The Automation Hall of Fame Prometheus Award Past Winners

Dr. Yoji Akao is primarily recognized as the developer of 'hoshin kanri'. This concept is known in English as Total Quality Management ((TQM) or in his native Japan as Total Quality Control (TQC). TQC is an enterprise-wide strategy for business and manufacturing management that has been successfully applied worldwide. TQC is a Deming-based system that measures the performance of the system as a whole, based upon the sum of the performance levels of its individual units.

Charles Babbage conceived of the principles of general computing in early nineteenth century Britain. His first machine called the 'Difference Engine' was built to calculate mathematical tables using addition only. The machine was never finished. His second machine was called the 'Analytical Engine' and was designed to operate using instructions encoded in decks of punched cards. It featured a store (memory), a mill (operating system) and the cards (instructions). Although his machine was never brought to fruition others proved its functionality later and it led many to later mechanical and electronic developments.

W. Edwards Deming began as a $10 a month lamp lighter in a small Wyoming town and rose to become the acknowledged authority on Statistical Quality Control (SQC). He was probably the most sought after manufacturing consultant in the U.S. and Japan. In Japan the Union of Japanese Scientist and Engineers in 1951 inaugurated the Deming Prize for excellence in quality management and production. Deming made quality the heart of competitive manufacturing. His Fourteen Points of Management have become nearly as famous and probably more enduring than President Wilson's fourteen points. Deming dedicated himself to demonstrating the value of the quality improvement process. He lived the process and preached its virtues with an almost religious zeal. 1900-1994

George Devol Jr. patented the first programmable industrial robot to become a commercially applicable robot. It was the Unimate and it represented a huge effort on Devol's part along with the management skill of Joseph Engelberger and Unimation, Inc. The first robot was shipped from the Danbury factory in 1961. Devol's robot combined industrial manipulator technology and nascent computer control technology. This first robot was a material handling robot and it was soon followed by welding and other applications. Devol, an engineer, has made other contributions to industrial automation in machine vision and in bar coding.

J. Presper Eckert co-developed with John W. Mauchly the ENIAC. Although no longer considered the first computer the ENIAC is still the computer from which all subsequent computers sprang. It was the first digital computer to lead to commercial production. Eckert's computer work stemmed from his interest in solving ballistic problems and from his presence at the University of Pennsylvania. Mauchly supervised the logical design of ENIAC while Eckert concentrated upon the electronic engineering of the machine. The ENIAC contained 18,000 vacuum tubes and its footprint measured about thirty feet by fifty feet. The ENIAC was completed in February 1946 and the world has not been the same since.

Joseph F. Engelberger is considered the father of the robotics industry. He was the founder of Unimation. He is the entrepreneur behind the first industrial robot and is a physicist and engineer. He introduced the industrial robot patented by his associate George Devol Jr. Without Joseph Engelberger's vision and energy we would not have a worldwide use of robots in industry. He convinced companies like GM and others in Japan and the rest is history. Engelberger is a founder of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). He continues to create robots today for service purposes.

Jay W. Forrester is the inventor of magnetic core memory for computers, the developer of symbolic instructions in machine language, and the founder of the first servo-mechanism laboratory at MIT. He developed primary servo-mechanism technology and theory. He is a specialist in industrial dynamics and the author of 'Industrial Dynamics,' a primary source on the treatment of material and on information flow and its characteristics.

Joseph Marie Jacquard invented the first automatically programmed machine in 1801. His breakthrough, and industrial loom, was programmed by means of spring-loaded pins that applied pressure against a series of slotted wooden cards. Passage of the pins through the punched holes activated hooks that lifted warp threads. Jacquard's` system was based upon the work of falcon, a French engineer, and the famous automaton maker, Vaucanson. Charles Babbage used the control system later in pursuit of the automatic calculator. Jacquard's loom produces a weave with resolution fine enough for holding realistic images in woven cloth. 1752-1834

Joseph Juran was the elder statesman of quality management. He launched the Juran Institute in 1979 for quality training and education services. He has authored many books including Juran on Planning for Quality. Juran is thought of in conjunction with Deming as one of the architects of the post war quality in manufacturing revolution. His principles and methods governing quality management have been applied worldwide.

Eliyahu M. Goldratt, author of The Race, The Goal and the Theory of Constraints is the developer of the widely respected theory of constraints that reflects his comprehensive philosophy of manufacturing. His theory analyzes and makes comprehensible the constraints of an enterprise and particularly the constraints restricting the flow of goods and products through the manufacturing process. His theory establishes procedures for identifying and dealing with constraints and turning the understanding of them into profitable activity.

