputs of 5 V dc at 60 A and 12 V dc at 8 A. The PST 1803 has triple outputs of 5 V dc at 60 A and two outputs of 12 V at 4 A. All three units measure 8 in. wide by 5 in. high by 11 in. long and weigh less than 12 lb. Features include: remote turn-on/turn-off; soft-start circuitry, said to eliminate voltage overshoot and limit inrush current; overcurrent protection; and overvoltage protection with automatic reset. Motorola Semiconductor Products Inc.

Digital micrometer

The Digi-Mike digital micrometer offers a precision micrometer head with a non-rotating carbide tipped spindle and an electronic package with large digital display. Standard features include inch/metric readouts with 0.000050 in. or 0.001 mm resolutions, zero set buttons on the micrometer head as well as the display panel and an adapter sleeve. Brencor Inc.

April 1994

ICEE/I

International Control Engineering Expo (ICEE) and Conference completed its third annual run last month. ICEE and the adjunct International Integrated Manufacturing (I2M) Show and Conference comprised an Industrial Automation Floor at Chicago's McCormick Place with almost 200 exhibitors and more than 16,400 visitors, as reported by Reed Exhibitions.

"If you try to reengineer your company using current methodology and technologies, you will almost certainly fail," warned keynote speaker Roy H. Slavin president and CEO of Siemens Industrial Automation Inc. "And it is my belief that a large part of this audience—control engineers—will play a key role in redefining the way business reengineering is practiced in the future." Slavin's vision for the future included "enterprise-wide remodeling and redesign in which a culture dedicated to a constant, incremental change" is created.

Allen-Bradley Co. [now Rockwell Automation] hosted the formal introduction of DeviceNet, a multivendor, device-level communication standard. To date [in 1994], more than 20 companies have agreed to develop products for DeviceNet, which is based on commercially available Controller Area Network (CAN) technology. The CAN chips for DeviceNet are available from a number of manufacturers. Allen-Bradley developed the application and physical layers, and is making the specifications available to the industry....

Sensorbus only connects the sensors, and fieldbus is too complex and expensive for this level. DeviceNet will interconnect pushbuttons, sensors, switches, drives, starters, valves, and other products to PLCs or PCs.