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This year, INTERPHEX Exhibitor, Specialty Measurements Inc. (SMI) celebrates over 30 years of business. INTERPHEX created a quick questionnaire to learn more about SMI and the technology they
are bringing to INTERPHEX 2015. In this exhibitor spotlight,
Gary Bubb, VP/Director of Engineering at SMI answers our
INTERPHEX: Tell us how the company started.
GARY BUBB (SMI): Incorporated in 1982 SMI (Specialty
Measurements, Inc) supported test programs for industry and
government. With the core belief to always give the customer
more than they expected. SMI grew into one of the largest specialized testing firms in the US, able to support in excess of 500
channels of sensors such as strain gages, load cells, accelerometers, displacement to name a few. In the first five years SMI
supported test programs on power plants, suspension bridges,
container ships, Naval ship trials and many military programs.
One of the capabilities of SMI was to design custom transducers that could be incorporated into an existing machine
to measure forces that the machine produced. Towards that
end SMI was tasked to measure the forces involved in the
making of a compact on a single station tablet press for Dr.
Joe Schwartz at the College of Pharmacy and Science in
During the installation of that custom load cell Dr. Dev
Mehra from FMC happened to be present and asked if we
could do the same for a rotary tablet press? That led to the
development of the first computerized data acquisition system
commercially available. It was called the SMI 3600 and used an
8088 computer chip. When the 80286 chip was introduced the
SMI 3620 was the first to take advantage of this new technology. All of the systems were DOS based at that time.
When Windows was introduced it was clear that the operating system did not have the speed to run the real time force
monitoring system. At that time SMI introduced a true windows
product based on the Motorola 68000 chip. This evolved into
the SMI 68020 and eventually the SMI 68040 all using the 0S- 9
operation system. When the Windows-based operating system running on personnel computers demonstrated sufficient
power and speed, the Director was born and it remains the
software standard of choice today.
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◗ Booth 3153