Who We Are

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Contemporary Controls designs and manufactures the system building blocks for networking, integrating and controlling automation processes where performance and reliability are important. Our products are built upon open technologies such as ARCNET®, BACnet®, CAN, Modbus®, Niagara Framework® and Sedona Framework™, and are typically found in building and industrial automation industries. Our customers are systems integrators, contractors and mechanical and controls OEMs seeking simple and reliable networking and control products from a dependable source. With headquarters based in the US, we have operations in the UK, Germany and China with self-manufacturing in the US and China.

CTRLink® – Ethernet for Automation consists of unmanaged and managed switches, media converters, wired and wireless IP routers. These products are designed for unattended operation in environments not conducive to office grade equipment. CTRLink overcomes the challenges that Ethernet presents to the automation professional by providing convenient mounting in control panels, Class 2 power wiring, and reliability. Our switches, media converters and IP routers adhere to IEEE 802.3 standards and more. Specialty regulatory needs are addressed in selected models. From simple plug-and-play operation to fully-managed switch functionality, there is a model to meet any need.

BASautomation™ – Building on BACnet provides solutions for both small and scalable building management. BACnet, an internationally recognized building automation standard, can take a system from the field level to the Internet. BACnet routers link IP networks to BACnet MS/TP. Gateways adapt other protocols such as Modbus to BACnet. BACnet/IP controllers – Powered by Sedona Framework or Niagara Framework – do the work. Once on Ethernet, the CTRLink family – with its collection of managed and unmanaged switches, media converters, wired and wireless IP routers – can complete the connectivity process.

With over 40 years in business, four locations around the world, and a reputation for technical support, Contemporary Controls is committed to making your automation projects successful.

Our Background

George Thomas established Contemporary Controls in 1975 as a system integration and consulting business focusing on microcomputer and PLC applications. One of the first projects was the development of a microprocessor-based ratiometer for measuring the fabric stretch between pull-rolls on a cascaded AC drive system. In order to reduce development time on these types of projects; the company developed a line of proprietary bus-boards to serve as system building blocks. As microprocessor bus-boards became more popular, in 1983 the company changed direction to become a hardware manufacturer by developing a series of STD-BUS microcomputer modules and became active in the STD-BUS Manufacturers' Group (STDMG). One of those modules developed was an ARCNET® adapter that allowed distributed STD-BUS microcomputers to replace a DEC minicomputer in a newspaper pre-processing system.

As ARCNET acceptance increased, Contemporary Controls was the catalyst for creating the ARCNET Trade Association (ATA) in 1987 to better publicize this technology to the automation world. The company moved forward with its introduction of the MOD HUB series of ARCNET active hubs, and other bus-board adapters enabling Contemporary Controls to become a leader in ARCNET technology. With most of the major building automation companies using ARCNET, Contemporary Controls became a supplier to all those OEMs that incorporated ARCNET in their systems. The company continued to expand its ARC Control – ARCNET for Control product line to suit other industries besides building automation such as process and machine automation.

In order to meet the needs of an increasing European business, in 1997 Contemporary Controls Ltd (CCL) was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary in Coventry, England with offices located in the University of Warwick Science Park. The company began researching fieldbus technologies with the help of the University of Warwick's Advanced Manufacturing Center. The company joined the Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA) in order to be part of a growing device-level networking market.

With the emergence of fieldbuses such as Controller Area Network (CAN), CANopen, and DeviceNet, Contemporary Controls developed bus-board adapters and network analyzers in support of these technologies. In 1998, the EXTEND-A-BUS® was introduced as a convenient way of extending CAN networks in the field. Long distances were achieved by using ARCNET as a backbone technology.

In 2002, Contemporary Controls GmbH (CCG) was established with a German partner in Eisleben, Germany to develop and produce device-level and Industrial Ethernet products on a cooperative basis. Also that year, Contemporary Controls (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. (CCC) was established in Suzhou, China as a wholly-owned subsidiary. A surface-mount (SMT) production line was installed at the Suzhou plant giving Contemporary Controls a second manufacturing location with higher speed equipment.

The rapid acceptance of Industrial Ethernet as a fieldbus replacement created the need for the CTRLink® family of Industrial Ethernet products intended for rugged applications but designed to be as simple-to-use as standard office-grade equipment. The CTRLink product line won the 2002 Editor's Choice award from Control Engineering. In 2003, Contemporary Controls created the Industrial Ethernet University as a way to educate the public on this technology. Graduates receive a certificate of accomplishment.

In 2004, the company introduced its first managed Industrial Ethernet switch based on firmware developed internally to support Broadcom switch controllers. This 10/100 Mbps 8-port compact SNMP-compliant managed switch operated over an extended temperature range and was intended for hardened applications.

