Timeline

TIMELINE

 

1916

The company is founded. Its primary business plan is to design and manufacture controls for electric utilities, water, sewerage and petroleum pumping stations, engine generators, process machinery, plus development laboratory systems.

The process of adding electrical power switch boards to control panel manufacturing starts.

1955

WEM manufactures the first completely Automatic Concrete Batch Plant Control for Rexnord. This Control has the capability of weighing all materials, moisture compensation, over-under inspection, etc.

1957

The first solid state electronics control for weighing circuit amplifiers is manufactured.

1958

WEM manufactures the first automated saw mill set works control.

The first process automation for the dairy industry supplied for Clean-in-Place application is put in place.

1960

The first use of Toroidal Transformer Weighing Systems circuit for increased accuracy and drift-free operation is put in place.

Freefall Compensation Patent #2,992,610 and Chatterfeed and Over/Under Inspection Patent #2,954,202 are issued to WEM.

1961

WEM manufactures the first completely automated Asphalt Plant Control.

WEM moves to larger quarters at 1825 S. 72nd Street, West Allis, Wisconsin.

1962

The first Steel Mill Batch Plant Control is installed at U.S. Steel, Pittsburgh PA.

1964

The standard control system developed by WEM meets the New York State specifications for Asphalt and Concrete Plants automation and recordation mandates.

Patent #3,066,709 is issued to WEM for precision control of Lumber Mill Set Works.

Patent #3,125,176 is issued to WEM for presetting net weighing procedures.

The first Feed and Grain Automatic Batch Weighing Control Panel is installed.

1965

WEM becomes the exclusive vendor of Asphalt controls for Barber-Greene.

1966

 

Patent #3,252,530 for a fully automatic moisture compensation for batch plants is issued to WEM.

 

WEM moves to larger quarters at 2501 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin, Wisconsin.

The first Ferro-Alloy Plant Control Panel is installed at Interlake Steel.

Patent #3,434,556 is issued to WEM, covering use of transformer type presets for moisture compensation.

The WEM trademark is registered.

1970

The first solid state Asphalt Plant Process Control is installed.

The first solid state Feed and Grain Process Control is installed.

1971

Patent #3,614,397 is issued to WEM for a solid state Digital Printing System. The first solid state Feed Mill control is installed. The first computerized Control System is installed.

1972

The first solid state Truck Batching and Printer System is installed.

The first computerized Feed and Grain Process and Data Logging Control is installed.

1973

The 52A desk top Asphalt Plant Control is introduced.

1974

The most advanced computerized Pet Food Process and Data Logging Control is installed at Ralston Purina, Flagstaff AZ.

1975

The first computerized Dairy Process Control and Data Logging Systems are installed in the dairy industry.

The C200 pre-engineered, computerized Concrete Ready Mix Plant Control is introduced and installed.

1976

The F100 pre-engineered microcomputer Feed Mill Batching and Mixing Control is introduced and installed.

The F200 pre-engineered minicomputer Feed Mill Batching and Mixing Control is introduced and installed.

The F300 Custom Feed Mill Control System with mainframe computer communication capability is introduced and installed.

1977

The “Century Series” computerized Batch Weighing Systems for food formulation is introduced and supplied to the meat and bakery industries.

1979

WEM uses the first Programmable Controller for batching feed mill applications.

1980

WEM redesigns the F100 product group, creating a new F101 product line while introducing the Texas Instruments TM990 microprocessor as a standard product component.

1981

WEM successfully integrates bubble memory to applications in the feed and food industry.

1982

WEM successfully develops a SPS990 Process Control using a programmable controller network supervised by a Texas Instruments TM990 microprocessor.

WEM succeeds in developing the first Programmable Controller System capable of supporting tandem programmable controllers. This design ensures innovative, redundant data backup coverage.

1983

Automation of an entire chocolate and confectionery plant featuring programmable controllers is completed.

Automation of a bakery facility utilizing programmable controllers, achieving in excess of 200 loaves of bread per minute is completed.

A WEM3000 Series Asphalt Control featuring the Texas Instruments TM990 Microprocessor with bubble memory, video display terminal and user-friendly software is introduced.

WEM successfully integrates the Feed Mill Receiving, Batching and Loadout Control utilizing programmable controllers, integrated with  an IBM System 34 computer.

 

WEM introduces the WEM F101 Piggyback Control featuring Texas Instruments TM990 Microcomputer with bubble memory and WEM F101 software.

1984

Automation of an entire salad dressing plant featuring microprocessors with bubble memory is completed.

A complete process automation and data acquisition system has been integrated with a mainframe computer for a multi-plant construction materials company.

WEM introduces the new WEM Badger Control system. This small and powerful batching control will support batching requirements of virtually any size.

Automation of a complete doughnut factory is completed.  This included automatic routing and bagging of doughnut mixes.

