Enter PC - thirty years ago

The company which features in this article began manufacturing and implementing industrial PCs in 1986.  At the time it was a ground-breaking idea for industrial control technology. Until then, the company had produced controllers based on the 8 Bit Motorola 6809 processor, towards x86-based IPC controllers. This development was closely connected with the question of data acquisition and signal output between PC and machine. Today, fast multi-core processors and fieldbus systems are paving the way in automation to scientific engineering methods – to which the phrase ‘Scientific Automation’ applies.


Take note

  • IBM and Intel are to this day associated with the PC.
  • The PC is quite literally the locomotive of automation technology.
  • The first PC-based controllers for a woodworking machine were introduced in 1986.


Published as: 25 years of PC history

By A Thome, Beckhoff Automation, 

Electricity+Control, November 2011 (pgs 20 - 22)