The engineering office Borst Automation has been around for thirty years now. Before that, I had been working on developing embedded systems for measurement technology for 10 years, even though they weren't even called embedded systems at the time. Microprocessor technology was simply too new.
My name is Walter Borst. I'm from Giessen, a town not far from Frankfurt in Germany.
In 1977 I began studying communications engineering in Berlin and completed this course in 1982 with the development of a microprocessor-controlled digital transversal filter that was used for EEG analyzes at the Schering company in Berlin. Luckily, the frequencies in a person's EEG are so low that they could be analyzed digitally even back then.
I started my career as an engineer in 1982 at Endress+Hauser as a project manager in the field of moisture measurement. My main task was to use the new microprocessor technology to replace and supplement the previous analog technology as far as possible. The result was a trace moisture meter that displayed reliable readings with an accuracy that was not possible before.
I was fascinated by the use of microprocessors and very soon (1985) became group leader for digital communication and a little later (1988) department head for firmware development.
During this time, I worked on behalf of my company in the Fieldbus standardization and wrote various publications. I successfully launched the Device Description Language (DDL), which is now an international standard and abbreviations like DTM and FDT come from my pen.
In 1992 I expanded my sphere of activity by starting the Borst Automation engineering consultancy.
The most important publication at that time was a book, because I wanted to make the topic of fieldbus the main topic of the consultancy. The title of the book was: "Der Feldbus in der Maschinen- und Anlagengentechnik" and it was published in 1992 under the ISBN number 3-7723-4621-9 by Franzis Verlag.
Besides myself, the following authors contributed to the book: Dipl.-Ing. Michael Ziesemer, Dr. Jens Rathje, Dipl.-Inform. Klaus-Peter Lindner, Rommily Bowden, Dr. Ulrich Johannsmeyer, Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Ballin, Dipl.-Ing. Michael Theis, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Tilo Pfeifer, Dipl.-Ing. Guenter Seemann, Dr.-Ing. Manfred Patz, Dr. Helmut Raab und Dipl.-Inform. Manfred Baumeister.
At that time there were different systems that seemed to be in competition: FAIS, PROFIBUS, P-NET, CAN, HART, DIN-Messbus, BITBUS, ASI, INTERBUS-S, SERCOS, FIP and IEC-Fieldbus.
Today the scene has calmed down. The fieldbuses, which have special unique properties, have been included in the standardization.
From that point on, the engineering office worked for the following companies, among others: Bebro-Elektronik/Frickenhausen, Embex/Freiburg, Endress+Hauser/Gerlingen, Endress+Hauser/Manchester, Endress+Hauser/Nesselwang, Endress+Hauser/Maulburg, Endress+Hauser/Reinach, Force Computers/Muenchen, Inor Transmitter/Vantaa, IMTT/Oulu, Integriti Solutions/Aberdeen, Fischer & Porter/Goettingen, Hartmann & Braun/Frankfurt, Liebherr/Bad Schussenried, Mettler-Toledo/Urdorf, MTL/Luton, Pepperl+Fuchs/Mannheim, Phoenix Contact/Blomberg, Rosemount(Emerson)/Chanhassen, Samson/Offenbach, Sensycon/Alzenau, Siemens/Karlsruhe, VEGA Griesshaber/Schiltach and Yokogawa Electric Corporation/Tokoy.
The tasks were very different, but often related to measurement technology or communication. Without exception, however, it was about embedded systems, their development, integration, tests or documentation. I was able to observe that the importance of tests has continued to increase in recent years.
When it came to digital communication, the HART protocol was very often at stake. I know this technique very well because I have seen how it came about. You can easily tell from the content of my website that I still haven't gotten rid of it.
And what are we doing today? Well, the focus is still on the service sector: consulting, engineering, software and firmware development, project coaching, requirements management, tests and test management. And we are always good for new ideas!