Joseph Harrington was the first person to fully define Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). His first book, 'Computer Integrated Manufacturing' was published in 1974, long before industry acknowledged the CIM concept. Harrington was an automation expert and a major contributor to the technology of numerical control. His theories started manufacturing on the road to computer-managed operations. He was a veteran consultant with Arthur D. Little and an engineer of extraordinary consequences. He held a dozen patents in the field of automation and was the recipient of the American Machinist Award for recognizing computer integration as the key to the future of manufacturing. 1908-1986

Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff is the prime inventor of the microprocessor. In 1969 while with Intel he and his team put an entire Central Processing Unit (CPU) on one computer chip containing 2,300 transistors. His invention built upon most specifically the work of Robert Noyce of Intel whose integrated circuit proved that more than one transistor could be etched upon a silicon wafer. This series of accomplishments acted as a primary spur to the non-stop development of computing, as we know it today.

Grace Murray Hopper was a mathematician and became the first computer programmer on the very early on Harvard Mark I computer that was the first computer to be sequentially programmed. She was also the first computer debugger and coined the expression 'computer bug.' She may be best remembered for inventing the first and soon popular business language called COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language). Hopper went on to become an Admiral in the United States Navy and continued to make significant contributions to the programming side of computers. 1906-1992

John Mauchly was the co-developer with
J. Presper Eckert of the first digital computer that led to commercial production. It ran with internally stored programs. The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) is surely the first major benchmark in the history of computers. This is not to make light of the work of Turing, Atanasoff, Zuse, von Neumann and others. The work of Professor Mauchly and engineer Eckert was the culmination of a worldwide effort. Their research at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering became the point of departure leading to mainframes, minis, PCs, workstations and coincidentally to CIM and modern manufacturing methods.

Eugene Merchant, an engineer, is one of the chief architects of the concept of Computer-Integrated-Manufacturing (CIM) along with Joseph Harrington. Merchant has devoted his life to the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and much of this while a key figure at Cincinnati Milacron, a leading supplier of numerically controlled tools. Subsequently Merchant has taken CIM out into the world as a consultant and lecturer. He has been honored frequently for this work particularly in Germany and Hungary.

Richard E. Morley is broadly based in his inventions and in his contributions to computer design, manufacturing software, artificial intelligence, factory automation and control theory and hardware. Morley is also known as one of the inventors of the programmable logic controller. He is also a founder of Modicon and more recently has investigated chaos theory and the sciences of complexity as to their fit with existing automation and control applications.

John Louis von Neumann was responsible for the first concept of internal programming for a computer. This was giant step in creating computing machines that had flexibility beyond hard wiring. His concept was applied first to the ENIAC. John von Neumann was a key figure in the concepts upon which digital computers were based. His work and his theories influenced Eckert and Mauchly, Howard Aikin and Alan Turing. His mathematical genius affected a whole generation of mathematicians, physicists and thinkers at place like the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton and at Bell Labs.

Taiichi Ohno was formerly the vice president of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the man most responsible for the development of the Toyota Production System. His ideas led to the modern concept of Just-In-Time (JIT) and Total Quality Control (TQC). His JIT/TQC system was adopted in Japan as early as 1973. It has since spread throughout the industrial world. Ohno targeted the elimination of waste in the manufacturing process and emphasized a commitment to change for the better and the value-added process. His famous 'Design of Experiments' approach combines engineering and process design by reducing variability in the process. 1912-1990

John T. Parsons is (was) a pivotal figure in the development of Numerical Control (NC). His work centered upon numerical control of machine tools by punched tape, the original methodology. This was the breakthrough for all subsequent machine tool control and led to Distributed Numerical Control (DNC) and Computer Numerical Control ((CNC) systems.

Blaise Pascal the French philosopher was a scientific prodigy who became a significant force in mathematics and physics. He constructed what he called a 'calculating box' to do computational tasks and it became the world's first mechanical adding machine. His motivation was to assist his father's work as a tax agent. Pascal's machine consisted of a series of connected rotary dials, each notched 0 through 9. It had eight dials and it was possible with the machine to do, way back in 1642, addition and subtraction up to 99,999,999. It led quickly to other calculating machines that improved upon Pascal. 1623-1662.

