From Abbey Works to Amazon

Thursday 4 April 2019, 6.00pm - 8.30pm

Swansea University, Computational Foundry (Bay Campus), Fabian Way, Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea, SA1 8EN



The first real-time shop-floor transaction processing system in the world.

The Steel Company of Wales Abbey Works at Port Talbot was a hot-bed of innovation from its founding in 1948; in plant design, steel manufacture and computing.

In 1964 the decision was taken to implement an off-line shop-floor reporting system to address a serious problem of maintaining stock records in the Hot Mill. Experience with this, coupled with developments in hardware and software, led to the decision to design, develop and implement a real-time transaction reporting system for the Cold Mill.

This presentation describes the development and implementation of these and other systems from 1965 to mid-1973.

Geoff Henderson joined the Data Processing (as it was then) department at Abbey Works in 1965 and by 1967 was leading the real-time systems team. He joined IBM in mid-1973 as a systems engineer, transferred to sales and retired as Director of Finance Sector, Region North, Europe Middle-East and Africa, a $2bn business, in 2000.

  • 18:00 tour
  • 18:30 buffet for 19:00 talk
  • 20:30 Finish


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