Invensys celebrates Foxboro's 100th birthday

From all of us at Control, we want to wish Foxboro a happy century day, and hopeful wishes for many more.   From the press release:  Invensys Process Systems (IPS), a global technology, software and consulting firm, celebrated here today the 100th anniversary of the Foxboro automation products brand. More than 1,000 employees, retirees and other dignitaries and guests participated in festivities at the Neponset facility, where the company started a century ago. IPS President and Chief Executive Officer Paulett Eberhart lauded current and former Foxboro employees for their contributions to the automation industry.   "The Foxboro brand has achieved global recognition and respect by delivering the advanced automation solutions many of the world's leading manufacturers and energy providers need to keep their businesses running efficiently, effectively and safely. I congratulate you on the excellence and innovation you have all demonstrated thus far and look forward to achieving even greater things as we move forward," Eberhart said.   The Foxboro brand was born in 1908 when E.H. and B.B. Bristol opened the Industrial Instrument Company, which was renamed The Foxboro Company in 1914. In 1990 Foxboro was acquired by Siebe plc of the United Kingdom and in 1999 Siebe and British Tire and Rubber, another British engineering firm, merged to form Invensys plc. Invensys plc then joined Foxboro and its current sister brands Triconex, SimSci-Esscor and Avantis to form IPS. IPS works with clients to integrate automation, simulation and operations management technologies that help clients execute business strategies.   "Foxboro automation has been setting the industry standard for 100 years and our experts have contributed numerous innovations to the industry. Now with more than 50,000 customers worldwide, the Foxboro brand and our people are known throughout the world for quality, reliability and innovation," said IPS Vice President Jack Souza, who directs manufacturing and operations in Foxboro. "We should also be very proud that the technology and innovation that started here are playing an important part in the long-term success of IPS and Invensys as a whole." A little Foxboro history: The Bristol brothers, Edgar H. Bristol and Bennet B. Bristol, set up the Industrial Instrument Company in 1908, and purchased two companies: Standard Gauge Manufacturing Company and the Standard Electric Time Company. They moved to Foxboro, Mass. in the summer of 1908, into buildings on Neponset Avenue originally built in 1894. By the end of 1908, they had 53 employees building gauges for boilers, refrigeration units and cars. The Bristol boys bought several other companies and moved them to Foxboro. In 1910, the Bristols invented the first multipen recorder and long distance recording psychrometer. In 1914, the Industrial Instrument Company changed its name to The Foxboro Company, and, from 1912, started keeping in touch with customers through a publication called The Foxboro Recorder. In 1915, The Foxboro Company even exhibited at the San Francisco World’s Fair. Foxboro continued innovating new products throughout the 1920s, 1930s and into the 1940s, including the first motorized chart drive, the first pneumatic controller, the first proportional plus reset controller, and some of the very first differential pressure flow measurement devices. In the 1940s, the second generation of Bristols took over the company, and the Bristol family kept minority ownership through the IPO in the 1950s all the way through to the final sale to Siebe (later Invensys) in 1990. Foxboro continued to innovate, producing the first all electronic process instruments, the first solid state electronic control system, a direct digital process control system in the early 1960s, and an intrinsically safe electronic control system (UL approved) in 1966. In 1969, Foxboro introduced the first computerized batch control system. Foxboro was a very early pioneer of globalization, partnering first with British firms, later with Mexican, and famously, with Yokogawa Electric Works in 1955 to manufacture and distribute Foxboro instruments in the Far East. In 1980, Foxboro was one of the first companies to joint venture with a Chinese instrument company. Since the late 1990s, Foxboro has been part of Invensys Pty. The Bristol family continues its tradition of leadership in the process industries. Edgar H. Bristol II is a member of the Process Automation Hall of Fame. He’s a Fellow Emeritus of the Foxboro Company. In fact, the fellowship he holds is eponymous: the Bristol Fellows are named after him. Since November 1959, he's been associated with Foxboro, and is responsible for many of the control innovations that have emanated from that vendor for nearly 50 years.