The first of a series of controls utilizing laser beam technology for reading bar codes of hand added ingredients has been shipped.

1985

A Drum Mix/Loadout combination asphalt control system featuring an industrial computer and color video display terminals is developed.

WEM feed mill controls are the preferred product for the People’s Republic of China.  WEM controls were purchased for nearly every new feed mill project.  A technical transfer program was negotiated for the construction of WEM Badger Controls in mainland China.

1986

Successful design, construction, and start-up of a system that automates pigmented resin is achieved.  The system includes full color dynamic graphics on a computer terminal.

WEM introduces the HMC-3000 Automated Hammermill Plant Control system to the feed and food industries; a control that represents a major technical advance for both industries.

Automation of International Multifoods bakery mix plant serving the eastern seaboard is successful.

Automation of a pet food plant that is considered the most advanced in the industry is successful.

WEM is recognized by the “Food Processing” magazine for technical achievement in the automation of Interstate Brand’s Chicago bakery plant.

Successful design and installation of two Automated Plant Control systems was completed that will automate major chemical production lines for Du Pont.

1987

The new WEM3000 series of Automated Plant Control systems is introduced to the construction industry.  In the brief span of six months, it has become the industry standard.

The F-3000 Automated Plant Control system is introduced to the animal feed industry, leading to major installations throughout North America.

Successful automation of a major rubber compounding facility for the automotive industry is recorded.

Cargill chooses WEM Automation for their major facilities in Japan and Korea.

WEM expansion continues with the opening of a Kansas City sales office.

1988

The WEM3000 Series of Automated Plant Control systems are dominating both the construction and feed industries, as systems are placed in virtually every continent of the world.

Successful start-up of an extensive blending operation for a major automotive parts manufacturer is achieved.

WEM reaches an agreement with California Pellet Mill, Division of Ingersoll Rand, to develop an advanced pellet mill control system.

WEM announces an agreement with Cedarapids, Division of Raytheon, to develop Automated Asphalt Plant Control systems utilizing the WEM3000 technology.

WEM expands its service and support group as sales reach record levels.

1989

The WEM FMP3000 Automated Pellet Plant Control systems pass the 100 unit sold milestone.

1992

WEM releases Automated Asphalt Plant Control systems in Hebrew.

1993

WEM reaches an agreement with a Chinese partner to manufacture Automated Plant Control systems in Shanghai China.

Wonderware Man Machine Interface (MMI) is employed in the WEM HMD3000 Drum mix control system.

1994

The WEM3000 Windows based operator interface Automated Plant Control system for the feed industry is introduced at the IPE and AFIA trade shows.  This marked the first Microsoft Access database application to be used in a feed mill control system.

1995

The Total Pelleting System (TPS), first in a line of applications designed for an enhanced WEM4000 Control System product line, is introduced to the feed industry at the IPE and AFIA trade shows. The WEM4000 will be PC/PLC based and will incorporate Wonderware graphics for the Man Machine Interface (MMI).

Browns of Carolina installs and successfully commissions a full feed plant automation solution without the traditional hard graphic manual backup.

1996

Together with CP Group, WEM celebrates the successful commissioning of their 125th WEM control system in China.

A fully automatic inventory and process control for loss in weight microscale applications is introduced. Precision weighing with real time inventory of drugs and other high value ingredients is a featured benefit of the system.

WEM develops a standard language translator to produce plant controls that recognize foreign languages.

1997

The WEM PC/PLC Automated Loadout Plant Control system is introduced to the feed milling industry. The first units were installed at three Tyson Food plants.  The control featured communications with the Feed Order and Delivery (FO&D) system and a Microsoft Access database.

1998

A PC/PLC based WEM Automated Grinding and Receiving Plant Control system is released.

WEM provides Goodyear Tire and Rubber a 16 scale PC/PLC weighing system for precision weighting of materials.  The system produces 16 batches simultaneously while automating the movement of individual weighing vessels.

1999

The feed milling PC/PLC product line is enhanced with the introduction of the WEM Automated Batch Plant Control system.

WEMSpeak, a communication application supporting local and wide area network (LAN /  WAN) based communications between WEM Automated Plant Control systems and client front office computer systems is introduced. WEMSpeak supports communications with all major accounting systems, least cost systems, construction management systems, feed order and delivery systems, feed mill management packages, maintenance software and power management software.

WEM automates five feed plants for the Government of Turkmenistan.

2000

The WEM Automated Asphalt Batch Plant Control system is introduced. This is the first PC/PLC based unit with the flexibility to expand and control all aspects of an asphalt plant.

The first WEM automated Concrete Block Batch Plant Control system is sold.  The system integrates the weighed or metered liquid admix control into a central control system, marking a significant enhancement in the precast concrete industry.

WEM automates Hayes & Stoltz and APEC enzyme systems, integrating them with the WEM Automated Pellet Plant Control system.

