When David Morrison, editor of Power Electronics Technology, began calling me for back issues to support Power Electronics Technology's 30-year anniversary celebration, it occurred to me that my personal library should be converted to a searchable CD database before this valuable body of engineering knowledge is lost forever. Everyone agreed with the idea, and now the CD archive is available from Power Electronics Technology.
Putting together this archive brought back many memories of the ways this magazine has contributed to the power electronics industry. The many seminal articles that appeared in the pages of Solid State Power Conversion, which became Power Conversion Intelligent Motion, then PCIM/Power Electronic Systems and finally Power Electronics Technology, now can be found in the magazine's CD archive.
As someone who has witnessed the evolution of the industry in the last 30 years, I would also like to note the magazine's role in creating national and international events, as well as new publications, that nurtured emerging technologies.
1975 — Solid-State Power Conversion (SSPC) launches simultaneously with Powercon, giving the power conversion industry an identity for the first time. After more than a decade of laboring over proprietary technologies in isolation, merchant power supply companies finally have two complementary forums in which they could build industry relations and develop products that were needed in mainstream markets. In contemporary marketing terms, the technology enthusiasts for solid-state power conversion now could move the market to the visionary stage of the “Technology Adoption Life Cycle.”
The magazine and conference grew out of the need to solve design problems created by the step change in technology from linear to switch-mode power supplies (SMPS). Collaborative research mailings with power component suppliers pinpointed almost 14,000 engineers who were in need of solutions to their design challenges. This in turn established a community of SMPS designers who would become readers of the magazine and participants in the conferences.
1979 — POWER CONVERSION '79 is the first launch of an annual pan European conference and exhibit. Top-level U.S. scientists meet their counterparts in Europe for the first time.
1986 — Anticipating that the driving forces within the power supply user community for even smaller product profile require next-generation high-switching-frequency technology, the High Frequency Power Conversion (HFPC) show launches as a stand-alone conference and exhibit. Suppliers later agree that focusing on the unique design problems associated with high-frequency power supplies was instrumental in driving change in the industry. And as a result, time to market is moved up by three to five years.
1989 — PCIM Europe magazine launches in Germany by our sister company ZM Communications, managed by Gerd Zieroth. He expands this business to include major fairs in Europe and Asia.
1989 — PCIM sponsors the first PCIM/Power Quality combined conference and exposition. A pioneering forum, Megawatts Versus Microchips creates a face-to-face meeting between the electric utility industry and the electronics industry.
1994 — HFPC becomes the first conference to focus on digital power control systems. The conference also includes power supply system compatibility for digital designers and electronic ballast design and control.
1998 — Power Electronics Systems Summit is launched. This event focuses attention on power systems throughout the industry and recognizes that power electronics had become the enabling technology in the advances of many electronic devices and systems. At this summit, the Art Fury award is presented to Dr. Fred Lee for establishing the creation of the Center for Power Electronic Systems (CPES). The magazine is an early champion of CPES. This same year, the magazine's name changes to PCIM/Power Electronic Systems, to reflect its new emphasis on system design.
Few individuals or companies are privileged to leave a mark on the industry they serve and champion. Collaboratively, we have had the honor of playing a major role in creating the early infrastructure for an industry that's now destined to make its mark on society. Thanks so much for the memories and incredible support.