Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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GEC Computers and Automation

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GEC was one of the last large groups to enter the computer field when it set up GEC Computers and Automation Ltd

1954 BTM arranged with GEC jointly to develop the 1301 computer, which GEC would manufacture and BTM would sell. [1]

1961 GEC exited the arrangement with BTM to develop the 1301 computer but remained responsible for its manufacture.

1961 GEC formed a JV with Thompson Ramo Wooldridge to market Thompsons' industrial process control systems in the UK; Thompson would contribute experience of applying industrial process control in industry; the new company would be called International Systems Control[2]

Gained a licence from Thompson Ramo Wooldridge to make process control computers

1966 Started making computers from Scientific Data Systems of California under licence; GEC wanted to sell them for process control, connected to manufacturing plant, but the American machines, although technologically advanced, were more suited to scientific calculations, such as those carried out by aerospace and defence companies. The know-how to configure the computers for industrial process control was not available.

1967 GEC decided to sell the company to Elliott Automation[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Prehistory of the 1900 Series Arthur Humphreys [1]
  2. The Times, Jun 27, 1961
  3. The Times Feb 22, 1967