An Automated Feed Post Grind Plant Control system is delivered to a customer in Turkey.

2001

WEM automates Sierra Grain LTD high-speed rail receiving system, to include high-speed Auto ID of rail cars.

A joint business venture between WEM and JWS Corporation is officially announced. Extensive market research identified that it is counter-productive for a single firm to develop and manage both business management and plant automation product lines. Although this may have been tried before, the venture typically fails to be proficient in both fields, jeopardizing their customer businesses.

An all new WEM Automated Drum Plant Mixer Control system is introduced. This system features full flow active color graphics and PC based data acquisition and management.

An automated Asphalt Plant Loadout Control system is introduced at the National Asphalt Paving Association conference and trade show. This design completes the Batch/Loadout Asphalt plant control, establishing WEM as the leader in the retrofit asphalt control industry.

WEM automates a micro color batching system for a precast concrete facility, completing the integration of the batching and mixing process control system for the precast industry.

2002

Complete plant automation and manual controls for the asphalt industry is introduced.  This is a major step forward in the industry, and another indication of the attention and priority WEM places on the needs of this industry.

WEM establishes a business partnership with SPECO, Inc. of South Korea, to be the sole provider for all asphalt plant automation needs in their North American sites.

A recent WEM software feature enables feed mills to reconcile and document all materials and all inventory adjustments.

A Feed Traceability module WEM introduces at the IPE and AFIA national show is designed to meet all current FDA and HACCP requirements. This feature marks the first successful step in the industry to successfully track Lot Codes, materials, orders, and batches from receipt through delivery.

New and improved WEM4000 Feed Control system communication software integrates front and back office applications.

2003

Assuring food safety from accidental cross contamination, the first ingredient based medicated sequencing control for all equipment in the feed mill is introduced by WEM.

The largest turkey producer in the US selects WEM Automated Plant Control systems as a standard across their multi-site operations.

A feed loadout system controlled by the truck driver is introduced. Using just three buttons on a touch panel, a driver initiates and directs the loading of an order.

WEM ships the first Control Logix based feed system.  WEM is on the forefront of utilizing new technologies to benefit their customer base.

WEM establishes a business partnership with Gencor Industries as the sole provider of asphalt controls for their Batch/Loadout plant replacements.

Continuing to significantly increase market share and growth, WEM opens a Northeast Sales Office in Portland, ME.

WEM recognizes its 40th year as a member of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), enjoying one of the oldest memberships in the entire industry. WEM also continues to maintain active membership on NAPA committees and is an active contributor to the industry as a whole.

2004

WEM has established a standard computer association with Dell Technologies, insuring WEM customers that they will obtain the highest quality computer hardware with WEM products.

WEM announces the complete WEM4000 Control System for the Asphalt and Feed industries.

WEM is the first to use Weightronix Scale meters on DeviceNet for economical, precision weighing.

WEM develops the first automated Asphalt Drum Control system that will incorporate weigh bridges for each feeder, thus meeting New Jersey and Maryland specification mandates.

WEM and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) reach agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider of automation for all ADM plants.

The first multi-range freefall feature for asphalt batching and loadout systems is now available from WEM. By supporting the loading of multiple truck sizes without impacting freefall values, this feature will maximize loading efficiency and plant safety.

2005

WEM introduces a Lot Code Traceability module that meets all AFIA, FDA and U. S. government guidelines. This Traceability module provides a structured lot tracking system covering materials and formulas throughout a feed mill. For systems with automatic routing and loadout, this extends to loading the truck, and to the bagging run.

Microsoft SQL Server is now the standard database management application on WEM Feed Control systems.

WEM and Dillman Equipment, Inc. reach an agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider of automation for their new plants. Dillman is a large and reputable manufacturer of asphalt plants.

The Allen Bradley Control Logix platform is now the standard PLC environment for all WEM Feed Control systems.

WEM celebrates 50 years of supplying precision automation and control systems.

An Allen Bradley Control Logix based system has been shipped and installed in an asphalt plant.

WEM and Kahl, a German firm, collaborate on a system interface to support feed expansion technology.

WEM and Hanson America, a British firm, reach an agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider for all asphalt plant automation in North America.

2006

The first WEM Automated Plant Control system is installed in a wood flour mill facility, a rapidly growing market.

A wireless hand held controller that supports remote operation of plant equipment from anywhere within a plant is introduced.

WEM and Aggregate Industries, Inc., a Swedish based company, reach an agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider for all asphalt plant automation in North America.

WEM develops and deploys an automatic label printing capability for sample bags taken at the batching or loadout area.

WEM deploys its first control system using Windows XP.

Dell Technologies and WEM have reached an agreement in which Dell computers will be preloaded with WEM software at the Dell factory.

WEM and Rinker Materials, Inc., an Australian based company, reach agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider for all asphalt plant automation in North America.