Dennis Ritchie and Kenneth Thompson are the co-developers of the UNIX operating system. This system has been a major force in engineering and in CAD particularly. UNIX was developed out of an earlier system created at GE. UNIX is a very robust operating system with a tight code structure, few commands and has a simply structured architecture. Written in 'C' it required a new programming language. It can be moved from one system to another without being recompiled.

Walter Edward Shewhart
is a central figure in automation theory and practice during the first half of the 20th century. He is credited with inventing Statistical Process Control (SPC), which is a core insight into automation systems. It has been applied worldwide. He is described as the chief mentor of W. Edwards Deming. He can well be considered as the father of quality control through statistical methods.

Ernst Werner von Siemens was the founder of Siemens and an inventor in his own right. His inventions consist of the pointer telegraph and the dynamo machine that led to in time to a vast network of industrial and consumer communication and electrification systems and their means of manufacture.

Herbert Simon was a leading founder in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In conjunction with Alan Newell of Carnegie Mellon University, he has investigated the mechanisms of human problem solving and its application to machine intelligence. Simon and Newell developed the Logic Theorist and later the General Problem Solver or GPS, that for the first time separated a general problem solving method from a specific work task. His work, as was Newell's, serves as a benchmark of AI, natural language, machine vision and other logic systems.

Odo J. Struger was a leading pioneer in the invention and development of numerical control and an inventor of the programmable logic control (PLC). The PLC is a device designed to work in real time and capable of taking information in and processing it and producing commands to control a mechanical process. It is a core tool in the application of modern control and the central tool of control architecture. Struger held 30 patents relating to programmable controllers and 20 more involving industrial automation. As vice-president of technology at Allen-Bradley Odo J. Struger continued to drive technology forward with important projects such as the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) consortium on Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS). 1931-1998

Ivan Sutherland is a leader in the development of computer graphics whose work has led to Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), computer simulation and other graphically based techniques. Sutherland, an engineer, took primitive electronic resources and worked them into wire-frame constructions that defined geometries and objects in three dimensional computer space. He has received the first Zworykin Award and Steven Anson Coons Award from the Association of Computing Machinery.

Genichi Taguchi may well be the central philosopher of modern quality engineering. He defines quality loss as a deviation form a target value. Taguchi measures the loss as a 'cost to society.' His methodology offers far more than techniques for experimental design and analysis. He has developed a complete system for the creation of specifications and engineered design, as well as manufacturing to those specifications. First used by the Japanese, Taguchi's methods have enveloped the entire world of advanced manufacturing. At the heart of his method is his definition of quality as the characteristic that avoids loss to society.

Frederick Winslow Taylor developed Scientific Management methodology for manufacturing. Taylor applied rigorous standards to the tools and procedures of work. He accentuated economy of time, motion, and expenditure of energy. Work and waste were minimized. The response of workers who were asked to use his system was often less than positive but his methodology paved the way for modern manufacturing methods and strategies employing machine tools and the mass production assembly line within a mechanized context. His work, as defined in his book 'The Principles of Scientific Management' presaged the work and theories of Ford, Taguchi, Ohno and Deming. 1856-1915

Francis J. Trecker developed the first true machining center that he called the Milwaukee-Matic. The machine featured a geared feed box, geared spindle drive, fluid lubrication and rapid reverse. Trecker's innovation became a significant event in the machine tool industry and led to further automation of machining processes and other equipment. Trecker was also a pioneer in the development and extension of Numerical Control (NC) technology as well as work cells and other automated systems.

Leonardo da Vinci articulated in highly refined drawing and presumably in working models and conceptual models most of the basic working principles of mechanical devices and tools (gearing systems, cams, mechanical advantage, motion of liquids under pressure, just to mention a few). His inventions have been an inspiration for generations of engineers, inventors and creative developers.

James Watt was a Scottish engineer who perfected the steam engine as a reliable source of energy and as appropriate to manufacturing applications. His inventions relating to the steam engine included the double-acting engine, the separate condenser, and the first steam engine with a centrifugal governor. The latter was probably the first significant control mechanism used in industrial tooling. Watts work became a primary contributor to the industrial revolution in the late 18th and early 19th century. 1736-1819

Conrad Zuse built and programmed three preliminary forms of computers in Germany prior to and during World War II. He started with a special program-controlled calculating machine. It used a binary number system with floating-point arithmetic. His other contributions were the general-purpose program-controlled Z3 machine and the all purpose relay computer Z4 machine. 1910-1999?

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