Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
1985 - 1989
- Bateman Process Instrumentation
This Supervisory and Control software was mostly written in RTL/2 with some encapsulated PDP11 Macro Assembler code and was developed internally, by BPI, between 1981 and 1989.
With the advent of the IBM-PC, in the early days of MS-DOS (v2.1), BPI distributed and supported "ONSPEC" - a supervisory system designed in the USA by "Heuristics" (today's Automation ONSPEC Software Inc.), which operated on the rather sophisticated, way ahead of its time, Digital Research Concurrent CP/M-86 Operating System.
SCADA systems were connect to a network of Programmable logic controllers (PLCs), specifically designed for process control. The PLCs were connected to Digital and Analogue I/O sensors and actuators and were programmable using “ladder logic” software.
Industrial Process Control Automation
1982 - 1984
The so called "Commander" micro-computer, was programmed using a Basic-like Process Control Language (PCL) that was developed in-house using the Motorola Assembler. PCL featured very specialised Real-Time functionality, targeted at software development for industrial applications.
The Commander peripherals included 10MB Pertec Cartridge Disk Drives, 8" flexible diskettes and a cassette tape.
The "Commander" had conquered the South African market, successfully competing against the worldwide giant "Apple II". The "Commander" microcomputer was installed in industrial "Turnkey Process Control" applications at various Gold, Platinum, Coal and Aluminium Mines, Breweries, Sugar Mills, Soap manufacturing factories and Truck engines production. It was also utilised running office type applications, like Accounting and Inventory Control.
Messina Electronics also manufactured "water level detectors" for the South African military industry. The innovative design of these units involved the manufacture of a hybrid circuit and some high-quality encapsulation technique of this electronics inside military standard enclosures.
- Sugar Mills: Amatikulu, Darnell
- Breweries: Garankwa, Alrode
- Soap: Uniliver
- Mining: Messina Mines
- STC (Standard Telephones & Cables)
In order to squeeze additional "bandwith" out of the (copper wires) communications channels, reliant on 1200, 2400, 4800 and 9600 bps modems, "modem contention units" with "line controlers" and incorporated statistical and time-division multiplexers were combined and integrated within communications networks.
The Intel's 8080 microprocessor was used in the design of the network diagnostic and monitoring system.