A History of Radio Control Technology

When Berlet Electronics started up in the mid-1950s, little was known about the potential for radio control in industrial applications. Much was realized, however, about the basic problems faced by industry every day.

These problems included low productivity due to slow, clumsy, dangerous movements that put cab and floor crane operators at constant risk. Swinging pendant controls created safety hazards of their own as well as maintenance problems.

Today, Berlet and associate companies have installed close to 30,000 systems worldwide through a blend of electrical/electronic engineering know how and problem-solving skills. Berlet is Canada’s leading supplier of radio control equipment.


Following are milestones in the history of radio control technology:

1959
The first radio-control system for overhead bridge cranes is developed.

1968
Berlet starts marketing radio remote controls in Canada; development of anti-collision radio system for overhead cranes

1977
The first industrial digital system using hard logic CMOS circuitry, becomes the industry standard.

1985
A microcomputer system, based on the STD BUS module and solid-state relay technology, became the next standard for stepped and stepless cranes, locomotives, railcar movers, and other industrial uses.

1986
Microcomuter systems featuring uni-board construction and standard configuration provide the first off-the-shelf radio control system.

1989
The first hand-held North American transmitter to provide multi-speed control of cranes, hoists, monorails and other material handling equipment is introduced.

1991
Advanced digital signalling technology (MFS) for radio remote control applications is introduced.

1992
Industrial-grade, programmable radio switch technology is applied to distribution automation applications in the utility market.

1993
Launch of system with multiple address capability, allowing up to four cranes to run on one frequency through MFS technology; also, the introduction of the first cordless pendant style transmitter with 2 or 3 speed positive detent pushbuttons.

1997
Launch of the first laser-based anti-collision system, offering distance control and collision prevention for cranes and other guided machinery.

2000
Redesign launch of the popular membrane handheld transmitters.

2003
Redesign launch of the popular pendant pushbutton transmitters.

2007
Redesign launch of the popular belly box transmitters.

You may be assured that Berlet will continue to pioneer developments in the field of radio remote control. Many of the systems we have installed are still in operation after more than 20 years. We are dedicated to industrial grade controls and we understand the demanding conditions of all industries.