IBM's first multi-purpose industrial control system -- the IBM 1710 -- was introduced in March 1961 and was designed for a wide variety of uses which called for the frequent sampling and interpretation of data in the processing and manufacturing industries. Those uses included quality control, industrial process study and process optimization.
When used as a control system, the 1710 could scan up to 300 instruments at regularly-timed intervals and provide instructions for the adjustment of control settings. It could also perform the calculations necessary to build a mathematical model or description of a process. In manufacturing quality control, the 1710 could be used in analysis and recording of the final test of such diverse items as transistors and refrigerators as they came off an assembly line.
The 1710 was composed of the new IBM 1711 data converter, which translated instrument readings into language understood by a computer, and the solid-state IBM 1620 data processing system.
When initially offered, the IBM 1710 system ranged in price, depending on optional features, from approximately $111,000 to $135,000, and could be rented for between $2,600 and $3,300 a month. The last models of the 1711 data converter were withdrawn from marketing on March 10, 1965. (VV4021)