50, 25, and 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. February 1955 Chicago to install new traffic control Motorists who swarm through Chicago's busy Loop are due for a break. They'll get one when the city installs a new General Electric radio-controlled traffic light system.
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.
Chicago to install new traffic control
Motorists who swarm through Chicago's busy Loop are due for a break. They'll get one when the city installs a new General Electric radio-controlled traffic light system.
Traffic engineers deplore the steady cycle light as, at best, an expedient evil, tolerable only because it is simple and cheap. The trend is toward staggered lights that let a car move the length of a street without stopping and beyond them to programmed lights that change according to traffic demand.
The new Chicago system will transmit tone signals from the top of the Board of Trade Building, the city's loftiest skyscraper. A receiver at each intersection (13 to be controlled at the start) will pick up the signal and act accordingly. In addition to altering a light's program (length of red, yellow, green) the signal can make the light manually operated. Thus it can cope with changing traffic flows in rush hours or bad weather, and it can take drastic steps to clear up traffic jams.
The system, the first of its kind, will cost $34,000 for the initial installation. It should be operating before the middle of the year.
Distributed process modules
Three microprogrammed data transmission controllers are intended for the manufacturer's series 300 process computer systems. The DUST 3966, 3964, and 3965 have all transmission procedures microprogrammed into the EPROM. The internal microprocessors are responsible for executing the instruction in the data transmission controllers, leaving sufficient time in the CPUs for further processing functions, even if several high-throughput remote computers are connected. The DUST 3966 uses full-duplex procedures and can be used in distributed networks at speeds up to 48 Kbaud. DUST 3964 has been specially developed to link up to the manufacturer's 210 microcomputer systems and is for synchronous transmission up to 9,600 Baud. DUST 3965 is for basic mode procedures (BSC and MSV) and also has a connection for automatic dialing in public telephone networks. These devices are not sold in the U.S.
Worldwide industrial automation investment
The Estimated Worldwide Industrial Automation Profile, published by the Market Analysis Committee of the Automation Forum identified a worldwide industrial automation market of $134 billion in 1991. In North America, computer-aided product design and engineering (CAD/CAE) led the product categories with 29% of total expenditures. Europe and Asia/Pacific showed much lower concentrations of their expenditures in automating design and engineering of their manufacturing processes. Their CAD/CAE expenditures were 12% and 10%, respectively.
In Europe and Asia/Pacific, much more of the automation investment was concentrated in production equipment and systems. Investment in this area accounted for 50% of the automation in market in Asia/Pacific, 45% in Europe, but only 18% in North America.
Automatic systems for test, inspection, sensing, and recording totaled nearly 10% of the market in North America. However, it represented only about 5% of the European and Asia/Pacific markets. Likewise, software for production automation and electronic communications also represented significantly more of the North American market than of the European and Asia/Pacific markets.