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PLC History

The history of the PLC by Dick Morley

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PLC History

  1. 1. March 2008 ISA Tampico, Mexico Programmable Controller: The Start of It All
  2. 2. Bedford Associates  Skiing and Harley  Out of the company  Retired 1964?  Contract engineering  20 professionals
  3. 3. 1968  New Year’s Day  Hangover  Late again  Similarity across applications  Lazy
  4. 4. Philosophy #1  Heat  Electricians  Never off  Over-engineered  Coke proof  Make money while I sleep
  5. 5. Philosophy #2  Heat  Memory • Shannon  Snapshot  Grab – process – ship • Intermodulation effects
  6. 6. Hardware #1  No fans  Conductive cooling  Viewing the thermo world with copper  Sealed  Spark immunity – welding?  Stunt – memory – process
  7. 7. Hardware #2  No “off” switch  Looks good to manufacturing  Power voltage insensitive  Rugged  Cost is a bad word
  8. 8. Software  For the electrician • For the problem, not the academics  Sample rate a constant • Problem speed – not computer speed • Quantum thinking • A lump of energy in the power
  9. 9. Language #1  Language  Memory • Shannon  Hard real time  Never wanted to repair  Come from, not go to  RLL
  10. 10. Language #2  Standalone lines of logic  No interrupt  Relay, not Boolean  Constant scan, independent of activity  Only four contacts per line  We got no respect from MIT
  11. 11. Market #1  Not a computer • Erased boards  Started – CNC – not another piece of colored sheet metal  Angel – never original product  Low hanging fruit – Ford
  12. 12. Market #2  What is it? • Box of relays – relays complexity constrained  Time to market • Months to weeks  Runs “forever”
  13. 13. Money  Digital – Anderson – airport  VC  Almost failed
  14. 14. President  Board chair  Tech – Fletcher  Sales – Rousseau  Money – Kramer • Paint story
  15. 15. Manufacturing #1  The box • Temp and spark  Always on  Harwood  Big boards  Move people
  16. 16. Manufacturing #2  Real quality  Overnight at temp  Running in the box
  17. 17. Users  GM story • PDP – 16 • Never knew  GE story  Landis grinding • Plane and crash – welding cable • Japan – Yaskawa and Toyota
  18. 18. Competition  After the fact  GE OEM by Modicon  Odo Struger • Management vs. tech  PDP-II, RT II  Relays – backup?
  19. 19. Me  Never an employee  Temp president for several weeks  084 to 184 (Morley to Greenberg)  Number and name – job and Schwenk  Machinist and physicist
  20. 20. My Guiding Principle

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