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116 Brigham Hill Rd.
North Grafton, MA 01536
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ControlWiki.com and Control.com grow out of the Automation List, started by Ken Crater in 1994 with a small group of people who wanted to talk about automation control. The idea of the A-List was to have a neutral ground, dominated by working engineers rather than suppliers, where candid observations could be exchanged in a commercial-free environment. It was set up as a moderated list, not to control the flow of ideas, but rather to make the list more useful by eliminating sales pitches and off-topic posts. Over the course of many years, the list grew as Ken gave numerous Internet for Engineers tutorials at conferences and trade shows, introducing this then-new communications mechanism to our profession and industry.
What evolved from this early start is a true community, a place where peer discussions revolve around common (and uncommon) problems, where people help each other, where the important issues facing automation engineers can be discussed and debated. Friendships have also developed on the list, as frequent contributors get to know one another and subsequently meet at trade shows and other industry venues. This peer contact, so difficult to obtain in an era of understaffing and tight budgets, is now more important than ever in a rapidly changing industry.
Today, the Automation List has grown to hundreds of subscribers from scores of countries worldwide. The average workday sees over 30 messages contributed to the list, with a high degree of interaction taking place on many threads. ControlWiki.com, Control.com and the Automation List offer many possibilities for interaction, learning, and professional advancement.
The immense success of the Control.com forum is indicative of the need for peer interaction in the automation engineering community today. It became equally clear, however, as Control.com grew in popularity, that more flexibility would be needed in managing the growing level of activity and diversity of interests. Now, in addition to hosting a variety of peer forums, we are working to provide additional services and opportunities for interchange among the controls community. Control.com, now joined by ControlWiki.com, will continue to develop and support a true sense of community among automation engineers throughout the world.