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25 years ago, the subjects of control and digital computing were developing more or less independently. Today they are very closely interrelated, and the formation of the new Computing & Control Division is an expression of this and of the fact that information engineering now underlies the work of many electrical engineers. The rapid transfer of computing and control technology into industry in general, and into UK manufacturing industry in particular, is an urgent need to ensure improved productivity and greater efficiency in the use of energy and raw materials. The influences governing such transfer are many, some of them are considered here, particularly in relation to three facets of technical development Â¿ primary measurement, distributed control systems and human factors. Effective control using microelectronics requires developments in primary measurement which will, in turn, be achieved partly by improved sensors and partly by the creation of intelligent instruments, themselves relying on microelectronics. Distribution of control function is a natural consequence of the development of microelectronics leading to greater reliability and more extensive applications of computing and control technology. The highest-level controller will always be human, and hence the continuing importance of the man-machine interface whether it be with manufacturing machinery, process controllers or industrial robots. The accelerating pace of technology transfer in our field will ensure a rewarding professional workload for members of the new Division in the years ahead as the concepts and visions of a generation of computing and control engineers are transferred into commercial and industrial practice.
Physical Science, Measurement and Instrumentation, Management and Education - Reviews, IEE Proceedings A (Volume:127 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: January 1980