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Call for Papers : 50 years of the Programmable Logic Controller

Call for Papers

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50 years of the PLC - share your knowledge or just come and hear this fascinating story of automation


Date and Time

21 July 2018 - 10:00 to 22 July 2018 - 17:00


Birmingham, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the History of Technology TPN. Contact alocker@theiet.org for more information.

About this event

The IET History of Technology Executive Committee is issuing this Call for Papers for presentation at Austin Court, Birmingham on Saturday 21st July 2018. Topics of interest could include, but are not limited to:-

1.Automation before the PLC and the need
2.Early solutions - basically relay replacement  and use of existing technology
3.Selling the concept of software-based control to the users
4.Developments in hardware - counters, analogue communications
5.Developments in programming tools and languages
6.Networks : from proprietary to open-systems
7.Mistakes : e.g lack of formal engineering discipline in software development
8.The future of automation


Saturday 21st July 2018 : Presentation of papers at IET Austin Court 
Sunday 22nd July 2018 : optional visit to the Black Country Living Museum

Timings and more details about the Conference and optional visit will be published later

Reasons to attend

In 1968 the first programmable logic controller (PLC) appeared in the USA. Thus 2018 celebrates 50 years of this ubiquitous device. 

To mark this anniversary the IET History of Technology network is holding an event at IET Austin Court, Birmingham in July.

Developed to meet the growing need for industrial automation PLCs started as replacement for complex relay or hard wired logic sequence control systems. Over the years they have developed into sophisticated tools used in many applications.

The IET Conference aims to bring the story of the evolution and application of PLCs into one place. It will take place on the weekend of Saturday 21st with Sunday 22nd being an option visit day to the  Black Country Living Museum  

Additional information

Responses to this Call for Papers should consist of a short synopsis of about 500 words and be submitted to the IET History of Technology Network Manager, Anne Locker (IET Librarian and Archivist) at 


by 31 March 2018

Offers selected for presentation will be advised by 31st March and final papers prepared by 01 June 2018 to enable collation and printing in time for the Conference in July

Registration information

This is a Call for Papers. Details regarding Registration to attend the Saturday 21st July Conference and/or the optional visit on Sunday 22nd July will be detailed later

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