Opto 22 Celebrates 40 Years of Operation

Industrial automation manufacturer Opto 22 marks 40 years of operation since founder Robert Engman and his wife Mary Jane started the company in 1974 in Huntington Beach, California. Beginning with optically isolated, liquid-epoxy filled solid-state relays (SSRs) which Engman designed on his kitchen table, Opto 22’s range of products grew to include input/output (I/O) modules, computer-based I/O systems, and industrial controllers and software. Today Opto 22 hardware and software products are used by more than 50,000 customers in applications in industrial control, energy management, remote monitoring, and data acquisition.

Opto 22 has often led the way in technology for industrial automation. The company introduced the red-black-yellow-white color coding for digital I/O, developed the open Optomux protocol, and was instrumental in bringing microprocessors into automation—both in PC-based control and in programmable automation controllers (PACs). Opto 22 also designed the first flowchart-based control programming software, brought the first Ethernet-based I/O unit to market, and now leads mobile operator interface development with its easy-to-use software, groov.

Through 40 years Opto 22 has prospered with the same private ownership and the same business philosophy: produce quality innovative products based on open standards, treat employees and customers well, design and manufacture everything in the U.S.A., and provide free product support and pre-sales engineering. Opto 22 products are sold through a global network of distributors and system integrators and used by engineers, technicians, machine builders, and OEMs worldwide.

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