In 2005, Contemporary Controls purchased the financial interests of its German partner in CCG after the partner was purchased by another company. Eventually, CCG moved to Leipzig, Germany.

By 2006, both the US and China manufacturing plants converted their SMT processes over to lead-free production consistent with the European Union RoHS directives. This involved equipment conversion or replacement and additional training on how to handle the higher temperature processing of lead-free solder. This represented a significant expenditure and a commitment to social responsible manufacturing.

In 2007, Contemporary Controls introduced the BASremote, a family of BACnet-compliant products that not only connected to Ethernet networks, but could interface with common sensor and actuator devices as the company proved that taking Ethernet down to the device-level was possible. Contemporary Controls began participating in BACnet plugfests. In 2008, the company introduced the BAS Router - a BACnet/IP to BACnet MS/TP router and began becoming active in BACnet events.

A Powered by Sedona Framework virtual machine (SVM) is installed in the BASremote provided the product with controller capability using drag-and-drop programming tools. Contemporary Controls was recognized by Tridium in 2010 as one of the first companies to obtain Sedona Framework certification.

In 2011, Contemporary Controls became a Tridium OEM partner with the right to resell Niagara Framework technology. Contemporary Controls intends to bundle its Sedona Framework controllers with Niagara servers to create a "One Tool Solution" using Niagara Workbench as the only tool needed to commission a complete building management system. Also in 2011, CCC received ISO9001:2008 quality registration from SGS.

In 2012, Contemporary Controls received registered trademark status for its BASautomation line of building automation controllers, routers and gateways.The tagline for BASautomation is Building on BACnet.

Contemporary Controls continues to expand its product portfolio by introducing Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity to its IP routers using OpenVPN technology and a cloud-based service to assist system integrators. The Automation Switch series is introduced with 24 and 16-port switches and support for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Support for existing ARCNET customers continues with the introduction of a PCI Express ARCNET adapter for use in modern high-speed PC motherboards. The BAScontrol20 is introduced as a truly open unitary controller supporting both BACnet/IP and Sedona Framework.

In 2014 Contemporary Controls was honored by receiving Control Trends (CTA) Peripheral Product of the Year award while George Thomas was inducted to CTA's Hall of Fame.

Contemporary Controls, with sales and distribution offices in the United Kingdom and Germany and manufacturing locations in China and the United States, remains committed to serving its automation customers worldwide.

Milestones

1975 Founded as an engineering and systems integration company.
1975 Developed the first microprocessor-based Computing Ratiometer to measure web draw on a cascaded drive system using Intel's new 8080 microprocessor.
1979 Began developing STD-BUS microcomputer modules based on Zilog's Z-80 processor.
1982 Developed first microprocessor-based Cutoff Registration System for web-fed printing presses.
1984 Introduced a STD-BUS ARCNET adapter module that provided real-time network performance due to its token-passing protocol.
1986 Received Arthur Andersen & Co. Small Business Award.
1987 Published the ARCNET Factory LAN Primer and founded the ARCNET Trade Association.
1989 Introduced first ARCNET modular active hub with expandable copper and fiber ports.
1992 Appointed Andover Controls Preferred Supplier.
1995 Introduced first ARCNET PC Card adapter.
1997 Established Contemporary Controls Ltd. in Coventry, United Kingdom.
1998 Introduced Extend-A-Bus CAN bus extender.
1999 Appointed Johnson Controls Preferred Supplier.
2000 Introduced first Industrial Ethernet products.
2002 Established Contemporary Controls GmbH in Eisleben, Germany as a joint-venture and Contemporary Controls (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. in China as a wholly-owned subsidiary.
2002 CTRLink Industrial Ethernet line receives Control Engineering Editors' Choice Award.
2003 Established Industrial Ethernet University to educate the public on the merits of this technology.
2005 Introduced ARCNET to Ethernet router/gateway to assist those companies migrating from ARCNET to Ethernet.
2007 Introduced BASremote for building automation.
2008 Introduced the BAS Router for attaching BACnet MS/TP segments to BACnet/IP
2010 The BASremote receives a Powered by Sedona Framework virtual machine and passes conformance testing by Tridium becoming one of the first products to receive certification.
2011 Contemporary Controls becomes a Tridium OEM partner for its Niagara Framework technology.
2012 BASautomation® - Building on BACnet line of BACnet controllers, routers and gateways receives registered trademark status.
2013 BASremote recognized by Tridium as Sedona 1.2 compliant after Contemporary Controls participated in Tridium's beta testing program.
2014 Control Trends awards granted to Contemporary Controls for Peripheral Product of the Year and to George Thomas for Hall of Fame.