The history of PCS: From “Periphere Computer Systeme” to PCS
In the beginning of 1970, the brothers Georg Färber and Eberhard Färber founded PCS – Periphere Computer Systeme in Munich, Germany. The company‘s aim was to develop peripheral systems for IBM technical/scientific computers as well as process computer solutions based on Digital Equipment Corporation‘s PDP-8 and PDP-11 minicomputers. In 1973, PCS introduced the first German “one-board computer” on the market and used it to implement intelligent terminals for process and laboratory data collection.
In the 1980s, PCS developed the CADMUS Workstations (for technical/scientific applications) and microcomputers (for commercial applications) based on the Motorola 68000 and MIPS architectures as well as the UNIX-based MUNIX operating system designed for the latter. For a long time, the CADMUS workstations were the only alternative to American-built UNIX workstations by Sun Microsystems and Apollo Computers. In 1985, they won the “Electronics Innovation Award” for the company. In the same year, PCS founded CADMUS COMPUTER SYSTEMS in the US to distribute the systems on the American market. In parallel to the CADMUS family, the first INTUS terminals for production data collection were developed.
During the mid-1980s, CADMUS computers from PCS were part of a purely German CAD/CAM/CIM integration solution configured with the PROREN CAD system from the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum, Germany, the EXAPT CNC system from Aachen, Germany, and a database.
While Apollo Computers was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 1989, CADMUS COMPUTERS SYSTEMS was able to maintain its position in the market until the mid-1990s. After going through a number of take-overs in the beginning of the 1990s – by Mannesmann, Digital Equipment and Kienzle –, PCS regained its independence as PCS Systemtechnik GmbH in 1996 through a management buy-out. The company focused on the range of design-driven INTUS terminal systems for time and attendance recording, access control and production data collection. In 2007, PCS took a share in Convision, a producer of video surveillance technology based in Braunschweig, Germany, and in this way extended its access control portfolio to the field of video surveillance.