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The recently announced IBM System/7 was developed for use in a broad range of data acquisition and control applications and provides the foundation for comprehensive plant automation applications. Its unique modular structure and broad spectrum of features satisfy the basic plant automation requirements described in the paper by Kinberg and Landeck in this issue. In the present paper the functional characteristics, important design features, and the basic architectural concepts of hardware and software are discussed. An example of the use of this new system in the automation of the System/7 manufacturing process itself is provided to illustrate its use in the testing of complex electronic assemblies as part of an integrated plant automation system.
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