The CompuTest The Universal Computerised Testing Machine

It was in the early 80’s and Victoria was at the start of a manufacturing boom with many Companies designing and producing new products for the Domestic and Commercial markets. New manufacturing lines required sophisticated product testing machines to ensure that their products worked well, were safe, reliable, within specifications and conformed to all the relevant Australian Standards.
Each Tester specification was different, thus requiring a new design and build process for each one!

It became obvious to me that a new Universal Testing Machine was the way for the future. 

A phone call from CIG, a leading manufacturer of Electric Arc Welding machines provided an indication of the degree of sophistication that a Universal Testing Machine should be capable of. They required a Tester which could carry out 14 different tests on each of four welders simultaneously and print a detailed test report on each in two minutes total time. It was obvious that this would require a very sophisticated control system.

A new Australian Company had just released their home computer on the market The Microbee”. It turned out to be ideal for the task, but it was not designed to withstand the hostile electrical environment of industrial production lines so a fully optically isolated interface circuit and power supply was devised to provide an impervious barrier.

The new testing machine was fully software controlled and could carry out all the tests required sequentially, automatically issue on screen instructions to the Operator, perform complex mathematics, print a full test report for inclusion with the product and reject faulty products with a printed fault report for reworking. The results were displayed on screen as each test was performed and testing stopped as soon as a fault was found.
This machine revolutionised the industry and made production substantially more efficient by doubling the line output. Many more CompuTests were built for other companies such as Electrolux, Data Cable, Dyne Industries, Mistral Fans and CIG.