History of Modicon
Modicon created the first programmable logic controller (PLC) in the United States in 1968. The device’s success gave rise to a global industry that has expanded considerably over the past 30 years. PLCs put intelligence in machines and automated processes used in industry, infrastructure and buildings.
1968 With a core group of engineers, Richard E. Morley founded Bedford Associates and invented the first programmable logic controller or PLC. He established the Modicon company, deriving its name from Modular Digital Control.
1969 Modicon introduced the “084” PLC, so named because it was the 84th project of Bedford Associates.
1973 The “084” was upgraded and re-introduced as the “184”. The workforce increased from 80 to 170 employees and sales reached $5 million. Offices were opened in Cleveland, Los Angeles and Rochester.
1975 Modicon introduced the “284”, the first controller with a microprocessor and distributed control and the “384, the first PLC with digitized process algorithms for continuous control.
1979 The company introduced Modbus, the first industrial communications network, enabling users to interface computers to controllers. Thanks to its reliability, Modbus became an industry standard.
1990 introduction of the FIP communication network and FactoryMate Plus industrial workstations. These industrial control platforms put graphic operator controls on the factory floor for alarming, trending, data logging and reporting.
1992 First application of open systems with the ModConnect Partners Program, a formal program of cooperation with suppliers of hardware, software, integrationand services to complement Modicon’s product lines. Connectability with Profibus and Ethernet communication networks.
1994 Modicon introduced the Quantum range, the first truly open approach to automation control. Creation of the AEG Schneider Automation joint venture, which also sold Square D, and Telemecanique products.
1997 Modicon became Schneider’s fourth master brand. PLCs, sold under the Modicon, Square D and Telemecanique brand names, are one of Schneider’s strategic businesses, with annual sales of 3.2 billion and 2,500 employees. The devices are manufactured in seven plants located in the United States, Germany and France. The business ranks third in the global marketplace, and second in Europe and North America.
1998 Schneider Automation expanded its lineup both in hardware and software, with the Micro and Premium PLC platforms, the Momentum controller for distributed I/Os and Transparent Factory. Integrated solutions for motion control have been added to Transparent Factory with theModicon/Telemecanique Lexium and Num Axium.
2000 Creation of Web Automation for the remote supervision of automated production processes. The solution integrates programmable logic controllers and other components in an open architecture using Ethernet and Internet protocols to connect to the Web.