2007

A Key Performance Indicators (KPI) feature is introduced. This graphical reporting tool enables managers and operators to measure the critical factors affecting their plant, maximizing productivity and quality, as well as to determine the efficiencies of key scheduling functions.

Automatic Variable Jog function that reduces batch cycle times and provides greater weighing accuracy is implemented.

Wide screen graphic capabilities now display an entire plant on a single screen, providing operational staff the ability to monitor and operate an entire plant from a single screen.

WEM and Maxam Equipment, Inc. reach an agreement positioning WEM as the preferred provider of automation for their new plants. Maxam is a large and reputable manufacturer of asphalt plants.

The WEM White Board application is introduced. This feature displays an accurate, real-time “bin board” on every monitor in the WEM system, reducing manual bin board posting tasks and possible discrepancies.

WEM introduces the productivity dash board.  This application can be run on any computer and will provide instant indication of unit process production rates.

WEM establishes a partnership in Santo Domingo for sales and service of WEM Asphalt systems in the Dominican Republic.

2008

A Feed Loadout lorry positioning feature using a laser for precise, repeatable automatic lorry filling and discharging is introduced.

Multiple truck compartments can load from one lorry load using the WEM Automated Plant Control system.

An “on the fly” formulated material substitution that supports multiple materials is now available.

Foreign languages are now supported on the WEM Automated Plant Control systems. Pre-programmed translations are provided as well as user entered translations.

WEM is selected to partner with an international concrete equipment firm to control the world’s first large volume, continuous mix concrete plant. This sophisticated system, used to build a large dam in India, will produce up to 1,000 cubic meters of dam quality concrete per hour.

2009

An integrated Equipment Maintenance Manager application is announced. This feature collects actual plant equipment usage run time and actuation data for analysis and reporting.

A Feed Loadout truck queue option supports the management of truck loading and their automatic release.

An available email module analyzes manufacturing requirements, then emails vendors the material on hand versus material needed data, automating a material ordering procedure.

A Business Intelligence Server application enabling a central computer platform to communicate with multiple remote plant computer platforms via the Internet is now available. Access is available via PC’s, handheld devices, or any other device capable of accessing the Internet.

2010

The WEM4000 Feed Control System is used with a blade server and thin client technology.

WEM has been selected to partner with The University of Wisconsin – Madison to develop energy usage, emissions, environmental impact and efficiency models in the production of asphalt. WEM will lead the implementation of the project supported by the Modified Asphalt Research Center and the National Science Foundation.

WEM is selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce to represent the automation and information technology sector of the construction industry in a comprehensive program with 18 delegates from the former Soviet Union. Delegates included senior executives of major construction companies and Ministries of Transportation from eight different countries.

2011

Zebra Printer Language (ZPL) support has been added for serial Zebra printers.

2012

Windows 7  conversion / upgrades across all Asphalt and Feed customer sites is initiated.

The Rockwell Compact Logix PLC technology for all WEM4000 Asphalt Control systems is announced. This new technology supersedes the previously used Rockwell SLC processor.

Structured Query Language (SQL) database management upgrade for all Asphalt systems is initiated.

2013

An Inventory Tracking feature has been incorporated into the WEM4000 Asphalt Control system.

The WEM4000 Control systems now support “Wide Screen” displays, containing larger, more identifiable graphics.

The WEM4000 Asphalt Control system now supports four stand alone Ship/Receive components.

2016

“Feed Track”, a mobile solution interfacing the WEM Control system with any Android device to support traceability of feed deliveries to the farm is introduced.

“WEMView”, a mobile Android application, supporting access to all WEM4000 Feed Control system data, has been developed. It can operate while not connected to the WEM Control system, then when re-connected, can process saved scan or operator entries.

To aid management decision making, the WEM4000 Asphalt Control system provides 101 unique reports, while the Feed Control System provides 75 unique report products. Adobe pdf file type is now a report export option.

2017

An “Alarm Corrective Action” operator display/interaction feature is added to the WEM4000 Asphalt Control system. This new operational tool provides Alarm ID / Cause / Corrective action details, answering the need to guide real time Alarm resolution capability at the local site.

The first WEM4000 Feed Hygienizer Control “heat treatment” system used to produce hygienic pelleted animal feed has been implemented.

“Tool Tips” that display item details when the mouse hovers over a setting on the screen has been added.

New features, such as “Job Phase” segmenting, establishing a “Product Sold As” alias, plus “on the fly” addition of new Customer, Job, Truck and Trucking Company data have been incorporated into the WEM4000 Asphalt Control system.

WEMScript, the latest software offering from WEM, is being made available to assist in the tracking of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) program which takes effect January 1, 2017. WEMScript also complies with the 2 year record retention requirement while providing production record retrieval by VFD number and related data items.

 

 

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