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Five decades of automation transformation celebrated

SchneiderElectric_Innovation imagejpegJOHANNESBURG – SCHNEIDER Electric is celebrating 50 years of the invention of the first Programmable Logic Controller(PLC), a milestone in automation transformation.

Prior to the introduction of the PLC in 1968, the level of real-time measurement and control was limited to the most basic levels due to technology constraints.

“On the 50th anniversary of the invention of the first PLC, it would be hard to imagine where our industry would be today without the PLC system,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said.

“It is used in transportation, manufacturing, energy management and so many other industries. I am proud to have such a legacy be part of Schneider Electric’s DNA,” he added.

The invention initiated the effective use of digital computer technologies in industrial automation, which triggered a massive transformation to the pervasive use of digital technology to deliver industrial measurements, controls and real-time information management.

The use of digital technology introduced capability well beyond basic measurement and control to expand control system functionality by utilising the compute power of the innovative technology.

Throughout the 50 years following the invention of the PLC, the capability expansion delivered by automation systems appears only to be limited by human imagination.

The results have been the introduction and common use of capabilities and functions that were not previously even considered to be possible, such as advanced process control, process optimisation, manufacturing execution systems, inferential measurement systems, safety control, condition management, process historians, workflow control, batch management, real-time accounting and real-time profitability control.

Industrial automation is a relatively recent technology field, which continues to undergo major transitions and advancements.
– CAJ News

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