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. June 1955 If the shoe fits; Remington Rand In the near future, the purchase of a pair of B.F. Goodrich shoes will end up on a magnetic storage drum—and another pair will be sped to the outlet to be worn by the next customer who likes ...

11/01/2004


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.

June 1955

If the shoe fits; Remington Rand

In the near future, the purchase of a pair of B.F. Goodrich shoes will end up on a magnetic storage drum—and another pair will be sped to the outlet to be worn by the next customer who likes that style.

The prime mover behind this scheme is a new Teleregister electronic inventory control system in the Goodrich Watertown, MA, plant. All styles and sizes on hand will reel off and on the drum as stock is produced and used. The system involves a continuous tabulated summary, which will guide production and fill warehouses and store shelves almost as fast as they are emptied. Input data will come from a keyset in the warehouse and Flexowriter in the sales office. Actual flow of the stock will be followed on the computer-activated Inventory Display Board.

Other news from 1955 told of the "marriage" between Remington Rand Inc. and Sperry Corp., which became known as Sperry Rand Corp. Standard bearers for the new company are Gen. Douglas MacArthur, chairman, and Harry F. Vickers, president and CEO.

Combined assets of the two companies are expected to total about $484 million.

November 1979

Cost breakthrough in ac drives

The Morse Chain Division of Borg-Warner Corp. has introduced a six-step ac inverter priced significantly below the cost of a dc drive and motor. The company will make available the CF-1100 inverter in capacities from 1 through 20 hp during the first quarter of 1980, and plans to expand its line to include inverters through 50 hp during the fourth quarter next year.

The timetable for the product announcement was moved up in the wake of Exxon's claim to have developed an alternating current synthesizer. Although James F. Bere, chairman and chief executive officer of Borg-Warner, gave "full credibility" to the ACS and referred to it as a "marvelous device," he was quick to point out that the CF-1100 was here now, whereas the ACS is likely to be at least three years distant.

The CF-1100 is not a technological breakthrough, so much as it is a refinement of existing technology. The use of power transistors reduces the complexity of the inverter switching circuits, a major contributor to cost. The transistor switching eliminated commutation circuits including the inductors, capacitors, and silicon switches necessary to trip the SCRS. A multiple chip microcomputer controls both the rectifier and switching sections of the inverter simultaneously. All told there has been a two-thirds reduction in board area from Morse Chain's older model AC drive.

November 1994

Fieldbus Foundation and ergonomics

Fieldbus Foundation formation is official : On September 26, formation of the Fieldbus Foundation was completed in Austin, TX.

As previously reported, WorldFIP North America and ISP Foundation members voted to merge the organizations. "The overwhelming majority vote," said Fieldbus Foundation Board President John Berra, "underscores our resolve to complete a single, international, and interoperable fieldbus and to bring that goal to a swift and successful conclusion."

The merged group has more than 110 companies.

Ergonomics reduces lost work time : To ease the aches, pains, and illnesses of millions of workers in factories, offices, and construction sites, OSHA is trying to develop a standard for an ergonomically correct workplace. OSHA intends to require employers to identify and assess workplace risks, develop solutions, and implement fixes. OSHA's job will be to evaluate the employers' solutions.

The reason OSHA is putting an "ergo" rule on the books is that cumulative trauma disorders (such as carpal-tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, synovitis, trigger finger, lateral epicondylitis, and hypothenar hammer syndrome), have been off the charts since the mid-1980s, accounting for 60% of newly reported occupational illnesses. A rule is expected on the books by fall 1995.